IELTS Reading tips
- In Academic Reading, begin by going quickly through each passage to identify features such as the topic, the style, the likely source, the writer’s purpose and the intended reader.
- As you read, don’t try to understand the precise meaning of every word or phrase. You don’t have time, and those parts of the text might not be tested anyway.
- Reading tasks sometimes have an example answer. If this is the case, study it and decide why it is correct.
- Some tasks require you to use words from the text in the answer; in others you should use your own words. Check the instructions carefully.
- The instructions may also include a word limit, e.g. Use no more than three words. Keep to this by avoiding unnecessary words in your answer.
Make the most of your Reading test:
- look out for the title, headings and any special features such as capital letters, underlining, italics, figures, graphs and tables
- make sure that you understand the questions and follow instructions carefully
- pay attention to timing; do not spend too long on one passage or question
- do not try and read every word; remember, you are reading for a purpose
- if you do not know the answer to a question, attempt it but do not waste time; move quickly onto the next one
- do not panic if you do not know anything about the subject of the text; all the answers can be found in the text
- the word(s) you use must be taken from the Reading text; you must not change the form of the word(s) in the text
- do not worry if there is a word that you do not understand – you may not need to use it
- check your spelling
- be careful to use singular and plural correctly
- focus precisely on what you are asked to do in ‘completion’ type questions
- if the question asks you to complete the note ‘in the…’ and the correct answer is ‘evening’, just use ‘evening’ as your answer; note that ‘in the evening’ would be incorrect
- pay attention to the word limit; for example, if you are asked to complete a sentence using no more than two words, if the correct answer is ‘silk shirt’, the answer ‘shirt made of silk’ would be incorrect
- attempt all questions; there are no penalties for incorrect answers, so you have nothing to lose
- check your answers