Question Types: There are around 16 different types of questions and you need to find a game-plan to tackle each one. They are divided into Global, Local, and Cluster types. This type of information will help you not only save time but also locate the right answers. Attend Master Class every Tuesday to understand them in detail.
Skimming, Scanning, and Careful Reading: Learn to skim and scan passages to do well in IELTS. Skimming is reading a passage to get a general idea of the content. This is recommended to do before you tackle the questions. All types of questions, except one, are given after the passage because it is recommended to skim read the passage before the questions. This does not mean you try to understand the passage. It’s just a chance to get a sense of the topic and layout. You should skim-read the full passage in 2 to 3 minutes – not longer. At the same time, you should underline any keywords you see. The only types of questions that come before the passage are matching headings, for those, you don’t need to read the passage first. Scanning is your ability to locate information quickly and has no relation to the comprehension of the passage.
Develop your reading speed. This test has a strict time limit which will really challenge your ability to complete the questions in time. Developing speed reading skills helps you to find your answers quickly. This means you must be able to scan the passage quickly to locate information.
Don’t try to understand the full passage. Getting the desired band score should be the aim. The task is to locate answers only. Most questions test your ability to locate specific information given to you and then to comprehend the sentence or sentences which contain that information. There are only two types of questions that will require a more detailed understanding of the whole passage – matching headings and choosing a title. You are reading with a purpose, not for education or entertainment.
Developing vocabulary. Most students do not get the required band score. They lack the vocabulary to read a passage. It is of utmost importance that you read some vocabulary words every day and try to use them. Learn vocabulary is not just about learning the meaning of a word, it is about learning when you can and can’t use a word. It is also about what collocations can be used with words, for example, verbs and matches nouns. You should write word lists that include common paraphrases and also any problems you had finding the answer. You can do this by learning vocabulary from practice reading passages.
Keywords. Questions have keywords. These are words or phrases on which the question is based on. You need to use these keywords to help you locate the information in the passage and to spot the right answer. You should learn to spot keywords and use them correctly. Paraphrasing is another technique to understand keywords. You will soon learn to use keywords correctly when you review your answers in practice reading lessons. Some keywords are obvious, for instance, names, dates, numbers, places, etc. Other keywords are more subtle.
Grammar. Grammar is indirectly checked in Reading. This means that grammar can help you to spot the right answer. The majority of the students reach the right place, but cannot pinpoint the answer. The reason for that is they do not worry about grammatical accuracy.
Practice makes perfect. Unless you practice regularly, you won’t improve. This blog contains a lot of reading passages. The lessons are useful for students taking both the General Training test and academic test because they are aimed at building skills, understanding of question types, and also vocabulary.
Getting used to difficult passages. My blog has many tough and easy reading passages. You must never skip the tough ones. Train your brain to handle tough passages.
General Training Test. The first two passages in the General Training test are different from the academic test but the third passage is similar. To practice the first two types of reading passages, you can practice reading materials such as instruction manuals, schedules, and employment terms. Though the tips are the same, the first two parts of the reading are strikingly different.
Know your weaknesses. You need to introspect and find weak areas on a daily basis. We have ample practice here. Check for question types that you find hard to solve. Work on those areas and make sure that they are regularly monitored. Our trainers are trained to teach every type of question.
You must prepare. The practice is the key to success. You cannot delay practice and wait for the exam. It is impossible to write the exam without ample practice. Your practice should be regular, time-bound, and dedicated. All the best!