The Reading Examination is said to be one of the more difficult sub-test of the IELTS. The reading materials in the General Training module are different from the Academic module, but the format and the question types are essentially the same. The Reading Exam has three section, and each contains a reading material. For GT, the first two sections have two (2) reading materials which can be a poster, a short how-to article, an announcement, or a directory. The entire examination has 40 questions, with question types varying from multiple choice to comprehension questions.
The main problem of most test takers when it comes to IELTS Reading is being able to complete the examination within the set time. You only have 60 minutes to read all the passages and to answer 40 questions. There are many other reasons while test-takers fail to get their required band score In the Reading Test.
Here are some tips that may help you survive IELTS Reading.
- Know that ALL of the answers are within the text. Many test takers make the mistake of trying to come up with their own answers when in fact everything they need is in the passages or the reading materials. All you need to do, really, is to look for them.
- The Reading Exam does not have extra time for transferring of answers. In the Listening Test, you are given 10 minutes to transfer your answer to the answer sheet. In Reading, there is no provision for this. You have 60 minutes or an hour. You must make time to copy the answers from the test booklet to the answer sheet or opt to write directly on the answer sheet.
- Perfect the first two sections. The Reading Test is arranged in order of difficulty, thus Section 1 is the easiest and Section 3 is the most difficult. This means that if you perfect the first two section, then you would have more room for mistakes in the 3rd section, which is really the part of the test where most mistakes are committed.
- Learn the techniques for speed reading and attacking questions. Since time is of the essence, it is important for you to be able to read fast. Also, certain question types are easier to answer if you know the particular technique for it. Make sure that you familiarize yourself with these techniques and to practice these consistently.
- Know what you did right and what you did wrong. The only way for you to determine if you answered right or wrong is to rationalize your answer. Since everything you need is in the passages, rationalization can be done by being able to point out which part of the text supports your answer.
- Comprehension is the name of the game. The most difficult questions in the IELTS Reading Test are comprehension questions. This means that you would need to understand what the writer means. Improve your comprehension skills by reading more and increasing your vocabulary.
The IELTS Reading Exam may seem like a formidable test, but with the right technique and adequate skill, you will be able to ace it. If you are looking for more tips for the IELTS exam, you can read the following related articles: