How Do I Improve Reading for IELTS?

The reading part of the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) test is often regarded as being the most difficult to pass. The reading part's 40 questions--to be answered in a 60-minute timeframe--make the test challenging for non-English speakers. However, doing the right amount of preparation and practice should improve your chances of receiving a high score.


    • 1

      Place an order for practice material directly from IELTS. Go to the IELTS website. Click on "Test Takers" and then on "How do I prepare." Choose whether to place an order via the U.K. or Australian sites, and wait for the Microsoft Excel file to open. Fill in the form online, and email it to You can also purchase practice material at your local test center.

    • 2

      Contact your nearest IELTS center to take a preparation course. Find your nearest IELTS center by going to the IELTS website. Click on "Test Takers" and then "Find my nearest test centre." Then click on "IELTS Worldwide Search." Input your country and your nearest city. Contact the test center via email or telephone, and ask for details about their next preparation course.

    • 3

      Download a sample of the reading test from the IELTS website. Click on "Test Takers" and then "See a test sample." Click on "Academic Reading sample." Start the practice test by reading the questions first and then skim-reading the text. Try to remember some, if not all, of the questions, and highlight important parts of the text. Answer whichever questions you can as quickly as possible. This will give you more time to search for answers to the harder questions.

    • 4

      Read English-language magazines, newspapers, books or Internet material. Underline important information, and learn words that you do not understand. Read material from different sources regularly as this will improve your English reading speed.

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  • Photo Credit taking test image by Petro Feketa from

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