Here are 10 tips about how to do the IELTS reading.
- Do not read the whole passage before looking at the questions. You don't have time to read the whole passage unless your English is almost 'native speaker' level.
- Go to the questions first and finding the key words.
- Look for those words, or words with the same meaning, in the passage.
- Do the questions one by one. Instead of skimming or scanning, read the passage carefully. The answers to most question sections will be in order in the passage, so you will gradually read the whole passage as you find the answers.
- Forget about the 'skimming' and 'scanning' techniques. In fact, many students get the wrong answers because they 'skim' too quickly and miss the words that they are looking for.
- When you have found some key words from the question, read that part of the text carefully in order to understand it and get the right answer.
- The people who create the IELTS reading tests do so by paraphrasing parts of the passage for each question. In other words, they choose a word or phrase in the passage that they want to test you on, and they write a question using words which have a similar meaning.
- Do easy questions first. If you get stuck on difficult questions, miss them. Do the easy questions, and then return to the tricky questions later.
- Many students get the wrong answer because they think too much! They worry about small differences in meaning. Don't think too hard about small differences in meanings.
- The General Training reading test is a bit different to the Academic test. However, the techniques you need to use to find the answers are the same.
The easiest type of question is probably any question that contains a name, number or date. For these questions, it should be easy to scan the text to find where the answer is.
If you find it difficult to get started in the exam, look for a question with a name, number or date, and start there. An easy question will help you to start confidently.