The questions below are among those most frequently asked about the Reading module of IELTS. If you are looking for basic information about the structure of the Reading module, you should probably read IELTS Reading: Introduction first.
What is the difference between the General Training Reading module and the Academic Reading module?
The reading passages and questions are easier in the General Training module of IELTS. However, you need to get a higher number of correct answers to achieve the same band score as someone taking the Academic module.
What are the reading passages about?
In the General Training IELTS module, they will usually be informational: the kind of text you would expect to find in a leaflet, newspaper or magazine. In the Academic IELTS module, the passages will cover three diverse academic topics. You do not need any knowledge of these topics before taking the test.
Which should I read first: the passage or the questions?
Generally speaking, it is better to read the passage first to give yourself an idea of the overall topic and organisation of the text. It then becomes much easier to interpret the questions and know where to look for the answers. However, it may be a good idea to look briefly at the question types before you read. If there is a headings matching task, for example, you may be able to do this as you skim-read.