IELTS Reading Test Format
Now that we have understood the general differences between the two types of IELTS and their respective Reading sections, it is better to have a better understanding of the test format of the Reading section to understand IELTS Reading tips better.
IELTS Academic Reading Test Format
The IELTS Academic Reading Test is designed for students who want to study at a foreign university in an English-speaking nation. It is the more difficult exam of the two types of the IELTS since it assesses the candidate's analytical, critical thinking, and reading skills at the university level. This is to see whether you will be able to keep up with the coursework and effectively share your ideas.
There are three lengthy, detailed paragraphs to read, drawn from a variety of sources ranging from academic writings and journals to newspapers and magazines. As previously said, these passages are university-level and require a higher degree of thought than the IELTS General Training Test.
IELTS General Training Reading Test Format
This version of the IELTS is designed for aspirants who want to continue their secondary education abroad, gain work experience, or engage in specialised training programs. It may also be required for someone wishing to immigrate and settle in another country.
The IELTS General Training exam, unlike the IELTS Academic exam, does not test your higher-order thinking skills or critical reasoning at the university level. Instead, it tries to test your level of communication and fundamental comprehension, which will aid in your survival and communication in a new context where English is the language of communication.
Naturally, the sources used for the passages and assignments in the General Test are those that you would encounter regularly, such as ads, company handbooks, newspapers, books, and magazines. You will find three sections in the IELTS General Training exam:
IELTS General Reading Test Sections
You will be provided two or more brief yet dense texts containing a plethora of data. These are texts that you will come across daily.
You will be provided two texts with university or organisation information.
The last component consists of one long piece that aims to assess basic reading comprehension.
IELTS Reading Tips and Tricks
Listed below are some of the most important IELTS Reading tips and tricks that will help you skyrocket your IELTS Reading band score in future.
Read Something Every Day
The most important IELTS Reading tip is to read something every day. You must read from a variety of sources. Online articles, newspapers, novels, and journals are excellent places to begin. Try not to read intentionally and instead simply follow the flow of the words. Read with curiosity and for pleasure.
This will improve your reading stamina, vocabulary, and reading speed. If there was ever a magic bullet for passing the IELTS, it is this tip. It could be for 30 minutes or 60 minutes, but make sure you read.
Read the Instructions Very Carefully
Moving on with our IELTS Reading tips, the next one is something that most of us overlook. Many easy scores are missed by good IELTS applicants because they do not adequately understand the instructions.
This is especially true for the reading and listening assessments, which provide detailed instructions. If you do not follow these directions precisely, you may answer the question incorrectly.
Always Read the Questions First
When it comes to achieving a good score in the IELTS Reading section, the next IELTS Reading tip is a game-changer. You have 60 minutes to respond to 40 questions based on three texts. Since you only have 60 minutes to read the passage, read the questions and answer them, you need to put in some smart work here. You simply cannot spend a good chunk of your time reading the passages at your leisure. Hence, it is always advisable to read the questions first.
This IELTS Reading tip will help you save time by telling you what to search for when you get to the passage. However, one must understand that there is no space for error. Even a minor misunderstanding of what the inquiry seeks can set you back a long way. As a result, you should constantly learn to properly study and comprehend the questions.
Follow the 3S Rule; Scan, Skim and Summarise
Some applicants may find the IELTS Reading section intimidating, but hold your horses. Here is one of the best IELTS Reading tips that can help you tremendously. Always read in threes, that is, scan, skim, and summarise.
Skim through the passage and look for primary concepts, comprehend the layout of the text, highlight keywords and salient elements, and try to understand what the passage is about. This is critical for scoring well in the IELTS Reading section.
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Enter the Keywords into your Head
The IELTS requires a significant amount of research. You will be asked to look for specific information and fill in/choose the acceptable answers to questions. While skimming, highlight keywords and important facts such as dates, places, themes, numbers, and so on. With experience, you will be able to identify them.
Expect to not Grasp Every Word
Many IELTS aspirants believe they must know every word in a dictionary. The reasoning behind this is sound; having a broad vocabulary is essential for a high IELTS score, but stressing about all the terms you don't understand in the IELTS Reading exam is one of the worst things you can do.
There are two options if you don't understand a term/word. You can either look at the words and sentences around it for clues to their meaning or go on and forget about it. As a result, this is one of the most important IELTS Reading tips to remember that will help you to save time.
Pro Tip: Concentrate on the words that are relevant to the inquiry and ignore the words you don't understand.
Practice your Reading Skills More, Not your IELTS Skills
Another one of the most important IELTS Reading tips is to practise your reading skills rather than your IELTS skills. Students who only prepare for the IELTS exam are missing out on an excellent opportunity to improve their general reading skills. IELTS reading texts might be tedious, but if you read about something you are interested in, you are more likely to read on a regular basis.
Reading for pleasure a little each day will increase not only your English skills but also your vocabulary. On the internet, there are thousands of blogs, newspapers, magazines, and newspapers to select from. Remember that practice is the key to success.
Do Not Panic
Another great IELTS Reading tip to keep in mind while studying for your IELTS exam. Because you have to answer 40 questions in around 60 minutes, time can be a concern for some of us. It is natural to feel panicked after witnessing time slip.
However, this is the predicament you must avoid. It is given that some of the questions will be simple, while others will be quite challenging. The secret is to remain calm when answering a challenging question.
It is not advisable to devote a significant amount of effort to one question while failing to devote sufficient time to the remaining ones. If the answer does not appear, proceed to the next question.
You can always return to the harder questions later, and answering the other questions will frequently benefit you. To perform well in the IELTS Reading section, time and anxiety must be managed. If you can't control your nerves, no amount of IELTS Reading tips can assist you.
Last but not least on our list of essential IELTS Reading tips, candidates must learn to manage their time effectively from the outset. Initially, take as much time as you need to understand the subjects, search for information, and study all the terms you come across when practising. However, as you continue, you will need to pay attention to the time factor as well.
Here are some quick IELTS Reading tips that will help you to manage your time well during the IELTS Reading test:
Practice different types of questions and learn to skim, scan, and pick facts
Read the questions carefully
Never spend more than one minute on each question
Use the remaining time (about 15 minutes) to read the content
Spend the final 5 minutes going through and rechecking your answers
Don't waste time on a difficult question. Get the easy ones out of the way first, then return to the difficult ones afterwards
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