Preparation Tips for IELTS Academic Reading (part 1)

To prepare for IELTS Reading module, read articles in English newspapers, magazines, travel brochures, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia etc. You should read English story books too. Try to read a variety of topics-- History, science, culture, social and natural sciences.

Tips 1: Make the habit of reading faster by reading words in groups/chunks rather than word by word. Try to read minimum 2 hours per day.Read whatever interest you but obviously written in English. The three reading passages are on topics of general interest and usually, these passages are taken from books, newspapers, journals or magazines. So try to read recent news, newspapers, magazines, travel brochures etc. whenever possible.

Tips 2: Remember that you are reading for a purpose, not for pleasure. While practising, make a habit of looking at the title and headings when you survey the text, as well as ant special print like CAPITAL, Bold, italic , "quotation", underlined words. Try to understand exactly what the question wants and always followed the instructions carefully provided with the reading passages.

Tips 3:  Practice scanning by applying the scanning techniques whenever you read a passage.

Tips 4: There is usually a logical place to begin looking for the answer to a reading question. This requires an understanding of the main idea or topic of each paragraph. You can save yourself a great amount of time if you work out the main idea or topic of each paragraph in the early stages of your assessment of the passage.

Tips 5: There are generally 10 types of questions available in the reading section.The types are:

1. Multiple Choice.
2. Short-answer questions.
3. Sentence completion.
4. Notes/ table/ summary / flowchart/ diagram completion.
5. Yes, No, Not Given or True, False, Not Given.
6. Classification.
7. Matching lists/phrases.
8. Choosing headings for paragraphs/ sections of a text.
9. Scanning and identifying the location of information.
10. Labelling a diagram.

 

1. Multiple choice questions can test both your  global understanding of the text or ask you for specific information. This means you will have to make the decision yourself whether to skim or scan the text.

To prepare for the Multiple choice questions:

Read the instructions carefully and check how many letters you need to circle.

Skim all the questions and the answer choices quickly. As you do this:

      » Underline the keywords (the words that give you the most information).
      » Try to get an idea of the topic you will be reading about from the vocabulary of the questions.
      » Look at any illustrations or diagrams that go with the text.

Go back to the first question. Decide if you are looking for specific information or whether the question requires you to understand the whole text . Then either scan or skim the text, as appropriate, to find the answer.
Read the relevant part of the text very carefully.
Don’t leave any questions unanswered.

2. Short Answer questions will usually tell you to write your answers in NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS. So you can answer with one word, two words or three words but no more. However, this is not always the case. So you should always check what the questions ask you to do.

To prepare for the Short Answer questions:

You have to apply both skimming and scanning techniques to be able to answer the questions in time.

Skim all the questions quickly. As you do this:

    » underline the key words.
    » decide what information you need to find in the text.
    » look out for question words like ‘where’ and ‘who’ which indicate
    » you should find out for specific things like places and people.

Go back to the first question and decide what part of the text you need to read.
Read the part carefully to find the answer.
You may use your own words. You don’t have to write a complete sentence but it does have to be grammatically correct.
If you don’t know the meaning of any of the words in the questions,find it using a dictionary, write it down in your notebook and try to reuse it over and over again.
The answer could be one word, two words or three words but not four or more. If you think you need more than three words your answer is probably incorrect.

3. Sentence completion requires you to complete the end of a sentence. The questions generally appear in the same order as the information in the text. Type 2 questions are similar to the short answer questions in that they will always tell you to write your answers in NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS. So you can answer with one word, two words or three words but not more. They will also tell you to use words from the reading passage.

To prepare for the sentence completion questions:

Skim all the questions quickly. As you do this:

    » underline the key words.
    » try to work out what information you need.
    » think about the grammatical form as well as the vocabulary that should follow immediately from the stem.
 

Go back to the first sentence and decide what information you need to complete it.
Find the place where the information should be in the text and read it carefully.
Look out for synonyms and parallel expressions because the questions are not likely to use the same words as those in the text.
Make sure your sentences make sense both logically and grammatically.
for type two, the answer could be one word, two words or three words but not four or more.
if you think you need more than three words your answer is probably incorrect.

4. Notes/table/summary flowchart/diagram completions ask for specific information. There are two types of these completion questions in the IELTS reading
exam.

Type 1. With a selection of possible answers.
Type 2. Without a choice of possible answers.
These questions require you to:


-- insert a word or phrase in the middle of a sentence
-- insert a word in the middle and another word at the end of a sentence

For Type 1 questions the words or phrases provided will be different from the words in the text. There will be more words than gaps.

Type 2 questions are similar to the short answer questions in that they will tell you to write your answers in NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS. So you can answer with one word, two words or three words but no more.

To prepare for the sentence completion questions:

Look at the table or form etc carefully:

    » examine any headings or subheadings.
    » try to get an idea of the topic.
    » decide what section of the passage the exercise covers.
    » anticipate grammatical form as well as vocabulary.

If a box of answers is given, see if you can guess any of the matches & eliminate unlikely answers.
If the question is in the form of a table, work out which way it is best to read it – horizontally or vertically.
If the question is in the form of a summary, read through it first and see if you can guess any of the missing words.
Take each gap one by one and search the text for the best word(s) to fill the gap.
If there is a box of answers, there will be at least two you don’t need.
If there is no box, the answer could be one word, two words or three words but not four or more.
If you think you need more than three words your answer is probably incorrect.
There may be alternative rubrics for these completion questions e.g. ‘complete the notice’ or ‘complete the explanation’ or ‘complete the news report’.

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+1 # Neetu Singh 2017-09-03 16:34
Please give me some reading tips. I'm very poor in this module. I got only 4.5 in reading. Please help me.
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0 # Sneha 2017-08-22 15:39
Hi, please give me some IELTS reading tips.
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0 # Vijay 2017-10-01 17:58
There is only one solution for your problem that is to get previous IELTS topics on reading and start working on that. At least do 2 tests every day and definitely, you will find out the good results at the end.
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0 # Ravi Raj 2017-09-18 13:54
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-1 # Harkirat 2017-07-20 16:15
Hello, I am very much confused in Reading Module while all other modules are okay. Only the reading module seems quite tough to me.
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0 # Dishant 2017-07-28 05:43
Read newspapers every day and keep track the time it requires.
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-1 # Savreet Kaur 2017-06-19 00:25
I have problems in sentence formation because I am very weak in grammar.
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0 # Puneet Cheema 2017-10-06 11:31
Quoting Savreet Kaur:
I have problems in sentence formation because I am very weak in grammar.

I was weak even in school time due to which I face many problems in reading section.
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0 # Harminder Singh 2017-06-23 05:51
If your target is above 6 in each module, then you should go for grammar in-depth. Work with grammar and practice more and more- as much as you can.
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Read, read and read. Try to understand the way/ pattern in which answers have been hidden in sentences.
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-9 # Rabi Sapkota 2017-02-11 15:49
Hi, everyone. I am going to take the IELTS exam but I have real problems with the reading module. Can anyone give me some ideas?
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+1 # Kamaljeet Kaur 2017-02-03 09:44
I am taking IELTS coaching for the exam preparation but sometimes I can't understand the demand of my question in writing as well as reading sections. Also, I can't imagine more ideas about my question. So I'm very confused.
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+1 # Kuldeep 2017-05-20 05:45
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Quoting Kuldeep:
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-1 # IELTS Mentor 2017-01-18 23:31
Thank you, Dr Grace, for such an inspiring comment. We wish you all the best.
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Hello, IELTS Mentor. I need your help in reading section. Awaiting for Response!
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0 # Rubel 2016-12-08 16:49
I have gone through the materials furnished here but faced problems during the practice period. How would I overcome this? Would you please send me some reading materials and some relevant references? You suggested to read the newspaper, but which one? Give me some references about newspapers, journals, periodicals, stories which are generally followed in real test exam.
Thanks.
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0 # Atefeh 2016-10-21 06:36
Hey, dear Mentor
Your website is really fruitful... Excellent.
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I collected it in a form of book. That's great.
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+4 # Rachhpreet Kaur 2016-08-28 05:34
Please send me some reading tips.
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-3 # Dinesh 2016-11-20 12:55
Hey Priyanka, can we talk on WhatsApp regarding IELTS speaking practice, if you don't mind.
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-1 # IELTS Mentor 2016-08-29 06:53
For recent Cue Card Topics please browse http://www.ielts-mentor.com/speaking-preparation/2409-recent-ielts-cue-card-topics
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+1 # Ranvir 2016-08-27 17:05
Sir/mam, kindly send me recent cue cards.
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+8 # Parminder Sindhu 2016-07-25 10:54
What should we do at the beginning of the reading test? What should I do to answer the questions to save my time?
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-4 # Salote Veisamasama 2016-07-18 20:56
This has been of great help. I have learnt so much. Thank you so much.
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+1 # IELTS Mentor 2016-07-18 23:28
We appreciate your comment. Thank you for dropping by.
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Thank you so much. I've learned a lot from the tips you mentioned. I will never forget you in my prayers. Good luck.
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-4 # IELTS Mentor 2016-07-18 23:29
Hi, Jalal, we wish you all the best. Thank you for your nice comment.
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+5 # Jaskaran 2016-08-10 14:04
Send me recent coming cue cards, please.
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+5 # Ferhan Jamal 2016-03-18 10:27
Hello, everyone. I am planning to take my IELTS General Training exam soon and I am struggling a lot to solve passage 3 of the reading section. Can anyone here give me some tips to solve the passage 3 of the reading section? Any help will be highly appreciated. Looking forward to your reply. Thanks a lot for all your help friends.
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+1 # Jass 2016-02-20 10:12
Helpful but not sufficient.
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0 # IELTS Mentor 2016-07-18 23:29
We will enrich this section to make it more resourceful.
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+1 # Hasamud Din 2016-01-20 06:08
Very smart stuff. This is one of the best IELTS related websites.
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+6 # Somebody 2015-12-02 12:21
Are these meaningful? seriously?? "Decide what information you need" or "Decide where to look for the answer" is REALLY helpful. Thanks a lot, we didn't know that!
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-2 # Gaurav Patel 2015-12-01 11:37
Essay reading tips. Those are helpful.
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+4 # Vidhi 2015-09-24 08:53
What about spending time on 3 passages in 60 minutes?
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+4 # Gunatit Patel 2016-09-28 17:08
In required 20 minutes for each passage should be easiily done...
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+9 # Kaushal 2015-10-31 17:14
For the 1st passage, you should spend 15-17 minutes. For the 2nd passage, you should spend 17-20minutes & for the 3rd passage, you should spend 20-25 minutes because the 1st passage is easy compared to the second and third one. The last passage would be a little bit harder than the 1st & 2nd one. So try to follow the above time management. Thanks to the readers!!!!
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+3 # Devang 2015-08-23 11:43
Thanks.
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+1 # Waleed Raza 2015-07-26 05:08
This website gives a lot of information and sample answers to the IELTS candidates. It is really helpful for IELTS preparation.
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+2 # Zulfiqar Majeed 2015-07-15 02:12
Thank you. The information and knowledge provided are very good. I got a lot of help from this website and would love to recommend anyone who is taking the IELTS test.
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-2 # Priyanka 2015-07-08 16:52
Nice, thank you.
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+1 # Jagjeet Singh 2016-02-16 10:51
I also agree with you.
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-1 # Sumon Chowdhury 2015-06-08 12:01
These tips are really helpful for students.
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0 # Lucky Rani 2015-05-23 07:13
I like it very much.
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+4 # Laiba Naheed 2015-05-16 21:09
Really helpful reading tips. Thankssss...
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-1 # Anthony 2015-05-09 05:30
Thank you. The tips are really meaningful.
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-1 # Nudrat 2015-04-05 13:22
Great. It was very helpful.
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-2 # Mehwish 2015-04-01 09:47
How can I improve my speaking skill?
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-1 # Khurram 2017-03-27 20:50
Quoting Mehwish:
How can I improve my speaking skill?

I want to speak in English with every person.
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-5 # Kartik Pandya 2015-03-23 16:05
Reading paragraph of general training IELTS module.
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+3 # Amir 2015-01-31 06:37
Great! Very practical tips. Thanks a lot.
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+6 # Freezeee 2015-01-05 14:20
Thank you!
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-5 # Denny Ghimire 2014-08-08 06:08
I want to learn more about IELTS.
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