Saturday, May 8, 2010


IELTS Reading Tips

Below are IELTS Reading tips that could help you ace the reading section of the IELTS:
  • Read and follow the instructions. Although some might think this is a waste of time, it'sactually a time saver and it increases your chances of writing accurate answers. For instance, not all multiple choice questions only ask for one answer. Sometimes you are instructed to choose 2 or even 3 answers. If you can't give the right number of answers, you'll get it wrong.
  • Examine and learn from the examples for they give you a clue on what kind and form of answers you are supposed to give.
  • Use your time wisely. There are 3 passages and you have only 1 hour to answer all 40questions. Hence, you have approximately 20 minutes to spend per passage. However, if you can spend more time on passages 2 and 3, that would be better since they are more difficult than the 1st passage and thus need more attention.
  • Unlike the Listening subtest in which you will be given time to transfer your answers on the answer sheet, in the Reading subtest you have to write your answers on the answer sheet right there and then.
  • If you are not a fast reader, it is not advisable to read the passages right away. It would be better to read with a reason first in mind in order to predict what information you need or might need. So what are the important things to read in this part of the test? Read the title, the headings or subtitles if there are any, the bold and italized words, the instructions and examples, the questions and look at pictures, graphs or diagrams included in the passage. All of these will give you clues on the important information you will need for your answers. Sometimes, even without reading the whole passage, you'd be able to answer the questions correctly just by looking at the things I mentioned above.
  • Use your scanning skills to find specific information and use your skimming skills to get main ideas.
  • Read the topic sentence of each paragraph. The topic sentence is the sentence that summarizes the meaning of the whole paragraph. It is usually found at the first sentence. However, it can also be found at times in the last sentence of the paragraph or in the middle of the paragraph. Sometimes, however, it can't be found in just one sentence because it is only implied. If this is the case, you'll need to use your skimming skills.
  • If the passage is a little technical and there are words used there you can't understand, try to find the glossary of the passage where you can find the difficult words' meanings.
  • Read around the keywords to find the answers. The keywords can be taken from the questions. Find words similar in meaning in the paragraphs and read around them to find the information you need.
  • If there's any question regarding a number or date, find the answer for that question first, since numbers are easier to locate in paragraphs than words.
  • Usually, the answers come in the same order as the questions. Hence, the answer to question number one will most likely be found in the first paragraphs and the last question's answer can be found in the last paragraph.

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