Getting that coveted band-score of 8 in the IELTS reading test, does appear a daunting task – however, with the tips that we’ve curated for you, you’ll soon be well on your way to achieving it!
Before we begin…
… here’s a quick reminder of the tasks in the Reading Test!
For each task, you will be given a passage of considerable length, on the basis of which you must complete the task as described. The following are some of the tasks you will come across in the IELTS reading test:
Labelling the Diagram (where the diagram is based on the information in the passage)
Match claims (is this what the paragraph is saying?)
Match headings (is this an appropriate heading for the passage?)
Multiple choice questions – single correct option/multiple correct options
True or False/Yes or No
Summary or sentence completion, etc.
Each of these tasks are designed to test your ability to comprehend information written in English, on the basis of which to make connections of meaning in order to answer the given questions. You can check out our individual blogposts on each of the tasks, for more details!
TIPS TO SCORE AN 8!
Hone Those Reading Skills!
You may think that reading is a rather basic skill – you either can, or you can’t do it.
However, there are certain sub-skills that you can definitely work on, which will directly help you out in the IELTS reading test. These include:
- Speed reading and Skimming and scanning: this refers to quickly reading through a passage in order to get a gist of the main ideas, of what it is about. In the IELTS reading test you do not need to read the passage in depth. Plus, there is a strict time limit! Honing your ability to speed read through a passage for the main points thus becomes essential!
- Reading to locate key words: hand-in-hand with the above, is the ability to pick out the most important words in the passage, that will help you complete the task. These words are the ones that tell you what the passage is about – for instance, in a passage about ‘Global warming’, the key words could be ‘atmosphere’, ‘climate change’, ‘pollution’, ‘rising temperatures’ etc.
- But at the same time, don’t be too hasty! Speed reading does not mean that you rush through without paying attention to what you are reading! When under pressure, you may feel tempted to do this – but slow down and make sure you read with close attention. It will save you more time, because you will understand the passage at the first go!
Pay Attention To The Question
Don’t be too quick to skip from the passage, straight to the answers/options. Read the question carefully first to know exactly what is being asked of you. Too many times, failing to read the question closely results in lost points. Furthermore, the question itself often holds clues to the answer!
Build Your Vocabulary
Vocabulary skills involve knowing a large number of words and more importantly, what they mean.
It also involves knowing how to spell the words correctly, and the appropriate way to use them in a sentence.
For the reading test, you will need a strong vocabulary – first, to comprehend the written passage correctly; second, to perform the task/answer the questions correctly!
A few of our tips to build vocabulary include:
Read widely and whatever you can, particularly reading material of good quality, on topics that are often used in IELTS tasks, such as Environment, Entertainment, Education, and so on.
Watch/Listen, particularly to news channels and other informative programmes, and good movies.
Note down in a note-pad or journal, the new words you learn which you believe are of immediate relevance to the topics mentioned above.
The most essential thing to do is to practice. Answer as many mock IELTS tests as you can – ideally, a minimum of 6-7.
Some of these should be answered under pressure – keeping the time limit and other restrictions in place. This will prepare you practically for the exam.
Others should be answered in a more relaxed way – in doing so, you will also end up doing the following:
Getting used to difficult passages: Truth is, some of the passages in IELTS Academic are pretty tricky – but the more you practice, the more you will get used to reading such passages. The kinds of words and phrases will slowly start to become familiar to you!
Familiarising yourself with the question patterns: The more tests you practise with, the more familiar you will become with the kinds of questions asked, and will accordingly be able to find the answers in the passage quickly and efficiently.
Using the IELTS mock tests as sources of vocabulary: Like you would with a book, take note of the words used and how to use them, which will aid you in the final exam.
With these tips, by the time the IELTS exam rolls around, you will be well-prepared and ready to ace it!
At Hurray, we have trainers specialising in IELTS training, to help you hone these skills and put them into practice. With our experience and our specially-curated programme framework, we have an excellent track-record of helping our students achieve the band 8 score – and we can help you too!
To learn more, reach out to us via email: firstname.lastname@example.org or phone: 8971357938 for more!