Reading – Tips

IELTS Reading

  • Read Daily: Improving your performance in the Reading test will need commitment in reading daily using a variety of English texts.
  • Concentrate: When practising your reading, ensure you are in the moment, don’t read whilst concentrating on other things, such as the phone, TV etc
  • IELTS Reading can be done on the computer: At some test venues, the IELTS reading test can now be taken on a computer.
  • Know how the IELTS Reading test is structured: This will assist you in evaluating things prior to the test day
  • Timing: Most people will not have time to read the entire passage word for word as well as the questions. You will need a strategy. Use your time wisely.
  • Read all questions first before reading the passages. This will assist in understanding which parts of the passages are important, and which you can easily skim over.
  • Circle or underline possible answers as you go. In computer-delivered IELTS, you can highlight or make notes on a section of text.
  • Circle, underline or highlight keywords as you go. For example, if the text or questions contains place names, people’s names, numbers or dates, circle or highlight them as you go along. It will be easier to find details
  • Skimming and Scanning Process: There are many possible strategies to successfully complete the Reading test.
    • Read all questions first before reading the passages. This will assist in understanding which parts of the passages are important, and which you can easily skim over. Circle, Underline or Highlight keywords
    • Skimming: When it comes to reading the passage, read it quickly the first time in order to get a general idea of what it’s about. Don’t worry about words you do not understand.
    • Reread Questions: Then scan the questions again to remind yourself which parts of the passage you will need to scan again in detail.
    • Scanning: Scan the passage for the detail you need. Circle, Underline or Highlight Keywords
  • Spelling: If you are copying the answer from the passage or a question – remember that your spelling must be accurate.
  • Don’t spend too much time on one question: If you cannot answer a question, leave it and move on to the next question. Go back to those questions at the end, when you have time.
  • When labelling a diagram: be sure to copy the words carefully from the text with the correct spelling.
  • Write directly to the answer sheet: In paper-based IELTS, make sure you write down your answers on the answer sheet – not the question paper. Extra time to transfer your answers is not given.
  • Read the instructions carefully: Make sure you are aware of how many words you need to write and if they want you to include the exact words from the question.
    • If the question says you need to use words from the text, such as ‘using words from the text’ You should only use words from the text.
  • Number of Words: In some cases, you will be asked to write a precise number of words and/or numbers. Read this part carefully. If it says ‘no more than three’, you can write 1, 2 or 3 words, but not 4 words.
    • Numbers which are written numerically, such as 2007, count as one word.
    • Hyphenated words, such as build-up, count as one word.
  • Where before what: Find where the answer is located in the text before you try to answer the question.
  • Answer Order: The answers in the text will appear in the same order as the questions. The answer to number 1 will be before number 2 in the text.
    • Many of the answers are at the beginning or the end of the paragraph.
  • Grammar: Your answers should use correct grammar. The correct use of word families such as the verb, noun, adjective or adverb is important in the answer. This will help you answer the question correctly.
  • Exact words may not be in the text: When scanning the text, make sure you are thinking about paraphrases and synonyms.
  • Review and Proofread: If you finish early, reread, and review, check your answers, grammar and spelling. Sometimes reading something after writing will assist you in finding mistakes, improving accuracy.
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