In this post, see the top 5 reading tips that will help you to achieve a band score 7 or above.
In the IELTS Reading Test for both the General Training and the Academic, the skills needed are the same. The main difference of these tests is the type of texts the students will read. In the General Training Reading Test, the students will read both long and short texts taken from newspapers, flyers, timetables, etc. The Academic students will have 3 long texts that will progressively get more difficult. They will be taken from journals, newspapers, books etc.
You will have 40 questions to answer in 60 minutes, with no extra time to transfer your answers to the answer sheet.
Here is a list of the different types of IELTS reading questions:
- Multiple choice
- Identifying Writer’s views/claims
- Matching information
- Matching headings
- Matching features
- Matching sentence endings
- Sentence completion
- Summary, note, table, flowchart completion
- Diagram label completion
- Short-answer questions
Top IELTS Reading TIPS
TIP 1: Always Read The Instructions
Always make sure that you read the instructions before you start looking at the questions or text. The instructions for the reading test are very specific – meaning if you don’t follow them exactly you will lose marks.
For example, if the instructions say to only write one word – then look for one-word answers. If you write more than that your answer will be marked as incorrect. The same goes for two-word answers or three, look for the amount of words or numbers that you are allowed to write.
TIP 2: Be Aware Of Timing
Ideally, you should spend around 20 minutes or just under on each text as you have 60 minutes to complete the reading test. In that 20 minutes – look at one text, answer the questions, transfer them to the answer sheet and check them. It is important that you leave yourself enough time to transfer your answers onto the answer sheet and check them.
Practice as much as you can with sample tests, looking at those that challenge you as well as other texts that you find slightly easier. The more difficult texts can take more time, so be aware of how much time you spend on those, practising skimming and scanning skills to increase your reading speed.
TIP 3: Answer Every Question
Try to answer every question, even if you are not 100% sure of the answer. Many students report leaving gaps on their answer sheet because they did not know the answer or they ran out of time. You can try your best to answer each and every question.
TIP 4: Forget What You Know Already
The IELTS Reading Test is testing your ability to understand information in the texts you are given. So don’t think about your previous knowledge on the topic, only focus on the text in front of you.
TIP 5: Paraphrasing, Synonyms And Vocabulary
It is really important to study all forms of English when studying for the IELTS Test, looking at how a text is paraphrased, learning new words and using synonyms. Reading more will definitely help you to develop your vocabulary knowledge, as well as recognising synonyms.
When you are studying, use an online thesaurus to check for synonyms and meanings and if you are reading longer complex texts, keep a notebook of words you do not know and their meaning. You will also see how ideas are connected, which can help you in the writing tasks also.