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The Academic and General IELTS tests have different reading sections. However, the question types, the number of questions, and the way it is scored remains the same. The question types range from multiple choice and matching information tasks, such as matching sentence endings or headings, to completion tasks such as summary, flow-chart or sentence completion.
In the Reading test , you will respond to 40 questions that are based on three long texts, and you will receive one mark for each correct answer. Your raw score—which is used to calculate your IELTS band score will be based on the total number of correct answers. It is crucial to try to respond to every question because blank answers will not receive points.
Did not attempt test
No assessable information provided
Essentially has no ability to use the language beyond possibly a few isolated words
No real communication is possible except for the most basic information using isolated words or short formulae in familiar situations and to meet immediate needs. Has great difficulty understanding spoken and written English
Extremely limited user
Conveys and understands only general meaning in very familiar situations. Frequent breakdowns in communication occur
Basic competence is limited to familiar situations. Has frequent problems with understanding and expression. Is not able to use complex language.
Has partial command of the language, coping with overall meaning in most situations, though is likely to make many mistakes. Should be able to handle basic communication in own field
Has generally effective command of the language despite some inaccuracies, inappropriacies and misunderstandings. Can use and understand fairly complex language, particularly in familiar situations
Has operational command of the language, though with occasional inaccuracies, inappropriacies and misunderstandings in some situations. Generally handles complex language well and understands detailed reasoning
Very good user
Has fully operational command of the language with only occasional unsystematic inaccuracies and inappropriacies. Misunderstandings may occur in unfamiliar situations. Handles complex detailed argumentation well
Has fully operational command of the language: appropriate, accurate and fluent with complete understanding
Number of correct answers
Reading Band Score
Number of correct answers (Raw Score)
IELTS General Training
Reading Band Score
The IELTS Reading band score charts that are displayed illustrate the average number of marks needed to get each band score. As a result of the variations in texts used on different occasions, actual scores may differ slightly between tests.
IELTS Academic Writing Task 1: How to get a band 7 or higher in task achievement