Reading | Frequently asked questions

stack of opened books

When is the reading test?

The test comes in this order: listening, reading, and then writing, with no big breaks in between.

Should I use a pen or pencil?

You must use a pencil for the reading test.

What can I bring into the exam room?

You can only bring pens, pencils, erasers and your ID into the exam room. Mobile phones must be left outside with your belongings.

How will I know how much time is left?

The test centre should provide a clock that is visible to all students. It is your responsibility to monitor the time during the exam.

How is the test scored?

You get a score out of 40 (one mark for each question). This is then converted into your final IELTS score, which is out of 9.

Are points subtracted for writing the wrong answer?

No. You are not penalised for writing the wrong answer, so you should always write something.

Is spelling important?

Yes. If the spelling is incorrect, the answer is wrong.

Can I write my answers in capital letters?


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