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Aptis Reading Test: Overview & Tips

Reading Overview for Aptis General

Aptis Reading Test

Here’s an overview of the Aptis Reading Test, and some tips on how to pass it.  We’re going to look at Aptis General and Aptis for Teachers. We’ll look at the Aptis Advanced Reading test in another post.

There are four parts to the Aptis General Reading Test, and four question-types.  These get progressively more difficult as you move through the exam.  It takes 35 mins to complete this component of the test. 

The Aptis for Teachers Reading Test is very nearly the same in format; only Part 3 is radically different, as explained below.  The timing is the same. As with the rest of the Aptis for Teachers test, the content is designed specifically for teachers.  This means that the questions relate to an educational context.  They deal with themes and scenarios that teachers come across every day. 

So let’s have a look at the four question-types.


Part 1:  Sentence comprehension (Aptis General & Aptis for Teachers)

This is the easiest part of the reading test.  It takes the form of a very short informal email, note or letter.  There are six gaps in the text, and the first gap is filled for you as an example.  You have to fill the remaining five gaps by choosing the correct word from a selection of three. 

Tip:  Read each of the three options of the multiple choice questions carefully before deciding how to fill the gap.


Part 2:  Text cohesion (Aptis General & Aptis for Teachers)

In the Aptis General Reading Test there are two tasks of the same type.  You have to put six sentences in the correct order to form a very short text.  The first sentence is done for you as an example.  The only difference with the Aptis for Teachers test is that you only have one task to do, and there are seven sentences instead of six. You have to click and drag the other five (or six, for Teachers) sentences into the correct order.  There’s only one correct way to organise the sentences.  In the text you’ll find clues to help you with the activity. 

Tip:  These clues could be:

Sequencing words: then, after, before, next, etc.

Numerical information: times, dates, ages, the first, the second, etc.

Logical structure: you go to bed, then you wake up, etc.

The texts are often about everyday activities – for example, taking a train journey.  So using your common sense can help (you need to buy the ticket, get on the train, sit in your seat, show your ticket to the ticket collector, etc).


Aptis General Part 3:  Opinion matching

You will read four short texts that give the opinions of four different people (A, B, C and D) on the same topic.  Then you read seven statements and you have to match each statement to one of the four opinions.  The questions are of this kind:  ‘Who said …?’, ‘Who thinks …?’

Tip: Read all four opinions fully before you start to match the statements.  Sometimes the statements contain the same words as one of the opinions, but that doesn’t always mean it’s the answer.


Aptis for Teachers Part 3:  Short text comprehension

In this part you will read a text of about 150 words.  There are seven gaps in the text, and you have to select the right word for each gap.  There are ten words to choose from.  You fill the gaps by dragging the words from the list at bottom of the screen into the empty boxes. 

Tip: You can move the words around until you make your final decision, so don’t worry if you’re not sure at first.


Part 4:  Long text comprehension (Aptis General & Aptis for Teachers)

This is the final and most difficult part of the reading test.  In this part you read a long text of seven paragraphs (a total of around 750 words).  You then read eight paragraph headings, and you have to choose the best heading for each paragraph.  There will be one heading that you won’t need, as it doesn’t match any of the paragraphs.

Tip:  The paragraphs are numbered, and you have to select the number of the paragraph from the drop-down box next to each heading.


Our tips on timing

It’s very important to keep an eye on the time during the exam.  Here are our suggestions of how to allot the 35 minutes you have.






Number of items


10 (5 x 2)





Re-ordering texts

Matching opinions / Gap-fill*

Choosing headings

Suggested timing

3 mins

7 mins

10 mins

13 mins

*Depending on the test: matching opinions in Aptis General, gap-fill in Aptis for Teachers

This adds up to 33 minutes.  Why?  Because you should always try to leave a minute or two free at the end of the test to go back and double-check your answers.

For more advice on what to do before and during the Reading Test, go to Top tips to Help You Pass the Aptis Reading Test.

Now try our exam-style practice tests:

Reading General Part 1: Sentence Comprehension

Reading For Teachers Part 1: Sentence Comprehension

Reading General Part 2: Text Cohesion.

Reading For Teachers Part 2: Text Cohesion.

Reading General Part 3: Opinion Matching

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