1. Manage your time.
You will be given 60 minutes to finish the test including transferring of answers to the answer sheet. Since there are three passages, I recommend that you spend no more than 20 minutes in each section of the test.
2. Read the questions first.
To save time, read the questions first before reading the passages. This will help you find the answers faster because you already know what you are looking for.
3. Know the difference between skimming and scanning.
Skimming is used to identify the key themes or the general idea. On the other hand, scanning is used to look for specific information. The common mistake in IELTS reading is that people tend to read intensively right away. It takes so much time.
4. Don’t use your stock knowledge.
Trust the passages. All the passages always contain the information that you need to answer the question. Don’t introduce words that are not written on the passage.
5. Be accurate.
If you are copying words from the reading passage, remember that your spelling must be accurate. Copy exactly how it is spelled in the text. Check if it is one word only, with hyphen, or written in all caps.
In addition, you must also be accurate with the number of words or number required. Read the instructions carefully.
6. Analyze the question types.
Decide which set of questions is easier to answer. Usually, question types that have answers in passage order are easier to answer especially if there are names or numbers.
7. Use your pencil as you read.
Circle or underline the key words as you read. If it contains names, places, or numbers, underline them. This will make it easier for you to find these details later if they come up in the questions.
8. Move on.
If there are questions you cannot answer, leave them and move on to the next one. If you can’t move on, just make a wise guess. You may go back to those questions at the end, if you still have time.
9. Pay attention to the grammar.
You can predict the kind of words that are missing by looking at the words before the blanks. To check if it’s correct, read the completed sentence to make sure that it is grammatically correct and make sense.
10. Be careful.
Be careful when transferring your answers to the answer sheet. Even if all your answers are correct, if you make a mistake in transferring, it might have a domino effect on your other answers. Don’t leave blank answers on the answer sheet.
I wrote these tips for IELTS Reading based on my experience in teaching. I hope these are helpful for you! If you have questions, feel free to leave a comment.
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