Uploaded by Hassan Aboulfotouh

IELTS Reading

Academic Reading
English Language Centre
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University
Test Format and Tasks
Format, Tasks & Text types
2 examples of question types
Further Help
Test Format
Reading Module lasts 60 minutes
3 reading passages
total 2,000 – 2,750 words
40 questions
Texts and questions appear on
Question Paper.
Answers entered on Answer Sheet
Test Format – Tasks
Multiple choice
Short-answer questions
Sentence completion
table completion
Choosing from a ‘heading bank’ for
identified paragraphs/ sections of text
Identification of writer’s views/claims –
yes, no or not given
Matching lists/phrases
Test Format - Text Types
Magazines, journals, books and
Topics of non-specialist, general interest
Interesting, appropriate and accessible to
university students
At least one text contains detailed logical
One text may contain non-verbal
materials – diagrams, graphs, illustrations
Texts with technical terms will have a
Test Format - Answers
One mark for each correct answer
Must be written on the answer sheet
No extra time allowed to transfer
Poor spelling and grammar are
You can write notes on the Question
Paper but you can’t take it away.
Example text extract ‘Wind Power’
Wind Power in the US
Prompted by the oil crises of the 1970s, a
wind-power industry flourished briefly in
the United States. But then world oil
prices dropped, and funding for research
into renewable energy was cut. By the mid
1980s US interest in wind energy as a
large-scale source of energy had almost
disappeared. The development of wind
power at this time suffered not only from
badly designed equipment, but also from
poor long-term planning, economic
projections that were too optimistic and
the difficulty of finding suitable locations
for the wind turbines…(contd)
Example text extract – glossary
‘Wind Power’
- fossil fuel: coal, oil and natural gas
- kilowatt: 1,000 watts; a watt is a unit of
- kilowatt-hour: one kilowatt for a period of
one hour
- megawatt: one million watts
- wind farm: a group of wind turbines in
one location producing a large amount of
- wind turbine: a machine…
Example questions Task 1
‘Wind Power’
Questions 1 - 5
Complete the summary below.
Choose your answers from the box below
the summary and write them in boxes 1-5
on your answer sheet.
NB There are more words or phrases than
you will need to fill the gaps.
You may use any word or phrase more
than once.
The failure during the late 1970s and
early 1980s of an attempt to …
Example questions Task 1 ‘Wind Power’
…establish a widespread wind power
industry in the United States resulted
largely from the ...(1) ... in oil prices
during this period. The industry is now
experiencing a steady ...(2)... due to
improvements in technology and an
increased awareness of the potential in
the power of wind. The wind
design costs
production costs
operating costs
Strategies for ‘word completion’ tasks (task 1)
Read instructions carefully & study
examples if given. You must be clear
about what you have to do.
Read the text quickly for general
Read the questions and think about what
the missing information might be before
you look at the text again.
Check that your answer fits logically and
grammatically by studying the words
either side of the gap.
Re-read the relevant section carefully once
more to check meaning
Example questions Task 2 ‘Wind Power’
Questions 6 - 10
Look at the following list of issues
(Questions 6-10) and implications (A-C).
Match each issue with one implication.
Write the appropriate letters A-C in boxes
6-10 on your answer sheet.
- The current price of one wind-generated
kilowatt... Answer A
A…provides evidence against claims that
electricity produced from wind power is
relatively expensive.
Example questions Task 2 ‘Wind Power’
6.The recent installation of systems taking
advantage of economies of scale ...7.The
potential of meeting one fifth of current US
energy requirements by wind power ...8.The level
of acceptance of current wind turbine
technology ...9.A comparison of costs between
conventional and wind power sources ...10.The
view of wind power in the European Union ...
A provides evidence against claims that
electricity produced from wind power is relatively
expensive. B supports claims that wind power is
an important source of energy. C opposes the
view that wind power technology requires further
Strategies for ‘matching’ tasks (task 2)
Skim through the list of issues and implications
to get a quick impression of possible matches.
Scam through the text for sections that refer to
the issues in the question. Underline them
Carefully consider the implications mentioned in
the questions and underline where they are
referred to in the text.
Re-read the relevant sections quickly before you
make your choice on the answer sheet.
Don’t forget to check your answers after each
General Strategies for Reading
ALL tasks require these five skills
Interpreting instructions & questions
Scanning for specific answers
Skimming for general idea of text
Checking your answers
Further Help - CILL
Cill – Centre for Independent Language
Learning Core A 3/F
- Help from an ELC teacher with all
aspects of your English including
academic reading
- CILL teachers can guide and assist you
with reading skills and strategies
- More information at
These books are useful and are
available in CILL, AG305.
Insight into IELTS – Cambridge
University Press. Progressive
development of skills and language
for the IELTS exam.
Cambridge Practice Tests for IELTS.
Books 1, 2 & 3 provide further
exposure to IELTS materials and
Useful websites
IELTS Homepage
ELC Homepage
UGC Introductory Site
NOTE! Please don’t ask an ELC
teacher to predict what grade you
might get as this is forbidden by the
IELTS organisation.