IELTS reading is the second phase of the test and consists of 60 minutes. It may consist of 4-5 passages for reading with an increase in difficulty each time. There is a total of 40 questions to answer in the test. Here are some tips to improve your score in the IELTS reading section!
IELTS (International English language testing system) is an international standard that measures the proficiency of people. IELTS is the measuring criteria for both students who want to study abroad where the English language is necessary and businesses with English as the primary language.
According to IELTS, 30/40 in the general training reading is considered as hard and the same as academic reading with a 23/40 score. Therefore, both academic readers and general trainers are at band 6. However, do not think about taking an exam directly without IELTS general test preparation.
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Table of Contents
General IELTS reading tips.
If you are preparing for the IELTS (International English language testing system) exam, these reading tips will help you to improve your reading score on the test.
Important IELTS reading points.
1. Develop skills.
In the IELTS test, you need to answer 14 different questions in English. These questions can be from anyway and of MCQ’s and non-MCQ’s. You will have to make a strategic plan and develop your skills to answer any questions you might have asked.
Do not limit yourself with the preparation of fewer questions, it can be random from any topic. That is why developing skills to answer any question is so important.
2. Improve your speed-reading skills.
This type of test requires a great English reading skill. You will have to read a paragraph or passage and answer the questions from it in each or minimum time. The better your reading skills are, the more chances of passing the IELTS test.
For the preparation of this, try reading few paragraphs and answer the questions in the end. After 20-30 paragraphs of reading and answering, you will have more speed-reading skills. Try different strategies to reduce the answering time such as highlighting the important sentences while reading.
Follow this approach with 15-20 different topics of your interest and try to be the best in 1 hour.
3. Do not try the full passage.
This tests your ability to locate the correct answer from the specific information in the given time. The main task is to locate the correct answer. The questions required you a deep understanding of the topic and relevant information research.
Some questions need a deep understanding of the headings or paragraph while some only need you to locate the information. Short passages can help you locate the information easily in a short time.
4. Improving & developing vocabulary
This is the most important part of the IELTS test preparation. Most of the students are just concentrating on learning new words but it is more than that. Apart from improving vocabulary, you also need to use the vocabulary in the correct place that gives a meaningful sentence.
You can learn and improve vocabulary by reading fewer paragraphs and finding newer keywords and learn how they are used in the paragraph. Try practicing multiple paragraphs and highlight important words or phrases.
The questions may include some important keywords that help in finding the correct answer in a short time. That is why keywords are very important in the IELTS test.
You need to practice how to find good keywords and how to use them in the correct position while practicing IELTS reading tips.
When you are practicing reading tips, you should also concentrate on grammar. It helps you find the correct answer and improve it. Sometimes your answers are not justifying because of grammar mistakes.
Always check for grammar-related mistakes while reading the passage or paragraph.
7. Skimming & Scanning
Skimming is reading the paragraph and get the general idea of what is content all about. The questions might have asked you to skim after reading the paragraph. Try understanding the passage, highlight it and give it a unique name. Which will give a good sense and description of the passage.
Trying skimming the passage not longer than 3 minutes and highlight the keywords.
Whereas scanning is how good you are in searching the information from the given paragraphs. This includes finding the correct answer in a short amount of time. This type of skill can be improved by repeating the scanning with different paragraphs and extracting the correct answers.
8. Re-telling the story.
Re-telling the story means writing the whole story in your own words with better vocabulary and improved grammar. These special skills help you improve your vocabulary and overall English reading and writing skills.
Try practice in 4-5 paragraphs of different nature and highlight what you have changed and how much time is consumed.
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Additional IELTS reading points.
1. Practice your moves
You need to practice those points regularly to build some reading skills. Try practicing in short paragraphs and then move to the longer one. This helps you build a great English vocabulary and speed up your reading skills.
Shorter paragraphs are very easy to read for all types of users. This will also save your time while finding the answers at the end.
2. IELTS practice reading tests.
As you have read above, you are allowed 1 hour to complete all the questions of the IELTS reading test, practice more to solve the test in under 1 hour. There are many free resources available that can help you with this step such as:
3. Practice slow & fast
Some professionals and teachers give the advice to practice the IELTS in under 1 hour or so. This is wrong and will not help you think more about the topic and extract more information. You will start missing these important parts you have learned so far such as highlighting keywords and important points, breaking paragraphs, re-writing, and improving vocabulary.
More, it will not give you the time to consider your mistakes and improve them. Once you have practiced some tests slowly, you can move forward with a fast speed of under 1 hour.
4. GT Test
The first two parts or passages might be different from an actual academic test, but the third passage is the same. To improve the first two passages, try reading some manuals or employment terms and conditions. You will find more practicing material in the Cambridge books. The same skills can be beneficial for both GT test students and academic tests.
5. Know your weakness & improve.
Unless you do not know your weakness or powers, you cannot improve the performance in the IELTS test. You must identify the reasons for correct or incorrect answers and highlight them. You must also check what caused the delay in finding the correct answer in the given paragraph(s).
Spend more time to know your weakness and write it. Try improving these weaknesses by practicing more topics in a short time. Do not try to achieve this step in just 1-2 days, daily work and improvement is the key to success.
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Advance tips for band 9
1. Time management
Time management is an important skill and key to success in the IELTS test. Start reading the passages between 500-1000 words, then add additional 20 minutes to write the keywords you have found in it. Summarize what you have read in these passages.
You can try some questions from the passage such as true or false, not found, MCQ’s, matching headings, etc. Try to answer them correctly in as low time as possible.
Another great time to improve your time is to skip the questions you do not know. You can always come back to the questions in the end. Try answering easier questions at first and problematic questions at the end.
2. Read what you enjoy the most.
The more you like the topic, the more in-depth you can go in. Reading the paragraph for pleasure and enjoyment makes you focus on the topic and learn more. This will improve your reading skills and ease you to re-write the topic in your own story.
Reading what you like increases your vocabulary, helps developing awareness of the topic, and encourages you to read more.
When you are reading the passage for the first time, make sure you underline the important phrases. This will give more understanding of the time and saves time while finding the answers.
4. Re-writing the paragraph in own words.
After you understood the paragraph, it is good practice to try writing it in your own words to improve your vocabulary. Try summarizing what you have read so far and write it again with the new vocabulary you have learned so far. This is so much important step as it improves your vocabulary and improves your reading and writing skills.
5. Pay attention to details.
Remember, every detail matter in this passage. Try reading the passage by paragraph by breaking it into 2-3 shorter paragraphs and highlight the details and good keywords. Finally, apply the above steps to these short paragraphs to improve your skills and reduce the time.
6. Answer all blank boxes.
First, try solving the easier and most appropriate answer at first. Further, try answering all the questions and do not leave any blank spaces even the answer is wrong. Highlight the most appropriate answer and choose the best answer.
This must be the last step of the IELTS paper as it is more time to take on the confusing questions. Do not waste your time guessing it and then re-write the answer. Just leave it, until you finish all the known answers to the test.
All the above practices help you improve your vocabulary, shorter your reading time, and answer the given questions correctly. We advise you to start the procedure regularly and slowly. Try analysing your mistakes, fix them, and start with another topic you love to read. Then, re-write the paragraphs in your own words with improvements. Finally, try to complete the questions in under 1 hour without any stress with at least 10 different topics.