IELTS Reading Practice Tests and Resources

Student looking up from pile of reading practice books

You may ask yourself, “How can I practice reading IELTS passages and questions?” Look no further, my friend. This post is a great place to start if you want to take an IELTS Reading practice test!

In the sections below, I’m going to give you links to full IELTS Reading sections for both IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training. These practice materials come from reputable sources: official IELTS websites, and Magoosh itself. Then after that, I’ll give you some bonus resources as well.

IELTS Reading Practice Tests From Magoosh

Magoosh offers two free full-length IELTS Reading sections: an IELTS Academic Reading practice test and an IELTS General Reading practice test.

IELTS Academic Reading Practice Test

Magoosh’s IELTS Academic Reading practice section comes in video format, as a simulated timed test with all of the questions displaying onscreen. You can pause the video if you need more time, or leave the video running if you want to practice under timed conditions.

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IELTS General Reading Practice Test

Our practice section for IELTS General Training Reading (PDF) mimics the paper format of the exam rather than the onscreen one. But this PDF practice test does have a video component. When you get to the answer key at the end of the test, you can click for video explanations of the answers.

Official IELTS Reading Practice Tests

British Council

The British Council website offers both an IELTS Academic and IELTS General Reading practice test… two of each in fact. Note that these Reading practice sections are part of larger full-length free IELTS practice tests from the BC.

Cambridge IELTS

Cambridge, the company that publishes the official IELTS preparation books, offers some free PDF excerpts of their print tests online.


IELTS IDP, one of the other official sponsors of the IELTS, offers an IELTS Academic Reading Practice test for the IELTS CDT (computer delivered test).

Additional IELTS Reading Practice

In addition to the full IELTS practice reading tests I linked above, here are some sources for extra practice. Most of these sources are not full Reading practice tests, but rather smaller sets of questions.

Quality Reading Materials for Daily Practice

It’s important to build a broader base of English Reading skills. Don’t just focus on IELTS Reading passages alone!

For other quality reading materials, we’ll want to read newspapers and magazines to focus on cultivating our general reading skills. In particular, we’ll want to focus on publications with high editorial standards. These resources are excellent sources for growing our vocabulary, learning the grammatical ropes, and increasing our reading pace. Plus, unlike practice materials, it’s nigh impossible to exhaust all available reading materials.

Here’s a great set of reading resources that you can use:

  • New Scientist: New Scientist is an international science magazine from the UK. In fact, some New Scientist articles can be found in Cambridge IELTS books and past IELTS exams.
  • Scientific American and American Scientist: Scientific American and American Scientist are two popular American science magazines. They also include health and education articles, which are very similar to IELTS Academic Reading passages. What is more, Scientific American offers hundreds of 60-second science podcasts, which are great for IELTS Listening practice!
  • BBC News: Get the latest news from different parts of the world in English. There are many kinds of reading materials on BBC News that work great for IELTS prep.
  • The Economist: The Economist is another common source for IELTS reading passages. Many articles from past exams were taken from this magazine.
  • National Geographic: National Geographic contains articles about geography, animals, culture, the environment, travel and adventure, which are common topics for both the Academic and General Training Reading exams.
  • History Extra and History Net: History Extra and History Net are two great history magazine websites with podcasts, articles and reviews on a variety of events.

Frequently reading from these sorts of quality reading materials will build out the foundations of your reading skills on which you can effectively build in test strategies.

The IELTS Reading “Big Picture”

Instruction, tips and tricks are as important as practice. To learn about all of the finer points of the IELTS Reading section, check out Magoosh’s Complete Guide to IELTS Reading. Happy studying!

By the way, improve your IELTS score with Magoosh!

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  • David Recine

    David is a Test Prep Expert for Magoosh TOEFL and IELTS. Additionally, he's helped students with TOEIC, PET, FCE, BULATS, Eiken, SAT, ACT, GRE, and GMAT. David has a BS from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and an MA from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. His work at Magoosh has been cited in many scholarly articles, his Master's Thesis is featured on the Reading with Pictures website, and he's presented at the WITESOL (link to PDF) and NAFSA conferences. David has taught K-12 ESL in South Korea as well as undergraduate English and MBA-level business English at American universities. He has also trained English teachers in America, Italy, and Peru. Come join David and the Magoosh team on Youtube, Facebook, and Instagram, or connect with him via LinkedIn!

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