Reading is one of the four sessions of the IELTS exam. It is as important as any other part and to pass the IELTS exam, you need to pass the reading test. The two types of IELTS i.e. General Training and Academic Test both have the same format. The only thing that varies between the two is the text that you will be provided.
IELTS reading test has the following types of questions:
- True & false
- Sentence completion
- Chart completion
- Table completion
- Note completion
- Diagram completion
- Matching information and heading
The following tips for reading will help you pass the IELTS reading test smoothly.
Start reading with the skimming technique
The reading test is one hour long and in that time, you have to answer all 40 questions of different types. If you attempt the paper casually, you might not completely answer all the questions. Skimming is a technique that helps you go through the test fast and search for answers rapidly.
Start with the first paragraph of the text you have been provided. Read it thoroughly and get an idea of what the text is about. For the next paras, you can read the first 2 or 3 lines of each and go through the rest looking for keywords. Read the last paragraph attentively as it summarizes the whole article. With this, you will have the main idea and the important keywords and text to answer questions.
Scan for important details and figures
The text usually contains names, dates, figures, stats, and other specific information. You need to look for that specific information while answering questions. Just read a question and look for specific keywords in it. Then look for that keyword in the text. This way, you will be able to answer your questions speedily.
Underlining or marking the specific information like numbers and names will help get to them fast while answering the question.
Look for similarities
The IELTS reading test focuses more on assessing your comprehension than grammar. English is a complex language and the test aims to test your abilities to understand complex sentences. While answering questions, you will find sentences that are written in different words but have the same meaning as an option for the question or the question itself. Look for such paraphrased text and you will be able to answer faster and with more accuracy.
Build your vocabulary
Building vocabulary is the key to being successful in the test. This way, you will rarely come across a word that is new to you. If you find a word that you don’t know, don’t stress too much about it. Try to read the whole sentence and you may get an idea of what the word means. If that doesn’t help, understand the grammar of the sentence. If the word comes after or before a noun, you might get an indication of whether it is a verb or a helping verb.
Practice reading regularly
Practice can help you overcome any problem. Read different articles, newspapers, books, or any other document that can help you get good at English. Try to look for the idea and summarize what you read on a piece of paper. Also, taking an IELTS reading course in Sri Lanka can cover everything in the reading test. It is a 10-lesson course where each lesson is one hour long.