The best websites for free online CELPIP reading practice
There’s very little free CELPIP reading practice online. CELPIP will sell your practice tests, but if you need more practice than that, where do you look? That’s a question my students ask me all the time, and I think the best suggestion I can make is to use reading practice material from other language tests. You see, all the language tests assess your reading ability by looking at seven key areas. That means you can work with a much wider range of materials than those provided by CELPIP. While the questions these other tests ask about the text may have a different format, the information they want you to find tends to be the same.
The seven reading skills that language tests assess are:
1. Understand the gist of the text.
By ‘understanding the gist of the text, I mean understanding the big picture or overall idea that the text is about. You get the gist of a text when you take a really quick look (skim) to identify the writer’s main message. For this blog post, the gist is: ‘accessing free online reading practice materials for the CELPIP test .’
2. Identify the writer’s main idea or ideas.
Whenever you read something, it’s important to identify the central point or thought the author wants to share with you. The main idea answers the question, “What is the writer telling me?”, or “What does the author want me to know about the topic?”. Sometimes, the writer sums up the main idea in a single sentence. For this bog post, the main idea is: ‘think differently about how you practice your reading for the CELPIP test.’
3. Read for details.
When you read for details, you read to identify how the writer supports his main idea or ideas. In other words, what explanations and examples has he used to develop and elaborate on his central point. Some people refer to this as ‘Scanning’, and its essentially the technique you use to locate a particular fact.
4. Understand logical argument.
Understanding the ‘logical argument’ means identifying the relationship between the claim that the writer is making and the details he uses to support his claim. In this blog post, where I’m telling you that you can use other reading materials to develop your reading skills, my ‘logical argument’ reveals all the reasons why using non-celpip reading materials can work for you.
5. Recognize the writers’ opinion.
Recognizing the writer’s opinion comes down to identifying what the writer thinks about something. In this article, I’m conveying the importance of thinking differently about your approach to reading practice for the CELPIP test because of the lack of targeted reading material for the CELPIP test.
6. Recognize the writers’ attitudes.
How does the writer feel about the subject. I think it’s pretty clear that the way I feel about the absence of practice material for CELPIP reading is totally frustrated; otherwise, I wouldn’t have invested the time in pulling together this list for you.
7. Recognize the writers’ purpose.
Is the writer trying to inform you, persuade you, amuse you, or simply share something with you? Essentially, you need to understand why the writer felt it was important to write the article.
For anyone working towards a high CELPIP score in their reading, getting lots of practice is critical. But, looking for practice material can result in lots of wasted time – time you could be investing in actual reading practice. In the hopes of reducing that wasted time, we’ve compiled a list of the best free reading practice websites. We hope you’ll find our selection of websites useful as you prepare for your test.
Making the List
Most of the websites on this list target students who are preparing for IELTS. Although many websites offer free practice tests for reading, many of them provide wrong answers. Wrong answers aren’t helpful, they’re just plain frustrating. In this list of the best free CELPIP reading tests websites, we’ve checked for accuracy. There may still be some inaccurate answers, but overall the quality is good. However, if you ever want to query an answer that you feel is incorrect, please provide me with the test link and question, and I’ll let you know if your answer, or the given answer, is correct.
Most of the websites offering free IELTS reading practice don’t need you to set up an account, but some of them won’t give you the answers unless you provide them with your email. I haven’t included them in the list if they want any form of payment.
Why we put these websites on our list.
To make this list of the best free reading tests, the websites have to offer:
- At least ten free practice reading tests, so you don’t need to spend time browsing around the internet looking for one test at a time.
- Accurate Answers, so you see any errors quickly. That way you and can go back and identify any patterns that help you improve your score.
- Lots of free practice with the different question types that help you practice the key reading skills in the CELPIP Reading Test.
We hope you find these resources useful and let us know if there are any good ones that we’ve missed and should add!
1. IELTS Mentor
IELTS Mentor is one the best free reading tests websites. You’ll find over 300 free Academic reading practice tests and almost as many tests for IELTS General. To practice your reading skills for the CELPIP test, you can use both.
The tests are divided into sections and provide lots of practice using your reading skills. Some of the questions types are a little different. For example, CELPIP doesn’t have ‘true, false, not given questions’ or ‘yes, no, not given questions’, but the skills that you use in order to find the information are the same as those you use for CELPIP’s questions.
All of the tests have answers so that you can see immediately whether you’ve chosen the correct answer or not.
Remember: you’re developing your reading skills, not your ability to navigate question types.
2. Practice PTE Online
Not everyone would think to look at PTE websites for free Reading Practice tests, but this website has over 230 of them for Academic reading and another 103 for General reading. By offering so much practice to our students, it ranks as one of the best free reading tests websites.
Tip: Keep a note of any new vocabulary and try to use it in your own sentences
3. Mini IELTS
The Mini IELTS website does things a little differently. Rather than presenting full tests, it offers reading tasks by topic. That makes it a great site for both developing your reading skills and your topic-specific vocabulary. With over 507 reading tasks, it ranks as one of the best free reading tests websites. I usually suggest working with one topic at a time so that you get the vocabulary repetition in different contexts. Often, seeing the same words and phrases used over and over again really helps you remember them.
Tip: Pay attention to the question types that you get wrong a lot, and then make sure you get lots of practice with them before your test.
4. IELTS Training online
The IELTS Training Online Website is another excellent collection of free reading tests. Its practice tests are indexed under Cambridge, The British Council, Actual Tests, Recent Actual Tests, and Actual Tests from 2019.
Working your way through all these free Reading Tests will help you develop your reading skills, even though the question types are a little different from the CELPIP reading test. Most of the time, the type of information you’re looking for is the same for all the language tests, so you won’t be wasting your time. Moreover, all of the tests have answers, so you won’t have to wait to find out if you’ve chosen the correct answer or not.
Tip: Notice what type of information the questions target. Doing that often helps with identifying the information you’ll be asked about.
5. IELTS Up
On the ielts-up website, you’ll find a smaller selection of free reading practice tests with answers, so you’ll be able to see immediately which types of questions you need to practice more. Moreover, working through these free Reading Tests will give you lots of practice as you develop your reading skills.
Tip: Make a note of synonyms and how they’re used in the questions.
6. English Exam
English exam makes the list because of the sheer quantity of free Reading Practice tests it offers. This is another great place to work on your vocabulary as you prepare for the CELPIP Test. As always, make a note of any new vocabulary and try to use it in your own sentences so that it becomes part of your vocabulary.
Fortunately, all of the tests have answers which are immediately accessible, so you can get immediate feedback on your effort.
Tip: Look at how the texts and paragraphs are structured and make a note of where the information targeted in the question occurs.
7. Exam English
Exameneglish.com offers ten full tests with answers so that you can get lots of free practice as you prepare for the IELTS Academic Reading test.
As with all of the tests you can access from this list of the best free IELTS academic reading tests websites, you’ll get lots of practice with the different reading skills that the CELPIP test assesses. As always, watch for new words and phrases that come with every new topic you read about.
Tip: Look for frequency adverbs (usually, often, always, never, seldom, frequently, etc.) in the questions and how they’re contradicted in the text.
8. Best My Test
Best my test is a super website for free practice tests for several English language tests. Its 88 reading tests have answers so that you can get immediate feedback on your mistakes. As always, pay careful attention to any new vocabulary and try to reuse new words in sentences so that they become part of your vocabulary.
Tip: Look for patterns in your mistakes and practice the types of questions that you keep getting wrong.
9. IELTS Online tests
The IELTS online tests website just slips in at the bottom of the list because, although their tests are free, you do have to open account. Once you’ve opened your account, provided your email, and told them a little about yourself, you have access to a nice range of free practice tests. The tests are arranged in volumes that currently go from 1 to 8, and each volume offers two complete tests for each of the four skills – reading, listening, writing, and speaking. While you’ll probably only need the reading section, it’s worth remembering that all of the topics in the other sections may come up in the CELPIP test. Being familiar with a range of topics and their vocabulary and phrases is always a good idea. Moreover, this exposure to new vocabulary and phrases can help to increase your score.
Tip: Learn from your mistakes. Always go back and look at your mistakes. Never miss an opportunity to figure out where you went wrong.