IELTS General Training Reading: Information & Tips

Learn about the IELTS General Training Reading Test. The IELTS GT reading is different to the academic reading in a number of ways but mainly due to the language and difficulty level of the texts. Similar to the academic reading, the general training reading test is 60 minutes in length and has 40 questions.

General Training Reading Sections

There are three sections in the IELTS GT reading. However, sections one and two might have more than one text. The sections get increasingly difficult.

Section 1

: This section is based on one, two or three texts about English life and could be, for example, an advertisement for a hotel,  sports center facilities or educational courses. The texts are not long and are factual rather than descriptive.

Section 2

: This section may also consist of more than one text and often relates to work about pay schemes, work conditions or machinery instructions.

Section 3

: The final section is usually one text which is quite long and it is the hardest.

IELTS General Training Reading Band Scores

Below is a list of the scores from band 2 to 9 for the GT reading test. The scores are not the same as the academic reading test. Click on the table to enlarge.

general training reading scores

IELTS Reading Question Types for General Training

The types of questions you will be asked in the GT reading test are the same as the academic test. Here is a list:

  • matching headings
  • true false not given / yes no not given
  • matching paragraph information
  • summary completion
  • sentence completion
  • short answer questions
  • table / flow chart completion
  • diagram labeling
  • multiple choice / list selection
  • choosing a title
  • categorisation
  • matching sentence endings

You can learn Tips on the Different Types of Reading Questions by following the link. You can also practice most of these types of questions on my blog on the IELTS Reading Page and learn more tips. However, most practice exercises are on the level of section 3. Also learn How to Improve your IELTS Reading.

For GT IELTS practice reading tests, please visit the BC IELTS page of practice tests.

IELTS True False Not Given Questions

Main IELTS Pages

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  1. Hi Liz !

    Is it possible to take a highlighter pen to the exam hall ?
    I will be using it to highlight the keywords.
    If I highlight using a pencil, it is not that clear to me.
    Do I need to ask for permission in advance ?

    I purchased your video lessons on writing task 2.
    Would like to thank you for them as well !


    • No, you can’t use a highlighter pen. You need to get used to using a pencil to underline key words. I’m glad my advanced lessons were useful 🙂

  2. Hello Mam,

    I am not good in reading section. I need to score 6 or 6.5 in reading but I got every time 5.5 bands in sample test.Can you suggest me to improve my reading band.

  3. Hi Liz, Thanks for all useful tips and material.
    I have a question:
    You said TFNG type come in order of paragraph, but how about below types.
    1.Summary Completion
    2. Sentence Completion

  4. Dear Liz,
    Thank you for your great help you provide. I just have one question for you.
    I believe that the current exams seem to be more difficult than Cambridge exams series 1-10!
    (specially the GT reading module).
    If so, what preparation materials precisely simulate the same hardness should I use?

  5. Hi Liz,
    Thanks for explaining the True, false and NG questions, that’s very clear and useful. However, I cannot open the link of BC Ielts page. Could you please help me check that link?

  6. Hi Liz,
    You said in above video that all questions will come in a pattern but i have taken ILETS, so T/F, Y/N, NG question are not in same pattern in reading passage. please clear

  7. Hi Liz,

    In case of “Multiple Choice” questions, if we write 2 correct & one is false option then do we get 2 marks for the correct answer or 0 marks – Please clarify

    Even I need one more clarification like if our section is expecting no more 3 words & in my answer if I have given only one word (matching) with answer then do we get marks – Please clarify

    • Each question that is answered correctly is one point. This means the multiple choice depends on whether it is for one question or three questions.

  8. hello liz,
    do we get same passages for both academic and general reading in the exam ?
    i have done almost all the academic reading passages from Cambridge 1 to 11 series. so shall i start practicing general reading passages till my exam?

  9. Ahmed Jabir says:

    Hi Liz,

    First of all many thanks and appreciate for your great help through your lectures.

    I have a question related to reading section in Cambridge Book8->GT-A. I found answers
    in brackets in answer section, is that mean optional? or it is just for elaborating the selected

    For example:
    23: one twelfth(of annual holiday(s))
    25: (the) (annual) shutdown/(a) shutdown

    Ahmed Jabir

  10. Zainub Bahar says:

    Hello Liz, Can I write all capitals for reading as well? You told a tip of writing all capitals for listening.


  11. Hello Mam…
    I’m very happy to contact with you..
    my speech became better than before

    thanks a lot

  12. Hi Liz,
    I recently appeared for IELTS GT and score above band 7 in all the section except reading (6.5).
    I wanted your valuable comments on the following queries.
    I usually complete first 2 sections in 15 mins each hence I get 30 mins for section 3.
    But plausibly because of anxiety, stress, ticking timer I got nervous and hence inspite of having good time in my hand I couldn’t satisfactorily answer Section 3 hence the lower band :(.
    Is it advisable to pick up section 3 first and other sections later on.
    or just go with the sequence?
    Q2. The passage in section 2 had asked to answer the questions in NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS and questions were in Question format.
    So my query is , for example the Q is Where would you find the details of dress code policy?
    the passage had content ‘…dress code policy….the staff manual….’ so should we answer
    I’m confused because the question is in a form of Question and not in sentence completion type, so should we include THE or not?
    Your site has loads of valuable passages for reading, writing but could you please suggest me some sources where I can get mock question papers for reading having similar complexity like that of exam. It would be of great help

    Zarina Siddique

  13. Yasir Afridi says:

    Hello Liz, I just want to ask that sometimes in GT reading we face questions in which we have to choose two advertisement for example A and E, B and G so what do you think if one of the letters in a question is correct not both then what will happen? Will they Mark me full or half? I need your reply ASAP please

  14. Hello Miss. Liz

    Hope you are in good health

    I just need a favor from you, is it possible for you to check my essays and provide me your valuable suggestions

  15. Muhammad Ahsan says:

    Hi liz

    Your website is very informative. I really learn alot from it.
    Actually I need some toughest material to practice and polish my self before appearing in exam
    Can you help me in this regards???.

  16. Muhammad Ahsan says:

    Hi liz

    Your website is very informative. I really learn alot from it.
    Actually I need some toughest material to practice and polish my self before appearing in exam
    Can you help me in this regards???

    • Get the IELTS Cambridge test books from 1 to 10. They are the real exam papers.

      • Hello Liz

        I have through almost all the Cambridge IELTS books and in fact some answers I has been stored in the my memory as well that is why I need some more material so that I can practice and polish my skills before appearing in IELTS exams

        I hope you can help me out.

        • There are other practice test books which you can purchase. Look in your local shop or online.

        • Can I get Cambridge Books from 1-10 Free from Some one
          Ashan..I read your blog on reading all books , can you help me get the Xerox of all pls ?

  17. aseef ahmed says:

    i have done my ielts in london today. i have a query regarding my reading section. there were a section for asking TRUE/FALSE/NOT GIVEN. I wrote the short form T/F/NG instead of writing the full form of TRUE/FALSE/NOT GIVEN. Can anyone please inform me is that acceptable. thank you

  18. Asmaa DSH says:

    Hi Liz, i have an exam next month (Nov 7) and I want to study hard this month to have a score 6.5 , my level in English not very good .
    Please , What should I do this month to have this score ?

  19. Dear Mam,

    I did IELTS test , but i could not achieve the target Band .cloud you help me to improve my english reading and writing task skills.

  20. Hello Liz

    Thank you for this course, this is indeed helpful, i am planing to pass General IELS exam on 24 th of October
    Can you send me example of General reading tests???

    Best regards

  21. Deepika gurung says:

    I’m getting panic for my ielts exam Can u please help me for it..

  22. After being immersed into IELT´s for few weeks, one of the main problem is that there are too much material and way too many people “In the Pool”. I just realised to whom I should follow and that´s Liz, Hands down! Amazing work !
    Thank you Liz

  23. Hi Liz. You have amazing content but I’m quite confused navigating your website. I noticed that after clicking, say, one link about Writing Task 1, I am redirected to a page that does not appear on the main menu and a there is a whole new set of links found in that page which are not also found on any menu. What I mean is, I’m having a hard time knowing under what category does a page fall into. Or maybe it’s just me. Could you please recommed a way how to follow through a topic from start to end? Thank you very much.

  24. very good lesson.

    Thanks a lot!!!!!!!!!!!!

  25. simon ang says:

    Hi Liz, This is a very clear explanation. thanks

  26. Priji John says:

    Hello Mam,

    I had came to know from your True/False/Not Given Section that the Answers Comes in Order. Is this will be always be in order. I had seen some practise questions sheets which is not in order.Can you please make it clear.

  27. Hellow Mam,
    Plz sent me a link for english pronunciation..

  28. Thank you very much. Really helpful

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