The purpose of the IELTS Reading Module is to test your ability to understand a written text and find general and specific information in a text. This includes finding details about the 'purpose' of a text.
The reading test always has the same format:
The test is 60 minutes long, there are always three reading passages and 40 questions.
The texts in used in the Reading Module are from:
The reading texts can be on a variety of topics. Some may be about scientific issues, others about history, or even aspects of society (e.g. drug addiction, etc.). Whatever the topic, the reading texts are regarded as being 'General Interest'. This means that even if the topic of a reading text is scientific, you do not need specialist scientific knowledge to read it. The text used should be accessible to anyone, whatever their background or area of study.
One or more of the passages will be a 'detailed argument' where one side or both sides of an issue is explored. At least reading text one could include a diagram, an illustration or a chart or table that contains information you will need to answer the questions given.
Like the listening test, you write your answers on an answer sheet. Unlike the listening test, you write your answers directly onto the question paper.
NB: You do not receive 10 minutes at the end of the test to transfer your answers.