10 IELTS Tips for the Reading Section

by / Friday, 15 May 2015

1          Read the title and subtitle of the passage to orientate yourself to the text.

2          Look quickly at the questions to analyse what kind of questions are being asked but don’t read them individually.  This wastes time and without a context for the questions, it will be difficult to understand them.

3          Skim the passage and underline the main ideas – this should take you about 3-4 minutes.  This will give you a general understanding of the text and its organisation.

4          Analyse what kind of question is being asked and what information you have to find.

5          If it’s the kind of question where the answers are in order, you must remember to mark the passage when you have found the answer so you know where to begin reading for the next question.

6          Don’t worry about unknown vocabulary.  Try to guess the meaning from the context.  The writer will often put a definition or example of difficult in commas or brackets after it so pay attention to punctuation.

7          If you know that you are going to be short of time, you should check which passage has the most multiple choice questions and do this one last.  If you have to guess the answers to a lot of questions in a few minutes, at least you will have a good chance of getting them correct.

8          Never eliminate any answers if there is a list to choose from.  If the first one is wrong, they could all be wrong.

9          Practise reading outside the class as much as possible.  Read quality newspapers such as the Guardian, including the business section in order to become familiar with the kind of vocabulary you will have to deal with.

10        Improve your reading speed through practice with apps such as Acceleread.

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