Cracking the IELTS exam seems easy for some aspirants, but for mosta majority of candidates, it is like climbing Mount Everest. The IELTS examination is divided into four parts: Listening, Writing, Reading and Speaking.
The candidates are required to achieve good bands in every test to increase their overall bands. Higher bands help the candidates to apply for top universities easily, as they require the students to have fluency in the English language.
Amongst all the four tests, the reading can be tedious for a lot of candidates. Reading requires the candidate to be precise in understanding the text written. Plus, the test requires the candidate to read the passages from the question paper and identify the answer. The reading part could be difficult for you too if you don’t have the habit of reading.
The language used in the reading test can be difficult to understand. It could be too technical to understand. To make things easier for you or any of your close ones preparing for the IELTS exam, here we enlist some tips and tricks to crack it.
Know the Pattern
Before you start preparing for any IELTS test, it is wise to know what the pattern is and what type of questions will be asked. For the reading test, a candidate is given a time limit of 60 minutes, within which 40 questions are to be answered. The reading test is different for IELTS academic and IELTS general test-takers.
For the IELTS academic reading test, medium-length passages are picked from books, journals, magazines, and newspapers. Such passages have analytical, descriptive, discursive and factual kinds of writing styles.
For the IELTS general reading test, passages from advertisements, books, guidelines, handbooks, magazines, newspapers and notices are taken. The general test has three tasks: Task 1 – the candidate has to write about social survival. Task 2 – the candidate has to write about workplace survival. Task 3 – general passage for reading with a complex structure.
The reading test consists of 3 comprehensions (2 easy and 1 difficult), multiple-choice questions, what’s true and false, fill up the blanks, match the sentences, and others which are too, you need to practice reading.
Tips and Tricks to Ace IELTS Reading Test
Start reading daily, cultivate it into a daily habit. Reading will help you understand the framing of sentences, and you will know what kind of sentences would be written and how you interpret them. But the preparations cannot be done just by reading comic books, fiction stories and entertainment magazines. Instead, you would be required to dig deep and hunt down whatever you can to read.
Read newspapers daily (especially the editorial page), non-fiction books, journals, sports magazines, online blogs and articles, and whatever else you can. Don’t stick to one particular topic.
Rather, read the excerpts from vast topics like technology, economics, news, innovation, science, space, history, and entertainment. Reading so many things will make you understand what type of language or writing style is used for every topic.
#. Improve the Reading Speed
When you are writing the exam, you have only 60 minutes to complete all the 40 questions. You would also have to read and answer from three comprehensions, so you won’t even have a minute to spare. So better start increasing your reading speed. Practice reading the major words from a sentence and understand the context. You would need to skim through the sentence only by picking up the useful words.
The faster you can understand the sentence, the faster you will be able to answer. For instance, if you are planning to read every sentence with a voice in your head, then eventually, your place will slow down. So practice skimming the sentence thoroughly instead of reading every word.
#. Scan the Question Paper
Scanning is another technique to pace up your speed while writing the IELTS exam. Just like skimming, you don’t have to read every word and the whole sentence to get the idea of what the text is saying. Just move your eyes in motion from left to right, and read the sentence fast. It will help you to understand the meaning of the sentence, which will help you to find the answer quickly.
Each comprehension is based on a main theme or idea, which you will understand faster with scanning. If you read every word, then you will waste your time on unnecessary information. Scan the paragraph, and there will definitely be a topic sentence that will explain the idea of the paragraph. So you will save time too.
#. Read the Questions First
This is an important and time-saving trick when writing the reading IELTS exam. When you are at comprehension, first read the questions and then the paragraphs. When you read the paragraphs, you will be able to identify the answers and underline them while reading. After reading, you can directly write the answers.
This trick saves the time you will invest first in reading the paragraph, then question and again paragraph to find the answers.
#. You Don’t Have to Understand Every Word.
The IELTS reading test isn’t about testing your overall vocabulary. It is about how well you understand the language and its context. It is common even for the English speaking candidates to not understand every single word in the question paper.
It is okay to not understand every single word because you will be stuck while trying to understand everything. Even when you are practising, try to avoid using a dictionary, first focus on your reading and skimming practice.
Even if you don’t understand a single word in the sentence, you would still understand the meaning of the sentence. So train yourself on reading fast and skimming to understand the overall meaning of a sentence. Don’t stress yourself if you are not able to understand some words, just be calm and complete the test.
#. Practice and Evaluate
You would be reading a lot of English text to increase your understanding of the vocabulary. But you are also required to practice writing so you can evaluate how well you understand the questions and answer them.
You can keep on attempting different tests for IELTS. There are many tests available on the internet for IELTS online preparations. You can take any sample questions and try to solve them in the 60 minutes duration.
After every practice session, you should identify the questions where you took more time to understand your weakness and strength. You will have to segregate the time between the questions during the practice. It will help you to complete the exam in time.
Also, the important thing is to not get stuck on any question. In case you get stuck, then go on to the next question for the meantime, and get back when you know you can answer it.
These are the tips and tricks to your question on how to crack the IELTS reading test? These techniques are going to make your IELTS exam crackable. But still, it is up to how well you are prepared for the exams. Don’t wait any longer and get on with the IELTS preparations. For your IELTS online preparations, you can join the IELTS Ninja for the best teaching and study resources. You can sit for the free demo class to evaluate how good IELTS Ninja is.