IELTS Reading exam skills are critical to success
When the students attend the reading task for the first time in their IELTS class, they are asked to read and complete some IELTS Reading papers. When they start reading the passages, they focus on the text and read it word by word from beginning to end and thus almost always the questions go to one side. The students start panicking when they come across the words the meaning of which they don’t know. Meanwhile the minutes are ticking away and no answers are being noted down and they are not able to complete the paper.
In the Reading test, time is precious. This post focuses on three key strategies that can help you save time and improve your band score.
1. Focus on the questions
It’s essential that you make the questions the priority rather than the reading passage. Start by reading the questions so that you know what information you need to look for when you turn to the passages. As you find the information, note it down straight away. That way, you are using the time available in the most efficient manner. The alternative is to read the passage, then read the questions, then go back to the passage to look for the information you need — but that doesn’t make sense when time is limited.
2. Don’t worry about unknown words
Okay, you’re into the questions and you’re doing well… Suddenly, you see a word that is new to you and you start to panic. Calm down! The key here is not to worry and not to allow unknown words to distract you. Remember that even native speakers see words that they don’t know from time to time. As long as there aren’t too many of them, they do not stop you from understanding the passage. In any case, you’re already taking the test, so it’s too late to look the word up.
Your first strategy should be to ignore the word. Can you understand the sentence anyway?
Your second strategy is to guess the meaning of the word from the other words around it through reference to context.
3. Move on!
If neither of these strategies work and you are still stuck, just move on to the next question and come back later if you have time. Time wasted on answers you don’t know is time lost on later answers that you might get right.