Simple recipe to answer IELTS Reading passages & get high score
Many students fear doing the Reading part of the IELTS test, as they do not know how to tackle it and are afraid of failing to answer the questions correctly and in time.
In this article, IELTS Game will describe two ways in which you can answer the IELTS reading passage section for academic and General modules and give you several more tips to follow.
Two approaches to answer IELTS Reading Section
Approach 1 to answer IELTS reading passage
One way to cope with the IELTS reading is first to go through the questions following the passage and then read the passage itself.
You may familiarize yourself with the first set of questions, answer them, and move on to the next set of questions.
Alternatively, you can have a quick look at all the questions before you start reading the text.
By doing so, you’ll be familiar with the types of questions and the information required, which will allow you to easily identify the parts of the text to locate the answers.
In the example questions below, names of people must be matched with the opinions they hold.
Knowing this is required before you read the passage, you’ll be able to mark the parts of the text where you can see the corresponding people’s names and views.
Reading the questions first may prove ineffective if questions are complicated and hard to grasp, especially if they are on the subject you know little of.
In this case, it will also be more challenging to remember what kind of information you need to find in the text.
The following example questions would take a long time to read, particularly because they are multiple-choice questions, and are not easy to understand without a prior introduction to the topic.
You can also tackle the reading section by going over the passage first.
A useful technique while doing so is writing down a few notes next to a paragraph to remind you its content.
You should learn to read very quickly and spend no more than 5 minutes to read one passage.
You can also underline information that you think may be important such as conclusions, results or opinions.
In the example paragraph below, you can see some notes and underlined parts.
By familiarizing yourself with the passage first, you’ll get a complete picture of the issue discussed.
You’ll know the layout of the text, the purpose of individual paragraphs and the location of different details.
As a result, identifying the answers should be an easy job.
If you are not a quick reader and don’t manage to summarise a paragraph in a few words, you will most likely fail to retain the information.
Consequently, when you turn to questions, you’ll need to reread the passage.
Also, the reading process itself will take too long to leave you enough time for attempting all questions.
You should try both methods to see which one fits you better given your level of preparedness and personal preference.
Either one requires a great deal of practice to help you feel at ease with it.
IELTS Reading tips
Our experts in IELTS Game will help you with many IELTS Reading tips to boost your IELTS score and make this part as easy as possible. So, let’s start without further ado.
Here are some tips you should consider while preparing for IELTS Reading section:
IELTS Reading Tips to score 7.5+
- Always read the instructions carefully.
You may need to heed the word limit or be allowed to choose one letter more than once.
Ignoring the instructions may easily result in many wrong answers.
- You don’t need to understand everything to arrive at the correct answer.
Questions will not check your knowledge of subject-specific terms or complicated notions.
Rather, you’ll be tested on your ability to figure out the general meaning based on the vocabulary and concepts familiar to you.
- You need to read the whole passage to make sure you haven’t missed anything.
Sometimes it may seem unimportant to read the last paragraph made up of one or two sentences.
And you really may not need to if no answers are located in there.
However, if you are asked a question referring to the whole passage or need to match the paragraphs with their headings, or it can be any other type of question, it is a must to go over the whole text.
- Attempt all questions and don’t spend too long on difficult ones.
You won’t be penalized for the wrong answers, so even by guessing at the answers, you increase your chances for a higher score.
Also, since each correct answer is worth one point, it makes no difference whether you answer simpler or more difficult questions.
Thus, don’t waste your time on too complicated questions.
- Pay attention to special features of the text and linking devices.
Parts of the text which are italicized, capitalized or underlined are done so to grab your attention.
They may contain information necessary to answer certain questions.
Linking words and phrases such as however, as a result, in contrast, etc. signal the kind of information that follows, which will help you understand the relationship between different ideas.
- All the answers to the passage should be located in the passage only.
You may sometimes fall into the trap of basing your answers on your background knowledge.
Doing so is especially risky in TRUE/FALSE/NOT GIVEN or YES/NO/NOT GIVEN types of questions, when you feel as if an idea is correct or true based on the general or your prior knowledge, but is in fact not given in the text.
Always refer back to the text to arrive at the correct answer, even if you think you remember the text well. Double-checking never hurts.