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IELTS-Reading Tips & Tricks

IELTS Reading scales candidate’s ability to understand the English language in different contexts. It comprises of 40 questions where upon 0-9 band score is scaled on the basis of number of correct answers. Depending on this one can also achieve 9 Bands in IELTS Reading module, if all the questions are correct.

How to attempt IELTS Reading:

  • Look at the questions first and watch out the question types related to the passage. Follow the question specified strategy for each question type. Don’t miss the instructions given above the question types. Read carefully.
  • Read questions before going to the passage. Underline or mark keywords that will help you find/locate the specific information from the passage to find your answer.
  • Keep the keywords in your mind from different question types. For example, if there are MCQ, T/F/NG and Matching information in a passage, keep keywords of first MCQ, first T/F/NG and all the Matching ones in your mind so that you can find the exact location in the passage.
  • The questions generally find in sequence. Refer to question types for more detail.
  • Start Reading the passage using Skimming and Scanning and find the answers one by one by matching keywords from the passage.
  • After finding all answers in a section/passage or of a particular question type, transfer answer to answer sheet. Don’t wait to complete all 40 questions to find first. Remember only those answers will be checked which are written on answer sheet only. No extra time will be given to transfer answers.
  • Read question instructions again such as word limits, number of options to choose etc. Then transfer the respective answers carefully. Check spelling twice. Check writing too.
  • Match question number with answers after transferring. It is common that candidate miss or transfer one question wrong and the rest too written wrong. So, be very careful while transferring answers.
  • Follow the same for all question types and in each section. After transferring all 40 answers, revise question number again.

Here are few strategies to score 9 Bands in IELTS Reading:

Skimming – Skimming means to read the text to get an overview or main idea of it. In IELTS Reading skimming should used be used to understand the main idea rather than translating or understanding word-to-word text. It saves times and focus on main thing as the test is objective not subjective. This means that you need to focus on the idea of context.

Scanning - Scanning means finding or locating the specific information. This strategy is used to find the exact location of the asked question so that you can save on time and find appropriate answers. So instead of reading full passage focus on the keywords from the question and match from passage.

Time -Management - Managing time is also important aspect of IELTS Reading as one needs to complete all 40 questions in 60 minutes (1 hour including transferring answers) only. Therefore, for IELTS Academic Reading, don’t spend more than 20 minutes on a passage and for IELTS General Training Reading, spend only 10-15 minutes on first 3 passages and spend 20 minutes on the last passage.

Follow the Sequence - There are certain question types in IELTS Reading whose answers can be find in sequences that’s is one after other. For example, the answers of True/False/Not Given question types can be found one after other. In general, they can be solved one-by-one. Refer to question types strategies for more.

Understanding the Question Types – There are different question types in IELTS Reading. Knowledge of these question types and how to solve them not only saves time but also can assist to achieve 9 Bands in IELTS Reading module. These question types and their strategies are described below:

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