IELTS reading academic score

Updated on: Sep 12, 2023

The International English Language Test System (IELTS) is a standard assessment that assesses the level of fluency in the English language. The IELTS Academic test is widely recognised by international students who wish to pursue higher education abroad. 

The exam is accepted as proof of English fluency in over 11,000 educational institutions in countries like the UK, USA, Canada, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand, among others. The IELTS exam contains four sections that determine the candidate's level of fluency in English. Let's look in detail at the IELTS reading academic score.

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IELTS reading academic score: An overview

No. of questions40
IELTS reading section formatThree reading passages
IELTS academic score band0-9
Duration (in minutes)60
Is the syllabus the same for IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training?No

IELTS Academic reading pattern 2023

No. of questions: 40

Total duration: 60 minutes

It is essential to understand the IELTS exam pattern and the IELTS exam syllabus for the reading section before we learn about the IELTS academic score band. The IELTS reading test has three passages that consist of 40 questions. You are required to complete the tasks in 60 minutes.

IELTS Academic reading syllabus 2023

While the IELTS reading section pattern is the same for the Academic and General Training versions, the syllabus differs. The reading texts are based on different sources for the IELTS versions.

The passages for IELTS Academic reading are taken from books, magazines, newspapers, and journals. The texts are based on arguments or issues relatable to undergraduate and postgraduate students.

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IELTS Academic Reading: Question types

  • Multiple choice questions
  • Identifying information (True/False/Not Given)
  • Identifying the writer’s views/claims (Yes/No/Not Given)
  • Matching information
  • Matching headings
  • Matching features
  • Matching sentence endings
  • Sentence completion
  • Summary, note, flowchart completion
  • Diagram label completion
  • Short answer questions

IELTS reading academic score

The IELTS reading section analyses a wide range of skills in the candidate, including skimming, reading for general understansding, understanding logical ideas, reading for main ideas, detailed reading, and others.

IELTS reading academic score is easy to obtain compared to other sections. The reading section has 40 questions; you will be awarded one point for each correct answer. The score is converted into the IELTS academic score band from 0 to 9.

IELTS reading band score academic

IELTS band scoreDescription
9Expert user
8Very good user
7Good user
6Competent user
5Modest user
4Limited user
3Extremely limited user
2Intermittent user
0Did not attempt the test

IELTS reading academic score conversion

IELTS Academic reading raw scoreIELTS reading band score academic

IELTS band score chart for academic reading and listening

IELTS Academic ReadingIELTS Listening
IELTS Academic reading raw scoreIELTS reading band score academicIELTS academic score listeningIELTS Listening band score

Note: IELTS is yet to disclose the band score for a raw score below 12 for the listening section. It is important to remember that the IELTS listening section is the same for the academic and general training versions.

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Best preparation tips for IELTS Academic reading

With regular practice, you can easily ace the IELTS Academic reading test. Here are some vital tips on how to prepare for the IELTS exam.

  • Learn and understand the exam format, as it eases the preparation for the IELTS reading section.
  • Create a study plan to streamline your preparation time and achieve your study goals effectively.
  • Develop your vocabulary by reading books, magazines, and newspapers. Reading contributes to the development of your fundamental English skills.
  • Improve your grammar by observing the sentence format, vocabulary, and punctuation used in different materials. Learn the grammar rules you need to know for IELTS for better scoring.
  • Enhance reading long passages by skimming. The IELTS reading section would likely take the longest during IELTS, so skimming would help you take the main points in the passage.
  • Make use of online tests and practice materials. IELTS reading practice tests would help you improve your language skills and increase your pace.

Frequently asked questions

How is IELTS academic reading scored?

The IELTS Academic reading section has a total of 40 questions, and one point will be awarded for each right answer. The total points are converted into a band score, ranging from 0 to 9.

What is 30 out of 40 in IELTS reading?

The band score for a raw score of 30 in the IELTS Academic Reading is 7.0.

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Is reading difficult in IELTS?

Some candidates find IELTS Reading difficult due to time constrain. Many need more time to review the entire reading texts to answer the questions. So it is important to have a lot of reading practice and work on skimming through the texts to ace the exam.

How to score full marks in IELTS reading?

Regular practice and reading can help you prepare for the IELTS reading section and ace the test. Here are some tips to get full marks in IELTS reading.

  • Practice skimming and take note of the main points and ideas from the reading text.
  • Develop your vocabulary by reading books, magazines, and newspapers.
  • Improve your grammar by observing sentence structure, vocabulary, and punctuation, among other elements.
  • Make use of online tests and practice materials, as it would improve your language skills and increase your reading pace.

What is 6.5 in reading IELTS Academic?

A band score of 6.5 in IELTS Academic means the candidate is a competent English user who can cope well in a classroom environment with only a few misunderstandings in the language.