Sep 28, 2011

IELTS Reading Tips

You should read 3 passages and answer 40 questions within 55 minutes and check your answer's relevance and spellings in the last 5 minutes. In general, all 3 passages together would consists of approximately 3000 words. Expect at least 100 unfamiliar vocabulary or new words. Passages are designed with increasing difficulty. A simple glossary is provided wherever there is a technical term is used. Some passages may contain diagrams, graphs or illustrations.


The texts have been written on topics of general interest extracted from notices, advertises, official documents, leaflets, pamphlets, booklets, newspapers, instruction manuals, timetables, magazines, articles. They generally deal with social survival, training survival and a piece of prose with factual content which comprises of complex language and structure.


The texts have been written on topics of general interest taken from journals, research articles, books and newspapers. They generally deal with interest to candidates entering academic courses of professional registrations.

Question types:
  1. Multiple Choice (Choose the correct answer A/B/C/D).
  2. Fill in the blanks with not more than three words (short answers).
  3. Fill in the blanks with the given words (Sentence completion or Summary writing).
  4. Match the following (lists/phrases/authors/contents).
  5. Yes/No/Not Given or True/False/Not Given.
  6. Identifying suitable headings for paragraphs.
  7. Identifying the author in relation to the information provided.
  • Read instructions given above each question types carefully.
  • Underline important dates, names, values, units or information in the passages.
  • Skim (a light reading for general understanding).
  • Scan (a detailed reading to find answers).
  • Guess the meaning of unfamiliar vocabulary using the context of its usage.
  • Make a note of main focus of every paragraph.
  • Passages numbered or alphabetized should be read carefully.
  • Practise reading a passage within 3 minutes.
  • Attempt all the questions (wrong answers are not penalised or given negative marks).
  • Find out the purpose of the author or writer in the script.
  • Try and attempt answering the third passage, as it consumes more time.
  • Answer easy questions first instead of wasting time for unknown answers or difficult questions.
  • Guess the answer from your knowledge of reading the passage.
  • No answers can be directly be found (information is hidden often).
  • Guess the alternate word while finding answers for summary writing and fill in the blanks.
  • Do not include any of your personal ideas.
  • Read between lines to understand the connotation (hidden meaning).

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