Best IELTS Reading Test Tips.

reader-310398_150I always give my students this list of IELTS Reading Test tips to help them get the best IELTS score possible in their test.  These are the things that I think you should absolutely do!

Make sure you listen to the invigilator’s instructions and read the instructions on the question paper carefully.

1.      I’m going to say it again!  Listen carefully to the invigilator’s instructions.  He/She will tell you how to fill out the answer sheet.

2.      When you have been given the question paper, you should read the instructions on the front but DO NOT open it.  If you open your question paper before you are told to do so, it may be considered as cheating.   Check that you have been given the correct paper; Academic or General Training.

3.      Unlike the listening test, in the reading test, you are NOT given time at the end to transfer your answers to the answer sheet.  You must do it as you go along.  I suggest you transfer each reading test answer as you go; don’t wait until the end.  You need to manage your time well in the IELTS Reading Test and it would be terrible to lose marks just because you didn’t have time to transfer your answers at the end.

4.      Read all the questions for a section before you read the text. If you know what the questions are before reading the text, it will be much easier and quicker to answer them. Remember that sometimes there are questions before the text, sometimes after and sometimes before and after.

5.      When you are transferring your answers, make sure you transfer them to the correct number on the answer sheet.  Check your spelling and write clearly.

6.      Transfer all the questions you have answered first and then use the remaining time to review the questions you didn’t answer/weren’t sure of.

7.      Once you’ve transferred all the answers you are sure of, you’re now left with time to review the others.  I highly recommend that if you don’t know the answer to a question, you make an intelligent guess.  Don’t leave it blank; if you leave it blank, it’s definitely wrong.  I also recommend that you review the texts in order as they get progressively more difficult throughout the test.  Deal with the easier questions first.

8.      When you hear the instruction to stop writing, make sure you do so.  If you don’t stop writing when told to do so, it may be considered as cheating.

Some of these tips really are just common sense but when we’re under pressure, we often forget our common sense.  Keep these tips in mind to help ensure your success in the IELTS Reading Test.


Here’s to the best IELTS score possible!

12 thoughts on “Best IELTS Reading Test Tips.

  1. hi.i need 6 in each,but i always fail in reading.i know the reason because i can not finish in time.your speaking tips were useful, so i hope if you can please give me some advise for reading as well. i ll really appreciate.

  2. OK, read through all the reading test tips on this site and also at

    I would also strongly recommend that you purchase ‘101 Helpful Hints for IELTS’ from Adams & Austen Press (click on the banner). You can choose between General Training or Academic. I have used their books extensively; they’re fantastic and I’ve had so much positive feedback about them from students too.

    Good Luck!

  3. Hi. I need 7 band and minimum 6.5 in each section. I am not a very fluent and articulate speaker and I am going to appear for IELTS on dec 3rd.. please suggest some tips

  4. Hi Nisha,

    Read all the speaking posts on this site, download my free report and contact me directly if you’d like information of my practice IELTS Speaking Tests on skype system.

  5. Hello Alanna,

    My name is Naved and I am from India would like your suggestions for reading I have been to all your blogs but just to let you know reading is my area of concern have been trying to do practice test the results are not as per the expectations and my only area of concern is reading. I have my IELTS exam on 31st March 2012.

    Please suggest me something by which i can make sure i can achieve a 7.0 band. Hoping a reply soon.

    Thank you

  6. Hi Alanna

    I am also faced with same issue of low score in reading as well as in writing; my objective is to get 7 in each section, however, I have achieved 6.5 and need your help.

    Kind Regards

  7. Hi,

    Sorry I am so late in replying. I have just returned to Australia after a few months in the UK, following a family tragedy.

    I fear I may have missed your test dates. If not, please contact me directly via the contact page.

    Kind Regards,

  8. Hello there,

    I am willing to get band 6.5 and i actually already took the test 3 times and the result is always 5 !!

    I tried every thing, i bought books and saw your videos on you tube and studied very well for the test.

    If u could please help me i am having my next test on the 19th of may, Saturday

    Thanks .

  9. Please contact me directly via the contact page so I can give you more comprehensive information.


  10. Hi,
    I have very much problem in reading, I practice on it but i fail to give the correct answer at the end.
    I watch your speaking videos they are very good, and help me allot to improve my speaking.
    I read out all the suggestion on this page for the reading however I will be very thankful i you give me some special test is on 23rd Feb.


  11. Hello! I have an ielts exam after two months. I need in your savy advises, especially for reading module.

    Thanks in advance.

  12. Read all the posts (in particular reading) on this site. May I also suggest you enrol in the online course.

    Kind Regards,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

* Copy This Password *

* Type Or Paste Password Here *

157,002 Spam Comments Blocked so far by Spam Free Wordpress