Tips for IELTS Reading Test

IELTS reading test has 40 questions distributed into 3 sections. The time allowed for this part is 60 minutes.

IELTS Academic test: It includes long extracts from research reports, journals, books, newspapers and magazines. You have to answer some questions on each extract specially designed for students seeking education in international institutions.

IELTS General Training test: It includes abstracts from magazines, newspapers, handbooks, notices and books. You have to answer some questions on the given abstract specially designed to assess your routine interactive skills in the English language.

Some important tips for attempting the reading part of IELTS as well as guidelines for preparation for it are as follows.

   Tips for attempting the Reading Part of IELTS

Tips to score high in the reading test are as follows:

  1. The reading part has a short time. Each question gets hardly a minute. Be a fast reader.
  2. Since the time is short for this part, do not try to read the paragraph so thoroughly to waste a lot of time. It is generally advisable to skim and scan the key information from each line while reading them speedily.
  3. Have an eye on the questions too while reading the paragraphs. It helps in grasping the required information (answer) quickly without wasting much time on reading everything to answer.
  4. Give attention to the specific information such as definitions, terminology, dates or quoted assumption. These are the areas mostly asked in the questions.
  5. If a table or a graph is given within the text, note the information given in it.
  6. Some questions refer to areas of the paragraph indirectly. Their answers may not be present directly in the paragraph. You have to conclude or predict based on available information relevant to the answer.
  7. In some questions, you are asked about the meaning of a ‘word’ used in the paragraph. If the question states ‘what does this word means here?’, it means it is referring to the contextual meaning of the word. Better focus on the contextual meaning of the word rather than its literal meaning.
  8. If you find a question too complicated and it is taking much of your time. Leave it to be solved in the end. Sticking to one question will waste a lot of your time for other easy questions.
  9. Read the instructions given for each group of questions carefully. Sometimes the instructions refer to attempt the question according to some specific directions.

   Guidelines for preparation for Reading Part of IELTS

Preparatory guidelines for the reading part of IELTS are as follows:

  1. Acquire the habit of fast reading. Students generally have the habit of reading slowly to understand the contents fully. For preparation for the reading part of IELTS, read essays on a daily basis. Read each essay speedily to develop the habit of fast reading to grasp the content speedily.
  2. For preparation, select scholarly written literature for your reading. Read research publications, reports, standard books and so on. The passages, given in the test, have a standard level of vocabulary and formal style of written content. Familiarize yourself with such literary written materials.
  3. Reading a newspaper on daily basis proves helpful in preparation for IELTS reading part.
  4. You should practice sample tests designed for reading as many times as possible. It helps you in understanding the nature of questions as well as tactics to answer them promptly.
  5. Also, focus on improving your vocabulary as much as possible in the available time for preparation. Having a good vocabulary will help you comprehend the given passages easily.