IELTS Reading Test: Everything You Need to Know

The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is a set of tests designed to assist you in working, studying, or migrating to a country where English is the primary language. This includes Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States. It has four sections: Speaking, Reading, Listening, Writing

International teams of experts prepare the test content for IELTS. It undergoes comprehensive research to guarantee that the test remains fair and unbiased for all candidates regardless of nationality, background, gender, lifestyle, or location. 

If you are planning to take the IELTS test and are unsure how you will fare in the IELTS Reading section, this article will help you with everything you need to know about this part of the test. 

Having a clear idea of how the test will go and what to expect in the IELTS Reading Test, to add to the different tips and tricks on how to perform at your best, will surely be your ticket to getting a high band score, so read on. 

What Should You Know About the IELTS Reading Test? 

The IELTS Reading Test takes an hour to complete. The texts will be different for the Academic and General Training modules, but the question types and number of questions are the same. There are three texts to be read, ranging in length from 500 to 900 words. There are 40 questions to answer, and there are different types of questions to complete. 

The IELTS Reading Test has three parts (Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3), and the difficulty level increases from Part 1 to Part 3. It is designed to assess a wide variety of reading skills such as: reading for gist, key ideas, and details; skimming; understanding logical argument; recognizing writers’ viewpoints, attitudes, and intent. 

Because the IELTS Academic Reading Test is more difficult than the IELTS General Training Reading Test, there is a difference in the scores. You need to answer more questions correctly on a General Training test to receive the same grade as an Academic Reading test. 

Here are how the band scores are calculated for the Academic Reading and General Training Reading tests, respectively:

IELTS Academic Reading Scoring Ranges

Correct Answers Band Scores 
39 – 40 9
37 – 38 8.5
35 – 36 8
33 – 34 7.5
30 – 32 7
27 – 29 6.5
23 – 26 6
19 – 22 5.5
15 – 18 5
13 – 14 4.5
10 – 12 4
8 – 9 3.5
6 – 7 3
4 – 5 2.5

IELTS General Training Reading Scoring Ranges

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

What is the Difference Between IELTS Academic Reading and IELTS General Training Reading?

Like mentioned earlier, the texts in the Academic and General Training modules are different. Here are the differences between the two modules:

ModulesPurpose Test SectionsSources 
Academic
  • Intended for those who are aspiring to pursue higher studies and professional registration
  • Determines whether a candidate is prepared to begin studying English or work in an academic setting
There are three sections with equal length; the texts are usually factual, descriptive, analytical, and discursive. 
  • Books
  •  Journals
  • Magazines
  • Newspapers 
General Training 
  • Intended for those who want to study or train below degree level.
  • Determines whether a candidate is prepared to work in a social setting
There are three sections:
  • Section 1 has 2 to 3 factual texts about ordinary life in an English-speaking country.
  • Section 2 has factual texts about work.
  • Section 3 has one complex text about a general topic.  
  • Notices
  • Newspapers
  • Advertisements
  • Company Handbooks 

IELTS Reading Section Test Format

Though the difficulty levels of the tests in the IELTS Academic Reading and IELTS General Training Reading is different, it is quite noting that the types of questions in both modules are the same. 

  • Summary Completion: You will be presented with a summary or a paragraph with some gaps. The summary will have all of the information needed in the reading texts, but the language will be different. You will be given a list of words to complete the gaps. The given number of words will exceed the total number of gaps. These words were chosen so that only one word will be correct (the answer), even though the others may appear to be correct.
  • Matching Headings to Paragraphs: You will be presented with a list of headings. There are around four to six paragraphs from the text that will be indicated in the instructions. You need to pick the most appropriate heading for each paragraph.
  • Identifying the Writer’s Views: You will be presented with a set of statements. You need to assess whether these statements support the writer’s viewpoints and recognize the writer’s point of view not just from what is explicitly stated but also from what is suggested. 
  • Multiple Choice: You will be presented a ‘stem,’ which could be an incomplete statement or a question. After the stem, there will be three or four possible answers, but only one will be correct (the answer). The other three will appear plausible but will be wrong in some way (the distractors). 
  • Selecting Factors: You will be presented with a number of statements. You need to demonstrate that you understand what facts the writer did (and did not) mention on a specific topic.
  • Table Completion: You will be presented with an incomplete table. It summarizes or paraphrases the text that you have read. You need to complete the table in three words or less, depending on the instructions given.
  • Matching Causes and Effects: You will be presented with two lists. Usually, one list has a limited number of causes, while the other has many consequences. You need to find the effect that matches each cause. 
  • Sentence Completion: You will be presented with a number of incomplete sentences. You need to complete the sentences using information from the text that you have read. 
  • Short Answer Completion: You will be presented with a series of questions to answer. In general, your responses should be three words or less, but check the instructions to be sure.

Tips and Tricks to Immediately Improve Your Scores on IELTS Reading

If you think about it, 60 minutes is enough or even more than enough to answer 40 questions. However, time and again, many candidates get out of the testing room not feeling confident about how they perform in the IELTS Reading Test. Some have even complained of not answering all questions, which is valid for Academic and General Training modules.

To help you fare better in the IELTS Reading Test, here are the proven tips and tricks that you need to apply:

  • Improve your reading speed: You must enhance your reading speed while preparing for the IELTS Reading Test to make the most of the 60 minutes you have. However, do not sacrifice comprehension in the name of speed. It is too easy to skim through an article and then remember nothing. Comprehension should still be your priority. 
  • Do not expect to know every word: While having a large vocabulary is essential for a good IELTS score, worrying about the words you do not understand in the reading text is one of the worst things you can do. There are two options if you do not understand a word on the reading text. You can either look for clues to its meaning in the words and sentences surrounding it, or you can skip it and forget about it. You are not required to know the meaning of every word. 
  • Read the questions before you begin answering: Browse the questions quickly before you start answering them. Remember that questions come in groups of three, four, or more, so read that group before diving into the text. Make sure to underline the essential information. Since you have previously reviewed the paragraph and selected key words, it will be easy to identify the answers.
  • Cross out the wrong answers: Managing your time is critical in the IELTS Reading Test, and if you apply this technique, you will save a large amount of time. Filter your options and eliminate those that you think are wrong. This will also give you a higher chance of getting the correct answers. 
  • Double-check your answers: You can improve your IELTS Reading score by double-checking your answers. Ensure that you answer every question and set aside at least 20 minutes to double-check them. Check for spelling, capitalizations, and punctuations that you might have missed. These are minor details, but they still contribute to your overall band score. 
  • Do not leave any questions unanswered: Even if you cannot find an answer, remember to answer every question. If you are short on time, keep in mind that even if your answer is incorrect, you will not lose a mark, so make an educated guess and who knows, you might just get it right. 

Practical Strategies to Improve Your English Reading Skills

The IELTS Reading Test will put your reading skills to the limit. You will encounter texts and questions that you might not have seen before, and with that, you need to apply different strategies and techniques to make sure that you give your best performance in this part of the test.

Here are the best and most effective strategies that you can use in the IELTS Reading Test: 

1. Skimming and Scanning

Skimming is a method of searching for only the most important or broad ideas. It is used to gain a bird’s-eye view of a piece of text. Unlike skimming, scanning looks for related words/phrases to find a specific fact or piece of information. Though the two are entirely different approaches, both will help you find the details you need in the IELTS Reading Test. Ensure you have to master these skills, and answering the questions in the test will be a breeze. 

2. How to Understand Long Sentences in IELTS Reading?

The probability of having long sentences in the IELTS Reading Test is pretty high. Most of the structures in the texts in both the Academic and General Training modules are long sentences. For you to understand such sentences, you need to have knowledge of the different kinds of sentences. 

Simple Sentences: 

Have only one clause, with a single subject and a single predicate.

Examples:

Sentence –– “Marine life, for example, is affected by tidal patterns.”

Subject “Marine life”

Predicate “is affected by tidal patterns.”

Sentence ––“Animals’ activities depend on the cycles of the sun and the moon”

Subject “Animals’ activities”

Predicate – “depend on the cycles of the sun and the moon”

Compound Sentences:

Have two or more independent clauses, usually connected by a conjunction. 

Examples:

1st clause – “Our digestive system does not shut down entirely at night.”

2nd clause “It slows to a crawl as our bodies prepare for sleep.”

Conjunction “but”

1st clause – “Numerous creatures are largely diurnal.”

2nd clause “they like to come out during the hours of sunlight.”

Conjunction “and” 

Complex Sentences:

Have one or more dependent clauses and a single independent clause

Examples:

Sentence ––“Chronobiologists take an interest in what is known as the circadian rhythm when it comes to humans.”

Dependent clause “when it comes to humans.”

Independent clause – “Chronobiologists take an interest in what is known as the circadian rhythm”

Sentence ––“Apart from sleeping at night and waking up during the day, each cycle incorporates various factors like changes in blood pressure and body temperature.”

Dependent clause “Apart from sleeping at night and waking up during the day.”

Independent clause “each cycle incorporates various factors like changes in blood pressure and body temperature.”

3. Use of Cue Words or Keywords

Finding words in the passage with a similar or close meaning to the words in the questions is known as the keyword technique. Usually, keywords are in the forms of nouns and verbs, names, dates and years, numbers and figures, and are capitalized or italicized. In most IELTS Reading texts, these keywords will assist you in finding the answers. Candidates must master this to achieve a high band score on the IELTS Reading module.

Examples:

Keywords in the Questions Similar Keywords in the Passage 
advanced futuristic 
affected influenced
feedforage
gentlebenign
pliablemalleable

4. Identifying Writers’ Views in IELTS Reading

Pay close attention to the first and last parts of the reading texts. Most of the time, the writer’s point of view is expressed in these parts. When you read the introduction and the conclusion of the reading texts, you will correctly answer the majority of the questions. After you have read the introduction and conclusion, skim through the body of the passage.


IELTS Reading Tips for Preparation (What to Expect on Test Day)

Preparing for the IELTS Reading Test takes patience, hard work, and, more importantly, time. Before you take the test, know what to expect on the day of the test. This way, you will perform at your best, and your efforts in preparing will not go to waste. 

Below are the most effective tips that you can employ while preparing for the IELTS Reading Test.

Before the Test

  • Take the day off: This is the time to unwind, relax, and rest. We are confident you have studied and prepared so hard. Go to the park or the beach. Do things that relax and calm you. You must be in the right frame of mind on the day of the test.
  • Have everything you need ready: On the test day, you will need your ID. This ID must be the same as the one you used to register. You should also bring pencils, erasers, and a water bottle if you become thirsty throughout the test. 
  • Know where the testing center is: Ensure that you know the location of the testing center days before the test. Search its exact location in Google ahead of time and be informed of traffic patterns in that area. Ensure that everything is in order. Do not be late. 

On the Day of the Test

  • Read (and follow!) the instructions carefully: There have been candidates who have failed the IELTS Reading Test because they did not read the instructions carefully. To prevent losing marks, pay strict attention to the directions you are provided.
  • Spend your time wisely: Pay close attention to your timing. Identify the questions that take longer to answer. If it is taking you longer to answer a question, skip it. This will make you confident to spend more time on questions and prevent you from being anxious throughout the exam. 
  • Do not panic: Maintain your composure and keep your nerves in check even if you do not know the answers to some of the questions. Accepting that you are unlikely to get all of the questions correct on the test may help you control your anxieties and timing. 

After the Test

  • Relax: You have done everything you can at this point, and the best thing you can do is stay positive and give yourself a break. Take your mind off the preparations and hard work you did by relaxing. 
  • Accept the result in a positive way: Whatever the result would be, accept it positively. If you do not get your desired band score, it is okay. You can retake it whenever you are ready. By that time, you would already know the shortcomings you had, and you could improve on them. 

You will find the complete details on how the IELTS Speaking test is marked, check our comprehensive guide on the IELTS Band Scoring System.


IELTS Reading Practice Questions 

To practice for the IELTS Reading Test, one of the best ways is to get yourself acquainted with the different kinds of texts and questions that will appear in the test. 

Here are a few samples of the IELTS Reading Test for both the Academic and General Training modules:

IELTS Academic Reading Test Sample Practice Questions

Sample Reading Text A

The Human Brain

A Scientists refer to the reptilian cortex as the earliest of our three brains to form. This brain maintains the basic processes of animal survival, such as breathing, enough rest, and a beating heart. We don’t have to “think” about these activities on purpose. The reptilian brain’s “startle center” is a mechanism that allows us to react swiftly to unexpected occurrences in our surroundings. When you feel a startled lurch when a door slams shut somewhere in the house or when a twig snaps in a nearby bush while out on an evening stroll, the reptilian cortex is at work. Your reptilian brain only has three impulses when it comes to social interactions: aggression, mating, and territorial defense. There is no discernible difference between a crocodile protecting its riverbank territory and a turf war between two urban groups in this sense.

B Despite the fact that a lizard may claim its territory, it seems indifferent about the welfare of its young. Something new is happening when you hear a dolphin separated from its pod or see elephants mourning their dead. This is identified by the scientist as the limbic cortex. When young children are present, the limbic brain, which is only found in mammals, motivates creatures to care for their offspring by providing sensations of love and warmth to the parent. As a result of these same experiences, mammals form a variety of social interactions and kinship networks. When we’re around others of “our kind” – whether at soccer practice, church, school, or a nightclub – we feel a strong sense of belonging, solidarity, and comfort. Loneliness sets in when we spend too much time away from these networks, causing us to seek out companionship.

C Humans are the only ones who have abilities that go beyond these two cortexes. Humans do more than just eat, sleep, and play; we also converse, plot, think, and debate moral concerns. Our unique abilities are due to the neocortex, a large third brain that works with logic, reason, and ideas. The neocortex’s power comes from its ability to think beyond the immediate, concrete moment. Humans have the ability to consider the “big picture,” whereas other species are primarily restricted to impulsive behavior (although some, such as apes, can learn and remember small lessons). By connecting simple lessons (for example, an apple falls from a tree; hurting others causes sadness), we can construct complex theories of physical or social phenomena (such as the laws of gravity and a concern for human rights).

D The neocortex is also in charge of our decision-making and commitment to specific actions. When these choices are made repeatedly throughout time, they can lead to feats of progress not observed in other creatures. A student can disregard the limbic urge to mingle and go to bed early the next morning, hoping to get a better grade on the exam the next morning. After three years, this continual sacrifice can result in a first-class degree and a graduate school scholarship; it can also result in life-changing contributions to human knowledge and growth. Our ability to put aside our urge for immediate fulfillment in order to profit later is due to the neocortex.

E Understanding the three-headed brain can help us better comprehend the various types of brain damage and psychological disorders. The most catastrophic form of brain damage, for example, is when someone is deemed to be brain dead. A person appears to be just unconscious – probably sleeping – in this state, but this is deceiving. The reptilian brain continues to function on autopilot despite the irreparable loss of other cortexes.

F The limbic cortex’s disturbances are recorded in a unique way. Puppies with limbic damage can walk and eat normally, but they are completely unaware of their littermates’ presence. “After a limbic lobotomy, one afflicted animal walked on his outraged friends as though treading on a log or a rock,” scientists observed. In humans, damage to the limbic system has been related to sociopathic behavior. Sociopaths with fully functional neocortex are usually sharp and emotionally intelligent, but they lack the ability to connect, sympathize, or care for others.

G Phineas Gage, a railway worker, became one of history’s neurological marvels after surviving an incident when a metal rod pierced his skull, removing a major amount of his neocortex with it. Despite the fact that Gage continued to live and work normally, his coworkers observed a change in his personality equilibrium. Gage’s animal instincts had become stronger, while his mental powers had diminished; garrulous or obscene jokes had replaced his previously quick wit. Gage was able to mitigate these significant swings over time and restore a proper social manner, according to new data. This shows that reparative therapy may help people with serious brain injuries improve their quality of life.

Summary Completion

Complete the summary below.

Choose your answers from the box at the bottom of the page and write them in boxes 1-4 of your answer sheet. 

(There are more words than spaces, so you will not use them all. You may use any of the words more than once.)

Only humans possess abilities that 1. ___________ beyond these two cortexes. Humans talk, plot, ponder, and discuss moral issues in addition to eating, sleeping, and playing. The neocortex, a 2. ___________ third brain that deals with logic, reason, and ideas, is 3. ___________ for our unique abilities. The ability of the neocortex to think beyond the immediate, concrete moment gives it power. Humans have the ability to think of the “big picture,” whereas other species are more 4. ___________ to impulsive conduct (although some, such as apes, can learn and remember small lessons).

_______________________________________________________________________

agreeable                                                          prone

close                                                            responsible

extend                                                               tiny

high                                                                   vast


Matching Headings to Paragraphs 

Choose the heading which best sums up the main idea of paragraphs G, H, I, and J of the text.

Write the appropriate numbers I – X on your answer sheet.

I. How the neocortex brain works

II. How the neocortex affects decision-making

III. How the animal and human brain works

IV. Differences between how animals and humans think

V.How the limbic brain affects our relationship with others

Vi. How understanding the neocortex can help treat brain damages

_____________________________________________________________________

1. Paragraph B             ____________

2. Paragraph C             ____________

3. Paragraph D             ____________

4. Paragraph E             ____________


Identifying the Writer’s Views 

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

YES                       if the statement agrees with the writer’s claims

NO                        if the statement contradicts the writer’s claims

NOT GIVEN              if there is impossible to say what the writer thinks about this 

1. Humans and animals have to ‘think’ to breathe, rest, and react to unexpected occurrences in their surroundings. ________

2. Animals protect their young more instinctively than humans do. ________

3. The neocortex assists us in decision-making. ________

4. Understanding the triune brain can help us find cures for the different psychological disorders. ________


Matching Causes and Effects

Match each cause (1-3) in List A with its effect (A-D) in List B.

Write your answers (A – C) in boxes 1 – 3 on your answer sheet. 

There are more effects in List B than you will need, so you will not use all of them. You may use any effect more than once if you wish. 

List A: Causes

1.   Limbic brain at work

2.   Reptilian brain at work 

3.   Disturbance in the limbic brain

List B: Effects  

A.    Humans being able to sympathize with others  

B.    An ape protecting its young against predators 

C.    Humans startling when hearing something loud unexpectedly

D.    Humans unconsciously changing their behaviors and personality 


Sample Reading Text B

Physics Jam 

A After a group of theoretical physicists, led by Dirk Helbing and Boris Kerner of Stuttgart, Germany, published papers on traffic flow in journals targeted to traffic engineers a few years ago, they were plainly going beyond their typical domain of inquiry. They found that if they used the equations that describe how gas molecules move to replicate the movement of vehicles on a roadway, they got some unusual results. Vehicles, of course, do not behave exactly like gas molecules: for example, drivers avoid collisions by reducing when they get too close to another vehicle, whereas gas molecules seem unconcerned about such things. However, the physicists adjusted the equations to account for the differences, and the general description of traffic as a flowing gas turned out to be a very good one; the moving-gas model of traffic reproduces many of the phenomena seen in real-world traffic. The weirdest result of these equations, however, was the conclusion that congestion might occur entirely on its own, with no external reasons required. Vehicles can flow freely along the road, at a density that is still considerably below what the road can manage, before coagulating into a slow-moving slime. Under the correct circumstances, a localized change in speed or distance between vehicles is all it takes to cause a system-wide failure that lasts for hours. In reality, the physicists’ analysis revealed that such spontaneous traffic flow breaks are likely to occur regularly on motorways.

B Though a disturbing discovery, it displayed a strong resemblance to the phenomenon known as ‘chaos theory.’ This hypothesis arose from the realization that in every complex interacting system with many elements, each portion has an impact on the others. As a result, minor changes in one element of a complex system might have far-reaching but unanticipated consequences. This type of abrupt transition from one state to another is analogous to what occurs when a chemical substance transitions from vapor to liquid. When its temperature and density have reached the threshold where it may condense into water droplets, water in a cloud frequently stays a gas. However, if the vapor comes into contact with a solid surface, even something as small as a particle of dust, condensation can occur, and the vapor to liquid transition can be completed. Traffic, according to Helbing and Kerner, is a complicated interconnected system. They discovered that a slight shift in traffic density can act as a “speck of dust,” creating a fast transition from freely moving traffic to synchronized traffic, in which all lanes quickly slow down and begin traveling at the same pace, making passing impossible.

C Proposals to set a limit capacity for vehicles on roadways have been questioned by physicists. They suggest that simply limiting the rate at which vehicles are allowed to access a highway may not be enough; instead, each vehicle’s entry onto the highway may need to be cautiously timed to coincide with a temporary decline in the density of vehicles along the road. The goal would be to smooth out any potential changes in road conditions that could cause traffic behavior to shift and result in congestion. They go on to warn that eliminating traffic congestion may someday necessitate implementing the far-fetched idea of directly regulating the speed and spacing of individual cars along a highway using central computers and sensors that connect with each car’s engine and brake controls. 

D However, traffic control research is primarily conducted in civil engineering departments, where the physicists’ theories have been met with suspicion. Civil engineers prefer a pragmatic approach to problems, believing that traffic congestion is caused by bad road building (two lanes becoming one lane or unsafe curves), which restricts traffic flow. Engineers questioned the scientists’ theoretical results’ applicability to real-world traffic. Indeed, some engineering researchers questioned whether complicated chaos-theory interpretations are required at all because at least some of the traffic phenomena predicted by the physicists appeared to be the same with the observations in traffic engineering literature under different names for years; observations that had simple cause-and-effect explanations.

E A sudden stop in traffic, according to James Banks, a professor at San Diego State University in the United States, may have less to do with chaos theory and more to do with driver psychology. As traffic thickens and the passing lane fills up, aggressive drivers shift to other lanes in an attempt to pass, evening out the pace between lanes. Another leveling influence, he believes, is that when a driver in a fast lane brakes slightly to maintain a safe gap between vehicles, the shock wave travels back considerably faster than in the other slower lanes because each following motorist must respond much faster. As a result, the quicker moving traffic is the first to slow down when a route becomes congested.

Summary Completion

Complete the summary below.

Choose your answers from the box at the bottom of the page and write them in boxes 1-4 of your answer sheet. 

(There are more words than spaces, so you will not use them all. You may use any of the words more than once.)

Vehicles are not exactly like gas molecules. For example, drivers 1. __________ collisions by reducing speed when they approach too close to another vehicle, whereas gas molecules appear unconcerned. The equations were tweaked to account for the 2. _________, and the basic description of traffic as a flowing gas proved to be a very good one; the moving-gas model of traffic 3. __________  many of the events seen in real-world traffic. The 4. __________ outcome of these calculations, however, was the conclusion that congestion might happen on its own, without any external causes.

 ______________________________________________________________________

avoid                                                                   occur

discrepancies                                                    reproduces

eliminates                                                           strangest

gives                                                                   unique


Matching Headings to Paragraphs 

Choose the heading which best sums up the main idea of paragraphs G, H, I, and J of the text.

Write the appropriate numbers I – X on your answer sheet.

I. A plan to deprive the driver of control

II. A lack of investment in driver education 

III. Questions and disagreements among experts

IV. Driver behavior has an impact on traffic speed

V. Modest changes in traffic can have dramatic consequences

VI. How a mathematical experiment helped to alleviate traffic congestion

VII. Different countries have dealt with traffic congestion in different ways.

VIII. What happens when a theory from one field of study is used in another?

_____________________________________________________________________

1. Paragraph B             ____________

2. Paragraph C             ____________

3. Paragraph D             ____________

4. Paragraph E             ____________


Sentence Completion

Complete the sentences below using words taken from the reading passage.

Use NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS for each answer.

Write your answers in boxes 1-3 on your answer sheet. 

1. The ‘chaos theory’ states that in every complex interacting system with many elements, each portion ______________  others.

2. According to physicists, each vehicle’s arrival onto the highway needs to be ______________  to coincide with a momentary reduction in vehicle density along the road. 

3. Some people believe that a sudden stop at traffic may have something to do with  ______________


IELTS General Training Reading Test Samples

Sample Reading Text C

World War One: How it Started 

The Great War took place in 1914 and lasted four years. The popular belief that it began as a response to the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria and his wife Sophie by a Serbian nationalist secret society known as the “Black Hand” isn’t totally accurate. In reality, Emperor Franz Josef expressed relief over the assassination since it freed him from an heir he despised. “God will not be mocked,” the Emperor declared. The order I couldn’t keep has been reinstated by a higher being.”

Indeed, the emperor isn’t the only one relieved; according to an Austrian newspaper, the broad agreement throughout various political groups was that, while tragic, the killing was for the best. “The event almost failed to make any kind of effect whatsoever,” it was said of the Austrian people. The masses in Vienna listened to music and drank wine as if nothing had happened on Sunday and Monday.” Indeed, the administration took three weeks to respond.

Indeed, the “treaty alliance system” that was prevalent in Europe, with numerous treaties interconnecting the various states, was at the heart of why what should have been a minor conflict that would have gone unnoticed in history turned into one of the bloodiest wars in human history, with over 15 million people killed. Ironically, the assassination that no one really cared about was the spark that started it all.

So, if no one cared about an assassination, why go to war? Because, while no one seemed to care about the assassination, Austria-Hungary was looking for an excuse to launch a “preventative war” against Serbia as a state in order to weaken or destroy them in order to reclaim Balkan territory lost during the Balkan Wars. They hadn’t gotten it back to this point because they didn’t have Germany’s help; without it, they were extremely scared of Russia because of the Serbian deal.

Multiple Choice

Choose the correct letter, A, B, C, or D. 

Write your answers in boxes 1 – 2 on your answer sheet. 

1.    Why did Emperor Franz Josef feel relieved over the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand?

A. Because it rid him of a person he hated

B.Because he can break his treaty with Serbia 

C.Because it can finally launch a war against Serbia

D.Because he wanted to take back the Balkan territory


2.    What emotion was involved with the statement God will not be mocked. The order I  couldn’t keep has been reinstated by a higher being.”?

A. relief

B. sarcasm

C. gratitude

D. anguish 


Selecting Factors

The writer mentions a number of factors that started World War One.  

Which THREE of the following factors are mentioned?

_________ A    A minor land conflict

 _________ B    Newspaper’s agitation

_________ C    Austria’s support from Russia

_________ D    Unpatriotic conspiracy plotting

_________ E    Austria’s lack of backing from Germany

_________ F    The death of an empire’s successor

_________ G    Pacts between governments on a global scale  


Sample Reading Text D

Medical Employees to Get Accidental Insurance

City Media is proud to provide its employees with industry-leading accident insurance benefits. Employees are covered by our insurance package not only on the job but also during their off-work hours. It also gives dependents and eligible partners 24-hour protection. The following is a thorough explanation of the accident insurance package. If you have any questions, please contact our Human Resources Department.

All of our employees have the same basic insurance, and City Media makes participation in this program a requirement of employment. Those who have the same or more coverage under a different plan are exempt. Employees with different plans, on the other hand, can enroll adult dependents in ours. At the present moment, City Media does not provide insurance to temporary employees, whether or not they are employed on a contract basis.

Employees can buy accident insurance for their partners as well. However, whether or not the partner is entitled to participate will be determined by the insurance company’s evaluation of the application. The terms of these insurance purchased for spouses are the same as the terms of the employee’s policy. This is, of course, assuming he/she does not have accident insurance through another plan.

After three months of employment, accident benefits become effective. Full-time employees will subsequently be automatically covered for a minimum of $80,000. Accident coverage will be provided to part-time employees, defined as those expected to work less than forty hours per week, although the quantity of coverage will be determined by the hours they regularly work. Optional additional insurance is available in increments of $25,000, with a ceiling of $100,000. Anyone who is interested in purchasing it can submit a request and will be responsible for the premium as well as the administrative expenses.

Employees can choose whether or not to carry accident insurance if they are on leave for an extended period of time, or they can keep it and pay the entire cost. Basic insurance coverage is reinstated on the first day back to work; however, optional coverages that were dropped during this absence are not automatically reinstated. After a medical exam, a note from the doctor, and confirmation from the insurance carrier, these benefits will be reinstated.

Table Completion

Complete the table below using information from the reading text.

Write NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS for each answer.

Write your answers in boxes 1 – 3 on your answer sheet.

Type of EmployeeAmount CoveredCan they avail the accident insurance?

Write YES, NO, or DOESN’T SAY.
Full-time employees with no insurance yet1. ___________Yes
Full-time employees under a different planNot covered 2.  ___________
3. ___________To be determined by the number of hours they work regularlyYes

Sentence Completion

Complete the sentences below using words taken from the reading passage.

Use NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS for each answer.

Write your answers in boxes 1-3 on your answer sheet. 

4. Having an insurance is a ______________ of employment and is required by law. 

5. If you are an employee with an ongoing insurance plan, you ______________ from availing the insurance being proposed. 

6. An employee’s partner can avail the insurance but it will depend on the ______________. 


Short Answer Completion

Complete the sentences below using words taken from the reading passage.

Use NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS for each answer.

Write your answers in boxes 1-3 on your answer sheet. 

1. Who can employees with current accidental insurance apply for in the proposed insurance?

2. How many hours should a part-time employee work to be able to avail of the accidental insurance? 

3. What do employees need to present for their benefits to be reinstated after taking a leave from work?


Answer Key

IELTS Reading Academic Answer Key
IELTS Reading General Training Answer Key

Additional FAQs on IELTS Reading Test Section

How Can I Improve My Reading In IELTS?

You can improve your reading skills in IELTS by learning the different techniques such as skimming and scanning. Make sure you practice until you have mastered it. You must also develop skills for the different types of questions that will be asked in the IELTS Reading Test. Concentrate on only one type of question every day and devise ways for locating and writing your answers without wasting a lot of time.

What is the IELTS General Training Reading Test?

The IELTS General Training Reading Test is intended for working or studying for Bachelors’s or Undergraduate programs. It takes 60 minutes, and there are 40 questions to answer. The texts are excerpts from notices, newspapers, advertisements, and company handbooks. It is designed to assess if a candidate is prepared to work in a social setting. 

What is the IELTS Academic Reading Test?

The IELTS Academic Reading Test is intended for those who aspire to pursue higher studies and professional registration. Like the IELTS General Training Reading Test, it also takes minutes and has 40 questions to answer. There are three long texts that are excerpts from books, journals, magazines, and newspapers. It is designed to assess if a candidate is ready to begin studying English or work in an academic setting. 

How Difficult is the IELTS Reading Test?

The level of difficulty of the IELTS Reading test varies from one person to another. It depends on which level you are at when it comes to English proficiency. However, it is pretty noting that even to some candidates who are in the advanced level, they still find the IELTS Reading Test challenge. It all comes down to how you prepare and study for the test. Surprisingly, some candidates who are in the average level get a high band score because they improve their IELTS Reading Test skills, not their English skills. 


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