The IELTS Academic Reading test assesses a wide range of reading skills including your ability to follow an argument, recognize a writer’s opinion, attitude or purpose. It looks at how well you can read to understand main ideas, details, opinions and implied meanings. Your reading comprehension skills are tested, covering skimming, scanning and reading for detail.

The Academic Reading test is made up of 3 long texts which are taken from current books, journals, magazines and newspapers. The texts are related to topics you might face if you were to study at an undergraduate or postgraduate level or apply for professional registration in an English-speaking environment.

You will have to answer 40 questions in the Academic Reading test. These questions can range from multiple choice to identifying information or a writer’s view, matching headings, features and sentence endings, as well as sentence, summary, note, table and flow-chart completions, and short-answer questions.

Ask IELTS

Ask IELTS

Do I have to write in pencil for the paper-based IELTS test?

Pencil is recommended for the IELTS Listening, Reading, and Writing tests. This is because tests are scanned and work best with pencil. It also means that you can easily erase and rewrite words. If you forget to bring a pencil, the test centre will provide one for you.

Learn More