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IELTS Reading Tips

IELTS reading tips are essential for scoring high bands and completing the task on time. The IELTS test takes 60 minutes. There are 40 questions, based on three reading passages with a total of 2,000 to 2,750 words. It is important to use your Reading Skills so that you are able to answer the 40 questions quickly and accurately in the allocated time (1hr). The skills that will help you complete the tasks include:

  • Skimming:- Looking for general information.
  • Scanning:-Looking for specific Details.
  • Differentiating:-Between main ideas and examples.
  • Identifying:-The topic idea or sentence in a paragraph.
  • Understanding:-The writers viewpoint
  • Distinguishing:-Between opinion fact or assumption
  • Identifying:-Factual information
  • Recognizing:-Ways of linking ideas sentences and paragraphs. E.g. cause an effect language, time sequences, comparison and contrast.
Reading Strategies

You have 60 minutes to answer 40 questions in three passages, so divide your time carefully. The passage will become increasingly difficult so allocate around 15minutes for the 1st passage, 20 minutes for the 2nd and 25 minutes for the 3rd passage. You do not have time to read and comprehend each and every word of the passages so use your reading skills to the best of your advantage. Start each reading section by finding out what information you are looking for. First read through the questions quickly and follow instructions carefully

  • How many words and/or numbers do you need to write , Does the question ask to write True or Yes, False or No, Can you use any letter A, B or C more than once, How many answers do you need for 1 mark.
  • How many questions are there?
  • What sort of questions are they (multiple choice, sentence completion, labeling a diagram, matching)?
  • What are the Keywords in the questions? Do you know any words with a similar meaning (synonym), an opposite meaning or can you paraphrase the meaning? This will help you to focus when skimming or scanning a text to locate the area where you will need to find your answer.
  • If you cannot answer a question, or it is taking you a long time, leave it and come back to it when you have looked at all the questions in that passage. Chances are you may find it while looking for the answer to another question.
  • Write your answers straight on to the reading answer sheet. You are not given extra time to transfer your answers. Copy your answers carefully. Spelling Counts!
  • Leave no empty answers. Even if you are running out of time and may not finish all the 40 questions, leave a minute at the end to make quick guesses. Maximize your chances.

IELTS 9-band scale

Band 9 Expert User
Band 8 Very Good User
Band 7 Good User
Band 6 Competent User
Band 5 Modest User
Band 4 Limited User
Band 3 Extremely Limited User
Band 2 Intermittent User
Band 1 Non User
Band 0 Did not Attempt Test
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