Free IELTS Reading Practice Test-Strategy and Sample Tasks

free ielts reading practice test

Are you looking to take free IELTS Reading Practice test tasks?  Maybe the texts feel way too long, and it feels like there just isn’t enough time for you during the exam. Maybe, like many candidates, you’re still trying to read each and every word in the text. This is impossible to accomplish! If you are looking for a Reading Section strategy that can help you improve your reading speed and comprehension skills in a measurable way before taking an IELTS practice test, then you’ve come to the right place.

You Need This Before Taking the Free IELTS Reading Practice Test

Let’s face it:

When given 3 texts totaling around 2,200-2750 words and 40 questions to answer in just 60 minutes, even native speakers struggle to respond to each question correctly.  When I attended the British Council IELTS Teacher Workshop, they shared with us many strategies suggested by the exam creators to tackle this section.  One of my favorite strategies that I just had to share isn’t talked about very often, but it’s so simple and effective!

You just need:

  1. an internet connection (you’re reading this, so you can check that box!)
  2. a practice text piece (try these here )
  3. your IELTS Reading skills list (keep reading to find them below!

All set?


The IELTS reading tip that no one talks about is…

Use an Online Text Prompter!

Let me explain:

To begin with, let’s say this is the article you want to practice with.

IELTS reading practice

You can see the skills you’ll practice described in the white box. These are essential for completing the Reading section, as we don’t have time to read every word!

  1. First, open a new browser window and go to
  2. Next, copy and enter the text here at the red arrow, as shown below.
  3. Finally, adjust the starting scroll speed and text size at the blue arrow, as shown in the picture below.

ielts reading prompter

You’ve just created an automatically scrolling version of the text!

How It Works

Here is a complete list of the skills you’ll need for the reading section:

  • Deducing– using contextual clues and known information of a text to better understand unknown features like vocabulary, supporting details, etc
  • Inferring- attempting to understand the author’s position or opinions from the features and wording of the text
  • Reading for Specific Detail – reading a text closely to grasp specific, intricate meaning
  • Scanning-reading quickly in order to locate specific words, statistics, dates, etc
  • Skimming- to read a text quickly to grasp the overall context in relation to information you may already know
  • Surveying- looking at the text to determine general context to better predict answers by looking at text features (images, graphs, figures, heading and subheading)

The prompter forces you to use these skills to answer questions like those in the white box in the Practice Text above. You’ll have no choice but to use them instead of trying to read each individual word-just like during the exam!

Track Your Progress

Workplace with notebook on black background

Finally, what’s great about this IELTS reading strategy is that you can measure your improvements. Just take note of your decreasing text size and increasing scroll speed.  As a result, you’ll gradually see more of the text at once, and this means you’ll be pushed to skim and scan faster as it disappears faster!

Go Take Your Free IELTS Reading Practice Test!

After using the online text prompter for as long as you need to measure improved speed and comprehension while practicing the skills listed above, click this link:… to take some of the free IELTS reading practice test tasks. Remember to pre-read the questions, and check out our post on IELTS Reading Top Tips for a complete list of the best tips for succeeding in this section. You should notice that you now have an enhanced ability to answer the questions quicker as well as correctly.

Want Free IELTS Guides?

If you liked this IELTS Reading Strategy, you’ll love our free IELTS study guides delivered directly to your inbox! Stop wasting time on outdated PDF textbooks that slow your progress! Join our growing community below, and please share with friends!

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