Want to know about the most important IELTS reading strategies that are guaranteed to help you score at least a band 7 and higher? Many students have tested these strategies and were left with amazing band scores!
IELTS Reading Strategies
Finding realistic IELTS Reading strategies is difficult to come across these days, especially because I’m sure your ultimate goal is to practice the strategies you read and actually put them into use.
As an IELTS mentor myself, I can totally understand your frustration in trying to find IELTS reading strategies that actually work. That’s why I decided to write this article, to only provide you with the tips that have been tested and tried by my students that have helped them achieve a high band.
You are going to learn about the top 9 IELTS reading tips that will include the IELTS reading general and the IELTS reading academic section. Then, I will discuss some tips on how you can prepare for IELTS reading practice.
This post is all about the top IELTS reading strategies for a high band.
IELTS Reading Strategies
What To Expect From The IELTS Reading General
In the IELTS reading general section, you will be required to read 3 different passages and answer forty questions within an hour. It is important to note that there are around fourteen different question types that you may be given in the IELTS reading general section. Before providing you with IELTS reading strategies, it’s important that you understand the format of the exam.
Additionally, it’s essential that you know the level of difficulty increases between each passage, so it is important that you organize your time in a manner that you spend the most time on the last passage since it is the most difficult.
I recommend that you try to spend around nine minutes on passage one and nine minutes on passage two, leaving you with a longer time to spend on the third passage.
One thing to note is that there is not much of a difference between the IELTS reading general exam and the IELTS reading academic exam. Therefore, you can follow this guide for either exam you are taking.
What To Expect From The IELTS Reading Academic
The format for the IELTS reading academic exam is the exact same as the IELTS reading general exam. However, the IELTS reading academic exam may use more academic related vocabulary in their passages and throughout their questions.
Again, you will be provided with three different passages and will have forty questions to answer. Remember that you do not have time to read the passages sentence for sentence. Rather, you understand the IELTS reading tips below to be able to quickly locate answers throughout the text.
Other than that, there are no other differences between the IELTS reading academic and IELTS reading general examination.
9 IELTS Reading Tips For Success
In this section, I will go through the most important IELTS reading tips that will prepare you for the IELTS reading section. Just remember that you need to practice these IELTS reading tips a few times before test day, so you are able to implement them into your exam.
- Not all question types go in order – There are 14 different question types you may get in your IELTS reading section, so it is important to understand which question types go in order and which ones do not. The reason why it is essential to know which question types go in order is that this will save you a TON of time knowing if you will find the answer to question 1 in paragraph one and the answer to question two in the second paragraph.
If you want to see a list of question types that go in order and those that don’t, have a look at the article titled IELTS Reading – Ultimate Guide To A 8 Band.
2. Understand The Difference Between False And Not Given – If you get a true, false, not given question in your IELTS reading, it’s important to know the difference between false and not given. Keep reading for some examples of questions that are true, false or not given.
False means when the information in the passage does not match the information the question is asking.
Not Given means something that wasn’t mentioned in the question is missing. This is usually the object, subject or restrictive language when trying to find the matching sentence.
3. Remember To Only Write An Answer Based On The Reading Passage. In other words, if you read a similar article outside of the passage given to you on test day, do not write your answers based on that similar article you read.
4. Look For The Easiest Question To Answer First when you are given your questions. Once you locate the easiest question, look for the answer then remember that if the question type goes in order, then start looking above the sentence for earlier questions. For example, question 6 is the easiest to start with and has been found in the 5th paragraph. That means you will find question 5 in the 4th paragraph.
5. Focus on language that comes before or after the synonym language in the passage. These words can be an indication of the answer.
6. If you are completing a diagram question, ensure that you look for keywords in the diagram that you may be able to find in the passage. Then, find the easiest question to answer first. Most importantly, be wary of the language that comes before or after the matching words and keep SYNONYM LANGUAGE IN MIND!
7. IELTS Reading Strategies For Table Questions include remembering that this question type is similar to a fill-in-the-blanks question. Although the content is written in a table, it is the same style as a fill-in-the-blank.
8. When completing the paragraph location question, keep in mind that paraphrasing is often used in this question type. Pay attention to the topic sentence to try to understand the different sections to look in.
9. The last of 9 IELTS reading strategies is that you should always start with the question types that go first before starting question types that don’t go in order. The reason for this is so you don’t spend too much time on the questions that go in order.
Next, you will see different IELTS reading practice sentences to get an idea of what type of questions would be asked during the IELTS reading exam.
IELTS Reading Practice For True False Not Given Question Types
I decided to give you a few sample questions for IELTS reading practice where you will see a sentence from the passage, then you will see the question. These questions are taken directly from the Cambridge IELTS books for your practice.
- It is generally believed that large numbers of people were needed to build the pyraminds.
Sentence from the passage: The pyramids of Egypt were built more than three thousand years ago, and no one knows how. The conventional picture is that tens of thousands of slaves dragged stones on sledges. But there is no evidence to back this up.
The answer is TRUE (Conventional – what everyone generally believes)
2. Clemmons found a strange hieroglyph on the wall of an Egyptian monument.
Sentence from the passage: Now a Californian software consultant called Maureen Clemmons has suggested that kites might have been involved. While perusing a book on the monuments of Egypt, she noticed a hieroglyph that showed a row of men standing in odd postures.
The answer is FALSE (She was reading a book at the time of noticing a hieroglyph)
3. Gharib had previously done experiments on bird flight.
Intrigued, Clemmons contacted Morteza Gharib, aeronautics professor at the California Institute of Technology. He was fascinated by the idea. ‘Coming from Iran, I have a keen interest in Middle Eastern science’ he says. He too was puzzled by the picture that had sparked Clemmons’s interest.
Answer:NOT GIVEN because the answer was not mentioned
Other Methods For IELTS Reading Practice
Unfortunately, many students often think completing IELTS reading practice mock tests are an efficient way to prepare for your exam. However, this is definitely not the case especially because many individuals assume they may have a chance to get the same exact question on test day. But this is definitely often not the case, which ends up leaving you only dependent on mock tests.
Other great methods for IELTS reading practice I suggest is that you start reading other types of material such as short articles and read books. However, I suggest that you choose reading something that you find interesting because you want to stay motivated.
While you are reading this text for IELTS reading practice, I also recommend that you take the opportunity to look up definitions of any new vocabulary words that are unknown to you. This will help build your vocabulary, which may be a word you identify in your IELTS reading test.
The reason why you should read different passages for IELTS reading practice is because it gives you the opportunity to see a different variety of text and you will have the opportunity to broaden your horizons!
This post was all about the top 9 IELTS reading strategies.