IELTS General Reading Practice Test - PrepareIELTS

IELTS General Reading Test


Every year, many candidates move to live or work in various nations, such as the United States, UK, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, France, and Ireland. However, to get a visa in these countries, you must have a strong IELTS Band Score.

The IELTS General test is written by individuals who wish to live or work abroad. It is made up of four skills, of which Reading skills are also important. The IELTS General Reading Test is designed to focus on everyday situations that candidates can face during work life, everyday life, and general discussion. Let's check the IELTS General Reading Test and understand it to prepare best.

Test Structure of IELTS General Reading

The IELTS General Reading Test is designed to assess the reading skills of candidates who plan to work or migrate to English-speaking countries. The test consists of 3 sections, each containing a different type of text. Here's an overview of the IELTS General Reading test structure:

Section 1: Social Context

This section takes the texts from everyday social contexts, such as advertisements, notices, timetables, or personal correspondence. There are typically 13 to 14 questions, including multiple-choice, matching information, matching headings, matching features, sentence completion, or short-answer questions. Moreover, the texts in this section are relatively straightforward and aim to assess basic reading comprehension skills.

Section 2: Workplace Context

This section features texts related to workplace contexts, including job descriptions, company policies, regulations, and employee manuals. Just like section 1, there are usually 13 to 14 questions in this section. They may include multiple-choice, matching information, matching headings, matching features, sentence completion, or short-answer questions.

Section 3: General Context

Section 3 presents longer and more complex texts extracted from newspapers, magazines, journals, or informational materials. It typically has 13 to 14 questions. This section assesses the candidate's ability to comprehend detailed information from the text.

Test Duration of IELTS General Reading Test

The total test duration is 60 minutes. Candidates have 60 minutes to complete all three sections of the General Reading Test. It is important to know that there is no extra time to transfer answers, so candidates must manage their time efficiently.

IELTS General Reading Band Score Module

Below, you can check the IELTS General Reading Bad score details.

Correct answers Band scores
40 9
39 8.5
37-38 8
36 7.5
34-35 7
32-33 6.5
30-31 6
27-29 5.5
23-26 5
19-22 4.5
15-18 4
12-14 3.5
9-11 3
6-8 2.5

Types of Questions in IELTS General Reading

Below are various question types you may encounter in the Reading test, along with a brief explanation and the skills assessed for each.

Matching Heading Questions

Description - Selecting the appropriate heading for paragraphs in a given passage from a list of options.

Skills Assessed - This question type evaluates your ability to understand the main idea of paragraphs and the overall structure of the passage. It requires you to identify key themes and concepts.

True/False/Not Given Questions

Description - Identifying whether statements align with information in the passage as True, False, or Not Given.

Skills Assessed - These questions test your ability to accurately locate specific information within the passage. You need to understand the nuances of the information presented and discern whether it matches the statements provided.

Matching Paragraph Information Questions

Description - Identify which passage section contains information corresponding to the question statements.

Skills Assessed - This question type assesses your ability to comprehend detailed information within the passage. It requires you to understand the relationships between different parts of the text and locate specific details.

Summary Completion Questions

Description - Completing a summary by filling in the correct words from the passage.

Skills Assessed - Summary completion questions test your ability to synthesise information and identify key points within the passage. You need to scan the text efficiently to find suitable words that fit the context of the summary.

Sentence Completion Questions

Description - Completing sentences by filling in the correct words from the passage.

Skills Assessed - Sentence completion questions evaluate your understanding of vocabulary and grammar within the passage's context. You must accurately select words that maintain coherence and cohesion in the sentences.

Multiple-Choice Questions

Description - Choosing the correct answer from the provided options.

Skills Assessed - Multiple-choice questions require you to demonstrate a deep understanding of the passage's content. You must carefully analyse the options and select the most appropriate answer on the provided information in the text.

List Selection

Description - Selecting the correct answer from a list of words.

Skills Assessed - List selection questions to assess your ability to identify specific details within the passage. You must scan the text efficiently to locate relevant words matching the given criteria.

Choosing a Title

Description - Choosing the most suitable title for the passage from the provided options.

Skills Assessed - This question type requires you to grasp the passage's main idea and overarching theme. You must synthesise information from the text to select a title that accurately reflects its content.

Categorisation Questions

Description - Identifying the category into which information from the passage fits.

Skills Assessed - Categorization questions test your ability to classify information based on its characteristics or attributes. You must use your understanding of the passage to determine the appropriate category for each piece of information.

Matching Sentence Endings

Description - Completing sentences by selecting correct endings from a given list.

Skills Assessed - Matching sentence endings requires you to comprehend the meaning and context of the sentences. You must select endings that logically conclude the given statements while maintaining grammatical accuracy.

Table Completion

Description - Completing a table by selecting appropriate words from the passage.

Skills Assessed - Table completion questions assess your ability to extract specific details and numerical data from the passage. You must accurately fill the table with relevant information while maintaining accuracy and coherence.

Flowchart Completion Questions

Description - Completing a flowchart by selecting appropriate words from the passage.

Skills Assessed - Flowchart completion questions test your understanding of sequential information and logical relationships within the passage. You must select words that fit the flowchart's structure and accurately represent the information provided in the text.

Diagram Completion Questions

Description - Completing a diagram by selecting appropriate words from the passage.

Skills Assessed - Diagram completion questions assess your ability to interpret visual information and relate it to the textual content. You must accurately select words that describe the components or processes depicted in the diagram.

Short Answer Questions

Description - Answering questions using the information provided in the passage.

Skills Assessed - Short answer questions evaluate your ability to comprehend and interpret information in the passage. You must provide concise and accurate answers while demonstrating a thorough understanding of the text.

How to Prepare for IELTS General Reading?

If you are preparing for the IELTS General Reading Test, then this guide provides a step-by-step approach to help you effectively prepare for the test and achieve your desired score.

Understand the Test Format - It is important to familiarise yourself with the IELTS General Reading Test format. You should understand the types of questions you will encounter, the number of passages, and the time allocated for each section. This understanding will form the basis of your preparation strategy.

Assess Your Current Skills - Start by evaluating your current reading skills. Take a General Reading practice test to identify your strengths and weaknesses. Pay attention to areas where you struggle the most and prioritise them in your study plan.

Develop Skimming and Scanning Techniques - Skimming involves quickly reading passages to grasp the main idea, while scanning consists of searching for specific information. Practice these techniques to improve your reading speed and efficiency. Remember to focus on identifying keywords and key phrases.

Build Vocabulary - Enhance your vocabulary by regularly learning new words and phrases. Focus on academic and general English vocabulary, as you'll encounter a wide range of topics in the reading passages. Use flashcards, vocabulary books, and online resources to expand your vocabulary.

Practice Regularly - Consistent practice is key for success in the IELTS General Reading Test. Set aside dedicated time each day to practice reading passages and answering questions. Use official IELTS practice materials, sample tests, and online resources to simulate the test environment.

Work on Time Management - Time management is critical during the test. Practice allocating your time wisely for each section, ensuring that you have enough time to answer all questions. Try to avoid spending too much time on any question.

Understand Question Types - Familiarise yourself with the different types of questions on the test, such as multiple-choice, matching headings, true/false/not given, and sentence completion. Learn specific strategies for each question type to approach it effectively.

Review and Analyse Your Performance - Review your answers and analyse your performance after each practice session. Identify any mistakes or areas for improvement, adjust your study plan to focus on these areas, and track your progress.

Seek Feedback and Guidance - Consider seeking feedback from teachers, tutors, or study partners. They can provide valuable insights, point out areas of weakness, and offer guidance on how to improve. You can also take advantage from forums to connect with other candidates and share tips and strategies.

Stay Calm and Confident - Trust in your preparation and approach each question with a clear mind. Remember to read each passage and question carefully, and don't hesitate to make educated guesses if you're unsure. With the right preparation and mindset, you can conquer the IELTS General Reading Test and achieve your desired score.

IELTS General Reading Test Sample with Answersg

Below, you can check the sample of the IELTS Reading test with answers.

Passage -

The Dead Sea Scrolls

In late 1946 or early 1947, three Bedouin teenagers were tending their goats and sheep near the ancient settlement of Qumran, located on the northwest shore of the Dead Sea in what is now known as the West Bank. One of these young shepherds tossed a rock into an opening on the side of a cliff and was surprised to hear a shattering sound. He and his companions later entered the cave and stumbled across a collection of large clay jars, seven of which contained scrolls with writing on them. The teenagers took the seven scrolls to a nearby town where they were sold for a small sum to a local antiquities dealer. Word of the find spread and Bedouins and archaeologists eventually unearthed tens of thousands of additional scroll fragments from 10 nearby caves; together they make up between 800 and 900 manuscripts. It soon became clear that this was one of the greatest archaeological discoveries ever made.

The origin of the Dead Sea Scrolls, which were written around 2,000 years ago between 150 BCE and 70 CE, is still the subject of scholarly debate even today. According to the prevailing theory, they are the work of a population that inhabited the area until Roman troops destroyed the settlement around 70 CE. The area was known as Judea at that time, and the people are thought to have belonged to a group called the Essenes, a devout Jewish sect.

The majority of the texts on the Dead Sea Scrolls are in Hebrew, with some fragments written in an ancient version of its alphabet thought to have fallen out of use in the fifth century BCE. But there are other languages as well. Some scrolls are in Aramaic, the language spoken by many inhabitants of the region from the sixth century BCE to the siege of Jerusalem in 70 CE. In addition, several texts feature translations of the Hebrew Bible into Greek.

The Dead Sea Scrolls include fragments from every book of the Old Testament of the Bible except for the Book of Esther. The only entire book of the Hebrew Bible preserved among the manuscripts from Qumran is Isaiah; this copy, dated to the first century BCE, is considered the earliest biblical manuscript still in existence. Along with biblical texts, the scrolls include documents about sectarian regulations and religious writings that do not appear in the Old Testament.

The writing on the Dead Sea Scrolls is mostly in black or occasionally red ink, and the scrolls themselves are nearly all made of neither parchment (animal skin) or an early form of paper called ‘papyrus’. The only exception is the scroll numbered 3Q15, which was created out of a combination of copper and tin. Known as the Copper Scroll, this curious document features letters chiselled onto metal – perhaps, as some have theorized, to better withstand the passage of time. One of the most intriguing manuscripts from Qumran, this is a sort of ancient treasure map that lists dozens of gold and silver caches. Using an unconventional vocabulary and odd spelling, it describes 64 underground hiding places that supposedly contain riches buried for safekeeping. None of these hoards have been recovered, possibly because the Romans pillaged Judea during the first century CE. According to various hypotheses, the treasure belonged to local people, or was rescued from the Second Temple before its destruction or never existed to begin with. Some of the Dead Sea Scrolls have been on interesting journeys. In 1948, a Syrian Orthodox archbishop known as Mar Samuel acquired four of the original seven scrolls from a Jerusalem shoemaker and part-time antiquity dealer, paying less than $100 for them. He then travelled to the United States and unsuccessfully offered them to a number of universities, including Yale. Finally, in 1954, he placed an advertisement in the business newspaper The Wall Street Journal – under the category ‘Miscellaneous Items for Sale’ – that read: ‘Biblical Manuscripts dating back to at least 200 B.C. are for sale. This would be an ideal gift to an educational or religious institution by an individual or group.’ Fortunately, Israeli archaeologist and statesman Yigael Yadin negotiated their purchase and brought the scrolls back to Jerusalem, where they remain to this day. In 2017, researchers from the University of Haifa restored and deciphered one of the last untranslated scrolls. The university’s Eshbal Ratson and Jonathan Ben-Dov spent one year reassembling the 60 fragments that make up the scroll. Deciphered from a band of coded text on parchment, the find provides insight into the community of people who wrote it and the 364-day calendar they would have used. The scroll names celebrations that indicate shifts in seasons and details two yearly religious events known from another Dead Sea Scroll. Only one more known scroll remains untranslated.

Questions -

Do the following statements agree with the information given in Reading Passage?

In boxes 1-8 on your answer sheet, write

TRUE: if the statement agrees with the information

FALSE: if the statement contradicts the information

NOT GIVEN: if there is no information on this

1. The Bedouin teenagers who found the scrolls were disappointed by how little money they received for them.

2. There is agreement among academics about the origin of the Dead Sea Scrolls.

3. Most of the books of the Bible written on the scrolls are incomplete.

4. The information on the Copper Scroll is written in an unusual way.

5. Mar Samuel was given some of the scrolls as a gift.

6. In the early 1950s, a number of educational establishments in the US were keen to buy scrolls from Mar Samuel.

7. The scroll that was pieced together in 2017 contains information about annual occasions in the Qumran area 2,000 years ago.

8. Academics at the University of Haifa are currently researching how to decipher the final scroll.

Answers -










The IELTS General Reading test is a component of the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) designed to assess a candidate's reading skills in everyday contexts.

The IELTS General Reading test consists of three sections and lasts for 60 minutes in total.

The IELTS General Reading test includes various question types, such as multiple-choice, matching headings, sentence completion, and true/false/not given.

The IELTS General Reading test comprises three passages of increasing difficulty, each followed by a set of questions.

No, candidates are not allowed to use dictionaries or any other aids during the IELTS General Reading test.

The IELTS General Reading test is scored based on the number of correct answers, with each question carrying one mark. The final score is reported on a band scale from 1 to 9.

You can prepare for the IELTS General Reading test by practising reading comprehension exercises, familiarising yourself with various question types, and improving your vocabulary.

Yes, you can skip questions and return to them later within the allocated time for each section of the IELTS General Reading test.

No, there is no penalty for incorrect answers in the General Reading test. It is advisable to attempt all questions, as there is a chance of guessing the correct answer.

Yes, candidates are allowed to take notes and underline or highlight important information in the question paper during the IELTS General Reading test. However, these notes cannot be transferred onto the answer sheet.