The other day I watched a video about this topic: How to get 9.0 IELTS Reading
Then I remember I got it too, 5 years ago. I was really lucky I must say. However, there are definitely some approaches that I always use when it comes to IELTS reading. I hope sharing them will be helpful for someone stumbling on this post 🙂
1. Read the questions first
I know there is controversy about this method. But it worked for me. Scan through the questions section first before reading the main passage. This will help you get the general ideas about what you will be looking for when you read the article.
Try to underline all the important keywords in the question. And remember, if it is multiple choice questions, at first read only the questions, not the answers listed in those questions because they will get you confused.
Don’t try to read the texts first because you will end up reading them many times anyways. If you follow this order: questions, the article, then questions again, it will just be exhausting and time-consuming. Remember, read the tasks first to know what you are expected to find out, and proceed from there!
2. Synonyms are the key
In the IELTS reading test, there are a lot of synonyms and paraphrases. Sometimes the answer to a question may seem to lay very clearly in the article, however, some words look different. That’s when synonyms kick in. The answers having words that bear the closest meanings to the original words in the article will be the correct answers.
To improve your ability to recognize synonyms, the best way is to expand your vocabulary and your ability to guess the meaning of words in certain contexts. You can do this by:
- practice a lot of IELTS tests
- read newspapers and articles in English
- watch movies with English subtitles
If you immerse yourself in the language with the above techniques, you will gradually develop a “sense” to guess words that look totally alien to you. This will be of great help when you do the real test.
3. Be careful with the answer sheet
I have, many times, stupidly filled in the wrong answers in the answer sheet, even though I got it right on the test paper when doing mock tests.
Use your time right and be as careful as you can when you fill your answer in the answer sheet. My advice would be to fill the right answer in the sheet right away after you are sure it is your final answer. Time is short in the IETLS test. Mistakes because of panic filling at the end when you don’t have enough time are just sad.
Bonus tip: Do not leave a blank answer! Ever! Better try than not try at all.
So that’s all I have to share about how I did my IELTS reading test. Reading and Listening in IELTS test are skills that you can practice and get better at in a fairly short amount of time, so try your best to get good scores on these skills to improve your overall band score 🙂