Helping you succeed in IELTS

Ruth’s IELTS Reading Tips

By on 03/07/2015 in Uncategorised | 0 comments

Spiralbooks

Ruth’s IELTS Reading Tips

The exam

For IELTS reading there are 40 questions from 3 different passages to be answered in 60minutes. You must write your answers straight onto the answer sheet as there is no extra time allowed.

But reading English is the easy part, right?……uh, sorry, not this time folks. Never fear! Here are 5 handy hints to help you overcome this challenge.

Tip #1

There are 11 different types of reading questions. Each one has their own strategy but all of the start the same:

dont panic button google

 

After that it’s easy 😉 No seriously, the reading paper for IELTS is really tough. But remember, this is designed to show different levels of ability, so some questions will be a little easier and some will be really hard, even for a native speaker at Band 9!

Tip #2

The main tip for all reading questions is knowing lots of synonyms and therefore, plenty of vocabulary, including different word forms (whether it is a noun, adjective, adverb, verb etc.) and collocations (words that go together to make a new meaning). This takes time to really be able to remember and use words correctly. This is why learning a language and increasing your Band score takes so long. Don’t give up 😉

Tip #3

The other main pressure is time. You only have just over a minute to answer each question. Train yourself not to focus too long on each question. There is no negative marking, meaning if you answer incorrectly you will not have a mark taken away. This allows you to guess . There are some questions where your chances of being correct by guessing are higher than others, like the Yes/No/No Given (#2) or True / False / Not Given (#3), or Multiple Choice Questions (#1). So don’t spend too long on these. There may be easier questions you can answer later that you miss because you took too long on the earlier harder ones.

time google

Tip #4

Most students are advised that it is essential to skim read (read very quickly to get the main idea) the passage before you start to look at the questions. If you do this, practice trying to do this in no more than 2-3min. However, some students I have taught have told me they prefer to gain understanding about the passage just by reading all the questions. Either way, you will need to find a strategy (a way to do this) that works for you so have a try at both ways.

See my Skim or not to Skim blog article coming later for more information about how to skim.

Tip #5

Some questions will follow the order of the passage so you know that the answer will come one after the other (generally).

These types of questions are:

#1, #2, #3, #5, #8, #9, #11

The ones that don’t, are where you need to match

#4, #6, #7, #10 (depending on the diagram numbers)

Tips

11 Question Types with my brief summary of how to approach each one

 

#1 Multiple Choice Questions (MCQ)

  • Don’t panic
  • Read the instructions
  • Read the Question – Look for the key words and synonyms
  • Scan text for the answer
  • Choose best fit answer from list = the closest one to the answer you found in the text

 

#2 True / False / Not Given

  • Don’t panic
  • Read the instructions
  • Read the question – Look for key words, synonyms
  • Scan the text for the answer
  • Choose True/False/Not Given

dont panic postit google

 

#3 Yes / No / Not Given

  • Don’t panic
  • Read the instructions
  • Read the question – Look for key words, synonyms
  • Scan the text for the answer
  • Choose Yes / No / Not Given

 

#4 Locating Information

  • Don’t panic
  • Read the instructions
  • Read the question– look for key words and think of synonyms
  • Scan the text
  • Find and check meaning is the same

 

#5 Matching Headings

  • Don’t panic
  • Read the instructions
  • Skim the paragraph again to get meaning – especially the beginning and end sentences
  • Try to find possible answers
  • Complete all questions with possible answers before making your final choice

 

#6 Matching from a list

  • Don’t panic
  • Read the instructions
  • Read the questions – look for the key words and find synonyms
  • Scan the text
  • Answer – guess if out of time

 

#7 Matching sentence endings

  • Don’t panic
  • Read the questions – look for the key words and find synonyms
  • Scan for sentence and check meaning is the same
  • Find an appropriate ending

 

#8 Sentence completion

  • Don’t panic
  • Read the instructions
  • Read the questions – look for the key words and find synonyms
  • Scan the text for where it is talking about this
  • Check meaning but don’t change the word from the passage

 

keep calm and show what you know google#9 Table / Summary / Note / Flow Chart Completion

  • Don’t panic
  • Read the instructions
  • Read the questions – look for the key words and find synonyms
  • Scan the text
  • Complete – check meaning and be careful with word form

 

#10 Diagram completion

  • Don’t panic
  • Read and understand the diagram
  • Look for KW and S in text
  • Complete and don’t spend too long

 

#11 Short Answer Questions (SAQ)

  • Don’t panic
  • Read the instructions
  • Read the questions – look for the key words and find synonyms
  • Scan the text
  • Complete – check meaning and the grammar

 

Failsuccess

 

Post a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *