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Today we will talk about “academic reading” of the IELTS test , which has already been written about before (Academic Reading). This part consists of 3 “text passages”, the level of complexity of which grows gradually. The candidates are given 60 minutes in order to answer 40 questions and fill in the answer sheet. 24 correct answers will allow you to approach to the score 6.0.


There are so-called “golden rules” in order to complete the task.


    • The questions going at the beginning of the IELTS Reading test are considered to be rather easy. For this reason, you should complete them as soon as possible in order to leave more time for the last tasks. You are given about 1 minute and a half for each question and 15-20 minutes to complete the tasks which go below the text.


  • In the texts there are periphrases of words and expressions which are present at questions. An important concept here is meaning, not a form.
  • If you don`t find it possible to answer the question fast, don`t waste your precious time! Leave this question and go on with the next one.
  • It`s not obligatory to read all the texts from the very beginning till the very end. All the tasks are directed at understanding of the general sense (Gist) and/or detailed information (Specific details). Look through the table given below:


Gist Specific details Gist and
Specific details
Matching headings Matching stems to
sentence endings
Multiple choice
  Sentence completion Summary/flow-chat/
table completion
  Short answer questions Classification
    Matching sentences
from a suitable list
    Answering YES, NO,
    Answering TRUE, FLASE,

To become a quick worker who goes through all the questions, it is necessary to develop 2 abilities- Skimming (for getting the main idea of the text) and Scanning (for understanding details).


The main strategies for Skimming:


  • Read only verbs, nouns, adjectives and adverbs.
  • Pay attention only to a key sentence structure - a noun, a predicate and an object.
  • Read only the first sentence in a paragraph then the first words of the next sentences.
  • Look through the text and find the words which will help you get a general idea about the paragraph.

Concerning the fact that the main task is to find necessary words, in one word, SCANNING, the text shouldn’t be read FROM LEFT TO RIGHT. In this case you start reading every word which slows down the process of reading. Try to read the text in the following ways:

As soon as you find the necessary word or expression, stop in order to mark it out. After this leave the sentence which you don’t already need. Then, start searching the words to get the answer to the other question.


At first, you can find this method quite difficult and confusing but with time and a great amount of completed tasks you will acquire Skimming and Scanning skills. The main thing needs to be remembered is that the work in accordance with the format is the key to success. The more time you dedicate to the development of such abilities, the better it works then. “The Skype language “ teachers of English are always ready to give you a hand.


Here are given some useful IELTS Reading online resources for training:


  • IELTS Reading Academic Demo Test version
  • Some pieces of advice based on special techniques which lead to successful completion of the IELTS Reading Academic, given by native speaker.
  • Useful tips from British Council which provide you with the information what should be done and not while doing Academic Reading (A.R)
  • Online training tests (A.R) with the answers given
  • Detailed instructions on the completion of each of the task in the A.R. IELTS module. Besides this, there are given useful links to online resources which will help you prepare for this part of examination.


Good luck at exam and remember to use our online materials combining it with our Online IELTS Preparation Course. All of this will definitely help you succeed in doing your test. Practice more and systematically and you are already assigned to achieving success!

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