For some, there’s nothing better than reading. Be it a newspaper online or a paperback copy of a thriller, reading can provide endless pleasure. For others, reading is a hard task and absorbing information from the written word is a more difficult process and not fun at all.
If you are not someone who reads for pleasure, or are someone just having certain reading problems in English, the IELTS reading test seem a difficult challenge. You might think that it’s just too much reading to manage and has too many complex questions for you to answer.
But don’t worry, there are a number of strategies and tips that can help you to succeed on the IELTS reading exam. No matter what your existing reading skills are, The Language Gallery’s IELTS reading tips are here to help you.
Know your test
Do you need the General or Academic IELTS test? The reading skills you need are the same – prediction, finding specific information, skimming a text etc, the styles of question are the same – multiple choice, sentence completion, true false, not given etc., but the actual text is different. For university students, the Academic IELTS test has long, university style texts from journals, books, newspapers etc. For General IELTS candidates, the texts can be short or long and are more general, from work or real life situations like flyers, timetables, newspapers or instructions.
Read read read
Even if you don’t like reading, you can never do enough of it outside of the actual test. Both the general and academic IELTS reading tests need you to read everything you can. Magazines, newspaper columns, academic journals, storybooks, even comics or joke books — every little bit helps. You can begin to notice grammar and structures, and how they are applied. You will increase your vocabulary and ability to understand topics of a wider nature.
Learn strategic reading
There’s a little-known secret about IELTS reading: you don’t have enough time to read it! Well, maybe you can. But at only an hour long, you need to use your time well. One of the IELTS reading tips teachers suggest is to learn strategic reading to help speed yourself up. This involves skimming, scanning to be able to read through a text quickly and identify key points effectively. This can take some practice, it is natural to try and read every word, but it’s a good reading skill to develop before you take the test.
Get time management skills
Time management skills are invaluable. You have limited time so need to know what time you need to take to make your best answers. While it’s not good to take too much time, it’s equally important not to go too quickly. Time management can anchor you into the right reading-and-answer speed you need to have.
Get into preparation class
IELTS reading test preparation classes can only help an IELTS test-taker. A good teacher can teach, advise and coach a student to achieve their goals. They will be able to show you how to succeed based on your own abilities, while helping you to improve in specific areas. They will also give you sample tests so you know what to expect on the day you actually sit the test.
If you’re struggling with your own IELTS reading skills or are looking for a class to get some help in IELTS reading, be sure to check out The Language Gallery’s IELTS preparation class. You can get help with your IELTS skills and study online wherever you are or face-to-face in the UK.