There is difference in General IELTS exam and the Academic IELTS exam. The main difference between the Academic and General Reading Modules of the IELTS is in the language of the passages while the General Module has easy texts the Academic Module includes more complicated texts, at an undergraduate or graduate level, from academic sources.
In terms of timings both Academic and General Reading Modules last for one hour, Academic Module contains 3 passages and 40 questions while General Module Reading test may have upto 5 passages and 40 Questions.
HOW SCORING IS DONE IN READING SECTION
In both the General and Academic Reading Modules, one mark is awarded for each correct answer. Then a score table depending upon the analysis made by IETLS conducting organizations convert the scores out of 40 into a band score on the IELTS band scale. You may receive a whole band or a half band depending upon your score. Your overall score is the average of the band scores you receive in the four modules. This final score itself may be represented as a whole band or a half band.
TYPES OF READING TASKS
There are various types of questions that you may face in both the Academic or General Reading Module, the following types of questions usually are part of reading module :
1 : Paragraph headings
2 : Short-answer
3 : Sentence completion
4 : Multiple choice
5 : Tables, diagrams, flow charts
6 : Multiple matching
7 : Summary completion
8 : Locating information
9 : Yes/No/ Not Given Identifying writer's views
10 : Classification of Paragraphs
11 : Matching
IELTS READING - TIME
Remember that you have three reading passages and forty questions to answer in only one hour. Also, the three passages become increasingly more difficult. Divide your time into three 20 minute segments, or as suggested below :
1 : 17 minutes on section 1
2 : 20 minutes on section 2
3 : 23 minutes on section 3