Best tips to pass the Aptis Reading Exam


Are you taking an Aptis exam soon? Or thinking about doing so in the future and looking for some advice? Then this is the perfect place for you. Together, we will go through all the parts of the reading exam while finding out how to achieve the best possible marks and with helpful tips along the way.


Introduction- What is the Aptis exam?



With more and more students looking to pass the required level for various of reasons, they are now turning to Aptis to achieve this. But, what is Aptis? The best description would be that it’s an assessment tool by the British Council that tests all of your language skills for all levels. This is an online proficiency test that requires many different and alternative skills to pass each exam. Although it has some similarities to other exams it does, however, have many differences also. The exam will begin with lower level questions (A1-A2) and as you go through the exam, it will increasingly rise to the higher level (C1). Once finished, you will be awarded a CEFT which will state your overall level.


The structure

Altogether you will have to 35 minutes to answer all of the parts. The exam is divided into 4 parts, in each part you will face a different style of reading, which will challenge your reading skills as well as your organisation expertise and understanding of the texts.

Part Number of questions Reading type Recommended time allowance
1 5 Sentence comprehension 5 mins
2 12 Test cohesion x 2 8 mins
3 7 Opinion matching 10 mins
4 7 Long text comprehension 12 mins

Part 1 – Sentence comprehension

This part is relatively straight forward, you will read a short letter/email from a friend or family member with 5 gaps. You need to fill in each gap with a choice of 3 words- A, B or C

Each exam can vary but usually the gaps will need to be filled with the choice of: question words (who, where, how), vocabulary (plates, dishes or kitchen) and grammar (past, present and future). For higher level students, the answers will be obvious.

readking aptis part 1


Once you have filled in all of the gaps, reread it through to check that it all makes sense and you are happy with your choices.

Part 2 – Test cohesion x 2


With this part, there are two tasks for you to complete, however, both tasks are very similar. You have to create and out together a reading. The first sentence will be given to you, then you have to reorder and piece together 6 other sentences to conclude the reading. The subject can be various, it could be a story about a person, a sequence of events , instructions to do something or something similar. Try to connect it to your own personal experiences, for example, I am sure you would pick up your passport before leaving your house and going to the airport.

Look out for clues that will help you link it all together such as….

  • Numbers they give for instance, the year or age of the person
  • Completed information (is the sentence complete without anything extra needed?)
  • General structure (school comes before work, greet people before starting the meeting)
  • Linking words (especially contrast and adding points)


Reread it through and make sure that it all connects together and that you understand it.

Part 3 – Opinion matching


Now over to part 3, here you are going to read 4 different opinions about a subject. All of the opinions will be different from each other, then you will read 7 different statements. The statement will be connected to one of the person opinion. You have to put together the statement to which person said it. There can only be one possibility for each statement. When reading the statement, find out whether it is positive or negative. This will help you to decide which person said it.

Fully read each paragraph to understand the general view, and double check the question to see if it matches. It will challenge your understanding of each opinion.


Study giving opinions and adjective, this will make it easier to find out how the person feels about the subject.

Part 4 – Long text comprehension


So now comes the most difficult part. Here you will need to choose the correct heading that best describes the paragraph you are reading. Altogether, there are 7 paragraphs (topics can be various) and a choice of 8 headings (you do not need to use 1). Try to understand what the whole text is describing, whether it is negative or positive, if it is describing something or stating a fact. These are all useful to know when answering this part.


You will read around 750 words in total, it is designed to test your understanding of the text as well as reflecting your ability to choose a suitable heading. Link up and highlight all of the important points in each text to get an idea about what it is the main point of the paragraph, this will make it easier to decide which heading to use.


Just because the paragraph and the heading have the same word in it….does not mean it is the correct answer so read the whole paragraph to understand the text.

The scoring?

At the end, you will be scored between 0-50 and this will indicate your CEFR level which goes towards your final score for all the exams. Each correct answer is worth 2 marks/points


Once all the parts has been completed, you will receive a CEFR certificate which shows your general level of English.


Want to try out an example, then head over HERE to try a sample and test your level of English.

And that is the Aptis reading exam. Hope I have been able to help you master this exam and you are successful in your attempt in doing so with ease.


Leave a Reply