IELTS Reading preparation

Reading is not considered the most difficult part of IELTS. You are given ready-made texts and tasks, so you just need to choose the right answer.

However, this does not mean that preparation can be neglected. The main difficulty for most students lies in misunderstanding the nature of IELTS reading. Students, having seen the text, begin to reread it many times, guessing at the meaning of each unclear word. This only wastes the time allotted for the task, but does not help them to complete it successfully.

In addition, IELTS texts are usually full of vocabulary that is incomprehensible to most students because it belongs to the field of science, research, journalism or is borrowed from the media.

Reading section consists of three parts, each of which includes one or more texts.

Reading Part 1 1-3 texts on topics from everyday life.
Reading Part 2 Business texts, instructions, legal documents.
Reading Part 3 One long and complex text on an academic, scientific or social topic.
Types of Reading questions

Matching Headings

Select a heading from the list that matches a section or paragraph in the text.

True/False, Yes/No, Not Given Questions

See if the text contains the information given in the question or the author’s opinion.

Matching Paragraph Information

Match the information in the question with information in a paragraph of the text.

Summary Completion Question

Fill in the gaps in the text of the task with words from the paragraphs of the text or with the words provided.

Sentence Completion Questions

Complete the sentences with words from the text.

Multiple Choice

Choose the correct answer to the question or complete the sentence with one of 3-4 options.

List Selection

Select the correct answer to a question from a list of choices (including words, information, and names). This task differs from Multiple Choice in that it is a single long list of choices.

Choosing a Title

Choose the most appropriate title for the text from the list. It is important to understand the difference between the details and the main idea.


Select which category from the list the information belongs to.

Matching Sentence Endings

Compose a sentence by matching the beginnings and endings of sentences from the list.

Table Completion

Complete the table using the correct words from the text.

Flow Chart Completion

Complete the chart using the correct words from the text.

Diagram Completion

Complete the diagram, match the diagram with the correct words.

Short Answer

Answer the questions based on the information in the text.



Reading tips and preparation

Read all question types carefully and focus on the skills needed to complete these tasks.

Practice the technique of scanning the text to understand the general idea and quickly find the information you need. Instead of reading the text thoughtfully and translating every word, learn to extract only the information important for a task.

IELTS Reading is time limited, so practise your speed reading skills. While reading, it is important to see the key words and use them correctly. Pay attention not only to individual words, but also to whole structures.
Focus on increasing your vocabulary and improving your grammar. Don’t just memorize words and their translations, but also learn how to use them in context.

Read as many English texts as possible on a variety of topics and styles. Avoid fiction and give preference to newspapers, magazines, scientific articles, websites and print media. When reading, translate and memorize new words, increasing your vocabulary.

Study IELTS practice tests to see what types of tasks you will face. Pay attention to feedback from students who have already taken IELTS. Personal experience is especially valuable when it comes to difficulties.

Read the text questions carefully. Do not miss a single word. Often, misunderstanding a question or not paying attention to it will lead to you answering incorrectly. You usually do not need to know the exact meaning of every word in a passage to answer the questions. Often the meaning of words can be guessed from the context, and some words are similar to Russian or international terms (especially in professional vocabulary).