Top 10 Reading Tips and Tricks for IELTS
Reading is believed to be the toughest module for the candidates appearing for academic module. However, the tips and strategies given at Aspire Square are the best in order to crack band 7 or above in IELTS.
I believe, it is not necessary to be an avid reader in order to get 8 in IELTS Reading. This test is beyond measuring just reading abilities. It is far ahead than that. One has to solve the questions logically in stipulated time. Here are some tricks if used meticulously, will get you a band 8.
Reading skills tested here are prediction, identifying opinions, speed reading, grammar, developing vocabulary in general training module and academic module. The only difference is the type of text given in the passage. The passages are taken from academic journals, magazines, books and newspapers for academic reading module. On the other hand, the passages for reading general training module are the mixtures of long and short texts some related to work or social situations, or are taken from notices, flyers, timetables, documents, newspapers, instructions and manuals.
1. Stick to the Time
You have 60 minutes to solve IELTS Reading test with no extra time. Hence you must manage your time wisely; do not waste more than 70-80 seconds in solving one question. Leave the question if it demands more time. Wasting more time is directly proportional to missing out on other questions.
2. Read the Instructions Carefully
Instructions are clearly stated in every section after the passages. Follow the instructions carefully, and finish writing your answer within the given box in your answer sheet. Do not over-write it. That would hurt your score despite writing the correct one. Abbreviations are counted as words. For example: 3 a.m. are counted as three words.
3. Do not Leave any Question Unattempt
The beauty of IELTS is there is no negative marking. Write anything relevant; your answer might be a right guess. Who knows!
4. Don’t Try to Understand
Developing interest in reading a passage is an excellent idea, but certainly not in IELTS reading test. You can do it after completion of your exam. Understanding every passage will leave you confused and simultaneously, you may lose the track of time. Formula is skim it and scan it for answer. That’s it!
5. Expand your Vocabulary
Vocabulary plays a pivotal role in reading test and you be an ardent reading if you want to build up your vocabulary. Word building is a lifelong process. However, here is a shortcut. Follow our web series named ‘Wordology’ and add one new word every day for next thirty days.
6. No and Not Given Dilemma
The trickiest question type of IELTS Reading test is YES/NO/NOT GIVEN. It is comparatively easier to find YES, but ‘no’ and ‘not given’ are difficult to decode. In this question type, candidates cannot read superficially and match the key words.
They need to understand the context of the passage as the questions will be paraphrased and can be similar, opposite, partial or totally different. The one that confirms the fact/information is always a YES. Something that contradicts to what is given leads to a NO. In NOT GIVEN type, only partial information is given.
I have observed that most of NOT GIVEN answers are revolved around the conjunctions present in the passage. Focus on the connectors quite closely.
If you are unable to find any link between the passage and the question for two minutes, write down NOT GIVEN and move on to the next one.
7. Increase your reading speed:
An average person can skim around 350 words in one minute. Try to play games with the same passage or article. Set the timer and notice how many words are you able to skim it every day. This would increase your speed of reading and comprehending it. This will help you manage your time in test.
8. Do not try to understand everything:
It is not important to remember everything given in the passage. You need to skim it quickly, get an overview, locate the answers and finish the test in 60 minutes.
9. Match key words:
Scan the key words in the question types such as choosing titles, matching paragraph information, multiple choice questions and sentence completion. When you find any answer, read the previous sentence and following sentence to confirm it.
10. Select the passage:
Out of all the given passages, you might find one or two fascinating. Always start the test with the passage that you are intrigued with as you will be able to comprehend it better; thus, you will fetch more correct answers.