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    11 Simple IELTS Reading Tips – How to improve your reading speed!

    Want to know the most important IELTS reading tips that every IELTS test taker should know? These tips have been tested by thousands of IELTS students that helped them score a band 8.

    IELTS Reading Tips

    11 IELTS Reading Tips You Must Know

    Preparing for the IELTS exam can be stressful, overwhelming, and requires lots of research. As an experienced IELTS coach myself, be sure to follow these top IELTS reading tips I give my students.

    Next, you are going to learn about general IELTS reading tips as well as reading tips for IELTS academic.

    After learning about the top IELTS reading tips, you will be extra prepared for the IELTS reading section of the exam.

    This post is all about the most important IELTS reading tips you should know about if you plan on writing your IELTS exam.

    Best IELTS Reading Tips:


    General IELTS Reading Tips

    The IELTS reading section is the same for the general training and academic. However, the difference is that the general exam may include a more simple reading passage. Also, the strategies mentioned in this article can be used for the general IELTS reading tips.

    Remember, that you do not need to read the entire passage. You actually don’t have time for reading multiple passages in only 1 hour. For this reason, practicing how to skim and scan is the most essential part of being successful in the IELTS reading section.

    Reading Tips For IELTS Academic

    Although the reading section for both the IELTS general training and academic are the same, the academic reading passages may be a bit more advanced in comparison to the general training. Because of this, you can consider the information of the reading tips for IELTS academic and general training.

    Furthermore, try to work on improving your language by enhancing your vocabulary prior to taking the IELTS test, because this will help you achieve a better grade. Especially when you improve being able to identify synonym language.

    Finally, in the IELTS reading section, you will be required to answer 40 questions within an hour. These questions will be within 3 different passages. This is why it’s so important that you manage your time and organize how you will answer the questions. Because of this, it’s important that you know the different question types and if they go in order or not.

    IELTS Reading Question Types

    In case you’re wondering, the IELTS reading question types can range within 14 different types. Here is a list of the different question types for you, but it’s also important to note that not all question types go in order so it’s important to have an understanding of each one.

    • Short Answer                        
    • Yes, No Not given
    • Headings Matching
    • Multiple Choice
    • Fill in the blanks
    • Flow Charts
    • Sentence Completion
    • Table Question
    • Diagram Question
    • Summary Question
    • Location Paragraph
    • Matching question
    • Pick 2/ 3 question

    If you are looking for a list of what questions go in order, check out my article I have linked down below.

    5. Types of IELTS Reading Questions That Don’t Go in Order

    Out of the 14, there are 3 types of IELTS reading questions that don’t go in order which are:

    • Paragraph location questions
    • Matching Questions
    • Pick 2 or 3 question

    Remember that it’s important to keep these in mind so you are aware that the answers can be found anywhere within the passage rather than one after another.

    6. IELTS True False Not Given Practice Makes Perfect

    IELTS True False Not Given Practice

    The first of the IELTS reading tips I have is that you must complete mock tests so you know what to expect from the exam.

    Being able to complete the IELTS true false not given practice tests will help you understand the difference between the three answers to choose from.

    Here are a few sentences you can complete as an IELTS true false not given practice test, write your answers in the comments section below and I will tell you if you are right or wrong!

    1. Question: Customers should notify Bell Mobility if they are moving to a new address when they move.

    Sentence in passage: Please inform us in advance as soon as you are moving, in order for Bell Mobility to make any changes at least 72 hours is needed.


    2. Question: Students are expected to read the breakdown of their tuition fees before the first day of school for any adjustments.

    Sentence in passage: Students should always read their tuition breakdown, ignoring any extra fees. If you have any questions, call the school.

                                                    TRUE / FALSE / NOT GIVEN

    Best Ways for IELTS True False Not Given Practice

    • Buy the official Cambridge IELTS books for practice
    • Hire an IELTS Coach for some one on one training
    • Complete mock tests online

    7. IELTS True False Not Given Tips You MUST Do

    ESL Words | 11 Simple IELTS Reading Tips - How to improve your reading speed!

    This question type requires you to answer questions related to a reading passage.  One of the top IELTS true false not given tips is that you will find the answers in order, meaning that you will locate the first question before locating the second answer later in the reading.

    Students find that the true, false not given question type is the most difficult from all the different question types, but just remember the difference between true, false and not given (which I have defined below).

    8. Answer The True False Not Given IELTS Question in these Steps:

     I HIGHLY recommend that when you are given this question type, you follow these steps:

    Step 1:  Go directly to the questions and decide which question will be the easiest to locate first.

    Step 2: Look for potential words in the question that will be easy to locate in the passage such as a person, place or verb.

    Step 3: Keeping synonym language in mind, look for the first easiest answer that you decided to locate first.

    Step 4: Once you think you found the answer, compare both the sentence in the reading and the sentence in the question.


    The question is TRUE If the subject, noun or verb matches the passage.

    The question is FALSE if the subject, noun or verb has been changed.

    The question is NOT GIVEN  if the information was never mentioned.

    9. Tips for IELTS Reading Matching Headings Question

    IELTS reading tips and tricks academic pdf

    In the IELTS reading matching headings question you will be asked to put headings in order based on the passage you were given. In other words, you will need to have a general idea of each paragraph and match the information with the headings in the question.

    The first thing you should do when you get your reading passage for this type of question is to highlight the keywords that stand out the most in the questions. Then, try to start with a smaller paragraph to locate answers.

    My top tip for the IELTS reading matching headings question is that try to understand the main idea of the paragraph by only reason the first two sentences and the last sentence in the paragraph to get an understanding of what it’s about. You will be surprised at figuring out the answer just by reading those 3 sentences!

    Paragraph Headings Example

     For your reference, I have included a paragraph headings example question type you may see in the IELTS reading section.

    Match each opinion with the correct person. A, B, C or D

    Write the correct letter. A, B, C, or D, in boxes 31-35 in your answer sheet.

    NB You may use any letter more than once.

    31 The FRE should be available for travel-related requirements for business purposes.

    32 There is often a misunderstanding when it comes to what kind of projects FRE does.

    33. The entire process of getting projects with the FRE is very slow.

    34. The FRE has many great achievements.

    35. To get a better understanding of space technology, you must discover living with no gravity.

    IELTS matching headings exercise with answers

    10. Where To Find Matching Paragraph Headings Exercises

    When looking for matching paragraph headings exercises, it is recommended that you to try to

    • Visit your local library to borrow some IELTS reading books, they have tons!
    • Purchase official Cambridge IELTS books, these are great resources and have so many different books

    11. More Reading tips for band 9

    If you are looking for some more reading tips for band 9, I highly recommend that you check out my article titled IELTS Reading – The Ultimate Guide to 8 Band Score where I discuss all the different question types.

    Additionally, not all question types go in order, so it is important not to know which question types go in order, but also what types of questions you may get in general.

     Finally, knowing if a question goes in order or not will help you locate the answer in the passage faster. Keep in mind that you should always keep synonym language in mind.

    This post was all about the top IELTS reading tips I provided for both the IELTS general training and academic exam.


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