9 tips to crack the "Reading Section" at IELTS

9 tips to crack the "Reading Section" at IELTS

“Reading” section is considered to be the most difficult section by most of the students who have appeared or cleared the IELTS.


• Lot of reading to be done in limited time.

• Answer as many as 40 questions pertaining to three different sections in limited time.

• Questions are based on “extreme understanding” of the text given to you.

However, a little practice and guidance can help you bag the band of your choice.

Some of the handy tips which can help you improve your reading skills for the IELTS are:

1. Practice reading fast: Read anything – newspapers, magazines, articles but try and read fast and monitor how much you retain in the first go.

2. Read familiar English and not alien English: In order to practice reading English, it is important that you practice your native English and not necessarily Western English. For example, when you read short articles, reading the ones published by the authors of your country is absolutely fine rather than forcing yourself to read the ones published by American or Australian authors. It may not have an added advantage.

3. Do no read aimlessly: Remember that reading test is actually trying to judge your scanning, analyzing and inferring skills. For example, you should be able to scan the entire text for a particular number or word quickly. Your reading has an aim and keep that aim in mind, while practicing to read fast.

3. Dividing the time based on the difficulty level: It is a fact that difficulty level increases as you progress to subsequent sections in the reading test. Hence, divide the time accordingly. It is suggested that you may allot 15 minutes to section 1, 20 minutes to section 2 and 25 minutes to the last section.

4. The trick: For comprehensions, go quickly through the questions first. Now, when you read the comprehension passages keep underlining the important parts and use these underlined parts directly to answer the questions. In lots of instances, you may not have sufficient time to read a passage more than once. Hence, act smart.

5. Bonus: There is no negative marking. Hence, attempt the entire sets of questions.

6. Do not jump: Do not directly jump to the body of the passage without reading the headings. Headings and sub-headings should be read very carefully as they give enough idea as to what the passage is all about and help to understand the structure of the passage.

7. Do not panic at difficult words: Do not panic when you come across a difficult word whose meaning is not known to you. IELTS texts do contain lot of specialized words. However, you can use the entire text to guess the meaning of that word. Just be alert and focus on the information surrounding the word. It will bring you as close to the meaning of the word as possible.

8. Beware: Beware of using wrong spellings, punctuations and wrong singular and plurals. This leads to heavy deduction in marks.

9. Do not go over board: You have to adhere strictly to the word limits. Hence, try and avoid lengthy phrases. Remember, “Wooden cart” helps you reduce two words than “cart made of wood”. You have to be smart enough to cut down bulky phrases and clauses to lighter ones.
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