Reading Section

The Reading section is the first section of the exam. It takes 60 minutes and consists of two modules – General and Academic one.

Part Marks Time limit Part description


Purpose and Focus
Part 1 Multiple-choice questions (each with three options) 8 10 minutes A text or several short texts with 8 multiple-choice questions. Each question has three options (A, B, or C) – you have to decide which is the correct answer.

1 mark for each correct answer.

Part 1 tests the test takers’s ability to recognise the main idea or theme in the paragraphs or sections of a text taken from a range of publications such as fiction and non-fiction books, journals, newspapers and magazines; to distinguish main ideas from supporting ones; to deduce the meaning of a word or phrase and to demonstrate understanding of references, such as pronouns, within the text.
Part 2 Gap-filling exercise (Missing sentences) 7 10 minutes A reading passage with 7 numbered gaps which represent missing sentences. After the text there are 7 or more sentences which are not in the right order. You have to read the text and the sentences and decide which sentence best fits each gap.

1 mark for each correct answer.

Part 2 tests tha candidates ability to show understanding of specific information, text organisation features, tone, and text structure; to follow the development of ideas, opinions and events through the text as a whole, using their understanding of text coherence and cohesion devices

May contain one longer or two or three shorter unrelated texts.

Part Marks Advised time limit Part description Purpose and Focus
Part 3 Writing a summary of the reading passage 14 15 minutes You are given a summary of a part of a reading passage, and have to complete it using words taken from the text. A word limit is given, for example, ‘NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS’. You will lose the mark for writing more than the word limit. Contracted words such as ‘they’re’ will not be tested. Hyphenated words such as ‘check-in’ count as single words.

2 marks for each correct answer.

The reading passage has been selected for a non-specialist audience and is on academic topics of general interest. Part 3 focuses on the test takers’s ability to identify the key information in a text. Test takers have to understand functional relationships such as cause and effect; to be aware of the type of word(s) that will fit into a given gap (for example, whether a noun is needed, or a verb, etc.); to recognise “synonyms”or words that have a similar meaning since in some cases, the words from the summary may not exactly match the reading passage itself.
Part 4 Table/ Diagram/ Flow chart completion 6 10 minutes The table,diagram or flow chart, based on a description given in the text, may be a type of machine, part of a process or of other information in the text that can be shown through pictures. A word limit is given, so read the instructions very carefully!

1 mark for each correct answer.

Part 4 assesses the test takers’s ability to understand a detailed description, and to relate it to information presented in the form of a diagram.



Use of English

Speaking Section

Writing Section