Paper format There are three sections. Section 1 may contain two or three short texts or several shorter texts. Section 2 comprises two texts. In Section 3, there is one long text.
Timing 60 minutes
No. of questions 40
Task types A variety of question types are used, chosen from the following: multiple choice, identifying information, identifying writer’s views/claims, matching information, matching headings, matching features, matching sentence endings, sentence completion, summary completion, note completion, table completion, flow-chart completion, diagram label completion, short-answer questions.
Sources The first section, ‘social survival’, contains texts relevant to basic linguistic survival in English with tasks mainly about retrieving and providing general factual information, for example, notices, advertisements and timetables.

The second section, ‘Workplace survival’, focuses on the workplace context, for example, job descriptions, contracts and staff development and training materials.

The third section, ‘general reading’, involves reading more extended prose with a more complex structure. Here, the emphasis is on descriptive and instructive rather than argumentative texts, in a general context relevant to the wide range of test takers involved, for example, newspapers, magazines and fictional and non-fictional book extracts.

Answering Test takers are required to transfer their answers to an answer sheet during the time allowed for the test. No extra time is allowed for transfer. Care should be taken when writing answers on the answer sheet as poor spelling and grammar are penalised.
Marks Each question is worth 1 mark.

How it’s marked

The General Training Reading test is marked by certificated markers, who are regularly monitored to ensure reliability. After being marked, all answer sheets, are further analysed by Cambridge Assessment English.

Band score conversion

A band score conversion table is produced for each version of the General Training Reading test which translates scores out of 40 into the IELTS 9-band scale. Scores are reported in whole bands and half bands.

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