Is your IELTS test date fast approaching? These tips may be all you need to score a high band in the Reading component. Read on to find out how.
IELTS reading is a 60-minute test that assesses how well candidates understand texts that are written in the English Language.
But even when sixty minutes may seem like a lot of time, the top complaint candidates make is running out of time when trying to read and answer questions on passages given. Among a few others, the traditional way of reading texts contributes to this challenge. And except you are a very fast reader, you will most likely run out of time when you read the passage completely before proceeding to answer the questions.
How then can you answer the Reading questions in time and score a high band in the end? Use these techniques.
Skimming and Scanning
Skimming is when you read parts of a passage so that you can have an idea of its central message. And Scanning is the process where you try to look for important words or phrases within the passage.
You may have to practice these two techniques many times before your IELTS test date as it may take some time to master them. Here are the processes you can follow.
- Skim the entire passage in four minutes: Read the first sentence in each of the paragraphs in the passage.
- Skim other sentences in the paragraphs and underline important words and expression as you skim. These important words can be concepts, names of people, terms, steps involved in an activity, and dates.
- Give each paragraph a name that suggests the main idea it discusses. This will help you identify the paragraphs easily when you begin to answers the questions. Moreover, being able to name the paragraphs is an indication that your skimming process was effective.
After skimming, you can now proceed to answer the questions using the scanning technique. Scanning may sometimes take your time, especially when the text has up to or more than 800 words.
Here are some scanning tips that will save time.
- You do not have to answer questions in the order they were written. For instance, when scanning through the questions on a passage, question three may be the first you can match with a sentence in the passage. Ensure you put down its answer first.
- In IELTS reading, some answers are usually harder to find in the passages than others. Capitalized names, numbers, addresses, and dates are usually easy to spot when you are scanning. Answer questions that require such responses before moving to those whose answers are harder to find.
- Take note of the sequences and steps involved in some processes. Ideas in an IELTS Reading passage may be written in chronological order, so having a clue of the order will help you fetch your answers early enough.
- When scanning for the easy-to-find answers in a passage, there is a high chance that you will come across answers to the more technical questions in the process. Killing two birds with a stone is not a bad idea, is it?
Making good use of English Vocabulary
IELTS values good use of English words. Although you should always make responses in the Reading Test clear and concise, it is important to express your thoughts with the right words. One very good way to increase your vocabulary in English Language is to learn an average of 12 words in a day, as you prepare for your test.
Understanding Question Types
Being familiar with the type of questions you are likely to answer in the IELTS Reading test is priceless. This way, you already have an idea of the fields of study the passages may cover, the pattern of questions, what the IELTS examiner expects, and some other techniques adopted in setting the questions.
Reading test questions may come as Multiple Choice, True/False/Not Given, Yes/No, Sentence Completion, Short Answer/Summary, Diagram, Table, or a Matching format.
Reading articles to boost Reading Skills
Brushing up your reading skills can also go a long way in influencing your IELTS Reading score band. Sometimes, having a good grasp of the already mentioned techniques may prove little in getting you the score you want.
Take out 15 to 30 minutes to read articles that match IELTS standards, every day. Although this approach may not necessarily be ideal if your IELTS test is in a few weeks, you can do this in three to six months before your test.
So, there you go! Using one, two, or all of these techniques for the Reading Component of the IELTS test will certainly help in boosting your performance.