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How can I learn IELTS for free?

 All IELTS reading sources are taken from real-life sources such as books, magazines, newspapers, notices, advertisements and companies handbooks. The sources of IELTS reading tests used in the Academic IELTS exam are different from the General IELTS sources.   


 For the Academic IELTS Reading exam, articles are very long and cover a range of topics for example, science, health, lifestyle, environment and new technologies. You will have three texts that are a combined total of around 2100- 2750 words. These articles are the same level as you will have to read at University and they are intended to be read by undergraduates, postgraduates or people seeking professional registration. Some of the reading texts may have some visual data such as diagrams, illustrations or charts. Remember to look at these for clues and to read the labels and titles underneath the visual data to understand the overall idea. TOP-TIP: A great source of IELTS reading texts useful for practising your IELTS Academic reading is https://scholar.google.com/ .

Enter a keyword in that you wish to read genuine academic journals and papers about, and you will get lots of free material to read through.

TOP-TIP: The main mistake I witness students repeatedly making in the reading exam is mis-managing their time. The best way to avoid this mistake is to do several practice tests under timed exam conditions. Here are some free official practice papers to use. 


Section 1  usually contains two – six short nonfiction articles such as an advertisement. 

Have a look in the back of a magazine or newspaper where there is usually a section full of advertisements like those pictured.


Section 2 usually contains two texts related to work, such as company policies/handbooks, job descriptions and health and safety policies.

Great free sources of practice are real handbooks from companies, or if you google the name of any large company with the word ‘regulations‘ you will find a lot of suitable reading for this style of text. Also if you google the name of any large company with the work ‘job description’ you will find lots of examples. 

Here is a job description from a leading British supermarket ASDA to read through. 

Section 3 contains a more in depth ‘general interest’ article. 

Good free sources of reading practice would be:

The New Scientist

The National Geographic

The Economist

The History News Network

Time Magazine

The Independent

I hope that this article has helped you to understand where to find free IELTS reading sources. 

Recommended IELTS Study Tools

Thank you for reading this article. I always get lots of questions about how else to get a better band score quickly. So, this is what I recommend:

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About me… Hello, my name is Victoria, an IELTS instructor at EasyEnglish and an IELTS teacher for 8 years. This site is where I share my exam strategies to help people get the band score that they need. I hope it helps you!

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