How to pass IELTS Reading – Tips, Strategies, Advice

1. Question First

At first we read the task / question, and after that the text itself.You do not have enough time to read the text like a book. The question usually tells us which part of the text we need to pay attention to. Usually you don’t have to read all the paragraphs to answer the questions.

2. Time

You have approximately 1.3 minutes for each question.

You should not spend too much time on 1 question: there are 40 of them. If you cannot figure out one, just move on the the next.

3. Synonyms (Paraphrase)

Like in Listening Task, everything here is rephrased too, there are a lot of synonyms and related words. Questions are paraphrased text ideas. In order to give a correct answer to a question, it is important to understand its meaning; you should not look for the exact same words used in the question. Always keep that in mind! 

For example: You might look for “perhaps it is unclear” (words used in the question) in the text, but you will find: “presents some dilemmas” (actual phrase in the text).

QuestionScholarsIn the long termMay be under threatFind new places to liveTextAcademicsOne dayMeasures need to be taken to protectColonize islands

4. Words

You do NOT have to know every single word you see in the text!

When you read a scientific article about satellites or black holes you probably do not understand all the words. You can easily figure out the main idea and necessary details without knowing every word you come across.

!! It’s OK if you don’t know half of the words in the text !!

It is possible to complete tasks without knowing the meaning of many words.

IELTS exam is testing your ability to understand the text, and not your ability to memorize every single word and term.

5. Answer Sheet

Write the answers in the Answer Sheet RIGHT AWAY! There is no time to rewrite them later. Every second counts here.

DO NOT change the words! You find the correct answer and write it exactly as you see it in the text. Please pay attention to this. It would be a shame if you write “iland” instead of “island” in the answer sheet.

6. Number of words

Pay attention to the number of words you should write – it is specified in the task. One task asks you to write 1 word, other asks you to write 2, etc. Mixing this up will be considered as incorrect answer.

7. Time

Do not spend much time to answer just one question – you have very little time to go through this large text.

Do not panic if you answere 3 questions out of 7 – just move on to the next ones.

If you don’t know the answer pick one randomly. Do not leave blank spaces.

The first text and tasks are easier than the following ones. You should try to answer part 1 much faster than other parts where it’s getting harder.

One of the time management strategies

Text 1 – 17 minutes
Text 2 – 20 minutes
Text 3 – 23 minutes

8. Key Words

When you read the task/question look for the main words (Key Words), they will help you find the necessary information in the text.

9. Questions and Answers Order

As a rule, the questions are in the same order as they appear in the text.

BUT! This doesn’t necessarily apply to all tasks, the questions may be mixed up in some of them (for example: matching info and names). Keep this in mind.

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