Reading FAQ


Hi everyone.

In our lesson today I want to give you some important (and sometimes surprising!) information about the IELTS Reading Test in FAQ form.

After the FAQ, I’ll give you the six most important pieces of IELTS Reading advice from real examiners, so you can use them to improve your band score today.

Let’s go!


IELTS Reading Test – Important Information FAQ:

IELTS Reading band score calculator


6 Quick Tips to Improve your Reading Score:


To reliably improve your score in the IELTS reading test, you need to read a lot, and often, and then work with practice tests to improve your test strategy.

But, if you’re just looking for some quick tips and strategies you can apply right now to improve your score, here are the most important ones:

  • TIP #1: Get your approach right. Figure out what works best for you when you begin a new section.
    • Most people find the best way to start a reading section is to take a minute to read the title, and read the first couple of sentences. The goal here is simple to understand what the article is about. Then, read the questions. Don't read the whole article first! I explain this approach in more detail here: How to Approach the Reading Test.
  • TIP #2: Manage your time! It’s really important to keep an eye on the time while you do the reading test, and to not go over 20 minutes per section. You don’t want to be left with 5-10 questions at the end of the test that you have to guess!
    • You will probably find that you have to go a little faster than you are comfortable with. You will not have time to feel completely certain about all your answers! Make sure that you notice if you are going too slow, and try to speed up gradually.
    • Here is a lesson about good time management on the reading test: 7 Ways to Improve Your Time Management.
  • TIP #3: Remember that you don’t have to read or understand everything. You only get marks for answering the questions, and some parts of a passage may not contain answers. Don’t feel bad for skimming – or skipping! – parts of a text.
  • TIP #4: Don’t leave answers blank! You don’t You don’t lose marks for guessing, so you might as well try it.
  • TIP #5: Do multiple choice questions last for their section. This is so that if you are running low on time for that section, you can guess the answers to these questions (it’s extremely difficult to guess questions that are not multiple choice!)
  • TIP #6: DON’T FORGET TO FILL IN YOUR ANSWER SHEET! On the reading test, you need to fill in the answer sheet as you go (unlike on the listening test). I’ve seen people forget to fill it in and receive a zero on the test! Don’t forget.

So, now you know what to expect on the IELTS Reading Test, and you have some quick tips that can increase your band score on your next practice test. Why not try them right now?

The next step, for those who want to get more serious, is to go a little deeper into IELTS strategy.

If you want more strategy for Reading specifically, we have many lessons for this. I recommend starting here:


Good luck!!