How well do we read something? Do you read texts exactly how you’re supposed to or do you interpret them as per your own thoughts?

How about magazines or articles that you come across online? Scrolling through news on one’s smartphone also requires us to read each and every word properly.

Unless we develop a habit of reading properly, we will not be able to completely comprehend the message that we’re meant to imbibe.

The IELTS Reading section comprises three passages that consist of roughly 600-700 words. Questions based on every passage are then asked. You have about an hour’s time to complete the test.

Reading passages within a timeframe can get tricky. The mind is usually focussed on the questions that are asked and in answering them as per the correct order. We will now talk about four common mistakes that students may commit during the IELTS Reading test and discuss ways of combating them.


Going through each and every word of the passage is important but taking every single detail into account is not required.

Extract the meaning of the passage as soon as you can so that you know what is being talked about. Once you have that spelt out, you will be able to answer all the questions that come related to that passage. Spending unnecessary time reading the passage will make you miss out on certain questions and so, you mustn’t spend more than 2 minutes on each question.


Sometimes, in order to prove to the examiner that you know the answer, more than a single answer is provided in the test. The candidate expects the examiner to select the answer that’s befitting and discount the one that’s not.

This may only pull down your overall score.  Always write an answer that you feel most strongly about. If you have provided more than one answer, you should strike out the ones that seem incorrect and go with the one that’s based on your instinct.


Your lexical resources or your vocabulary as well as the spelling of the words that you write will be checked thoroughly. Points will be deducted if certain words are misspelled or if the grammatical usage is incorrect. If a word is correctly spelled as ‘tedious’ and you end up writing ‘tedius’, marks will be lost.

Similarly, using the wrong prepositions and conjunctions will also result in the further loss of marks. Do not say ‘I came to the city in a train’ instead of ‘I came to the city by train.’


A calm mind is 10 times more productive than a mind that’s riddled with panic and fear.

Compose yourself before the main IELTS Reading test so that you can answer all questions without any worries.  The best way to develop confidence is by practicing as many times as you can.  There is no limit to the amount of practice material that’s available and so, you can brush up on your Reading section well. You will come across passages of all types and being familiar with every genre will help you in answering questions that come for your main exam.

Now that we are aware of some common mistakes that people tend to make during the IELTS Reading section, let us ensure that we do not repeat any of these during the IELTS tests that we take. 

Getting the perfect band takes a lot of work and you cannot afford to do badly in any of the sections as your overall IELTS score will determine the fate of your relocation overseas.

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