Solving a reading comprehension test after ample practice may seem like no mean feat to you but imagine yourself in a position where you only have 10 minutes to solve the toughest passage! However unlikely this situation seems to you it happens more often than not in the IELTS exam. So how can you make sure that nerves don’t get the better of you in such a situation?
You will have 60 minutes to solve 40 questions which gives you approximately 90 seconds per question, that’s just over a minute. Include in this the time needed to read each passage to answer questions.
Putting yourself in such a situation repeatedly while practicing can only help you optimize your skills to perform under duress. Before you move onto the tips that we have to share, take a moment to understand why it is a much-needed practice.
This situation is all prevalent and needs attention for anyone aspiring to score a band 9 or 8. Spend time in understanding the sections, the purpose of each passage and the questions that follow.
There are 8 types of questions that you can expect in this test:
- True/false/not given questions
- Multiple choice questions
- Matching tasks
- Gap filling tasks
- Sentence completion tasks
- Classification tasks
- Short-answer questions
- Chart, table or diagram completion tasks
Here are 11 tips to turn this marathon into a quick sprint.
1. Go through the questions first
Take a moment to skim through the questions that are in the paper. This will help you skip to the main objective of the test instantly.
2. Get to the main idea, quick!
Each passage, as well as each paragraph within the passage, is created to share with you a core idea. While reading you can write remarks about each passage in your rough notes.
3. Develop the art of scanning
When reading a passage, do not scrutinize each word or sentence or try to memorize what it means. By skimming, we mean you read the passage fast and get the gist of it pronto! Look for a number or keyword if that’s what the question demands.
4. Identify key information
Since each article will be exploring an academic topic or scientific research there will be a main idea or argument and reasons and facts supporting the same. Divide the passage accordingly. This will help you get to the answer faster.
5. Look out for the tricks
Here are some questions that are especially tricky and require a bit more attention than the rest.
True/false/not given questions need to be proven completely true or false. Dedicate time to reading the entire sentence. The not given part is trickier as you have to make sure the given information is completely absent from the passage.
Also, when you are completing sentences or filling blanks take note of the word limit and stay within it.
6. Move on if you find something too tough
Can’t find an answer? Don’t get stuck. In all probability, as you are scanning for other answers you may stumble upon another answer which you couldn’t find earlier. If you are quick enough you will have time left to go back to the ones you left.
7. Don’t get sidetracked by big words
Think the topic is complicated? You’re halfway in but don’t understand some words? Don’t worry about it. It should be easy if you are able to understand the meaning of the sentence overall.
8. Learn to focus at length
Whether practicing alone or reading for fun, think about how long you are able to focus before a song starts playing in your head on a loop. Ideally the 10 minutes that you decide to dedicate should not feel overwhelming if you have practiced before.
9. Use a stopwatch when practicing
Feel like its been just 10 minutes? Don’t be too sure about how you feel because time tends to run faster especially during an exam. Be sure to dedicate precisely 10 minutes no more, less is fine.
10. Leave a minute for quick revision
Done already? Sure you got it all? If not then keep aside approximately 90 seconds to revisit what you just did. This will help you keep unnecessary heartache and agony at bay.
Here’s a bonus tip when preparing for the test.
11. Question the purpose when preparing
If one is to dig deeper into what one is tested on while appearing for the IELTS the task may seem easier. IELTS reading section tests your ability to comprehend and grab the main idea of a passage.
It is not to gauge your knowledge of a subject or your ability to remember what you just read. The test is designed to gauge your ability to survive well in countries where English is a native language.
Don’t look at the question like a mystery that needs to be unraveled or something that has a hidden purpose. It is simple, there is a correct answer and you need to identify it.
12. IELTS Reading Passage PDF 2018
In IELTS exam reading comprehension passage skill is one of the most important one and you have already learnt different ways to score in such a skill. But before you do so, it would be better to look at different passages asked in the examination, so that you will understand how comprehension reading works.
So below we have given a IELTS based reading comprehension passage which you can download and answer the questions that are given in it. But the passage to be given in the exam may be different and can be based on section as well.