Three Strategies to Tackle IELTS Reading Section

You might wonder about how the internet is flooded with information about what you know and what you do not know. There is an ample number of tips and tricks that you might hear from people but you must always keep in mind to choose what works best for you. Hence, make sure to choose whatever you think will work best for you and help you improve your IELTS reading score.

These strategies that are given here can help you better, you can practice all three in the beginning but once you know what works the best for you, you can start practicing that particular strategy more.

Strategy 1

Read the entire reading passage and then tackle the questions

If you want to try out this strategy you must ask yourself if you’ll be able to read the entire passage and then answer those questions. You must also analyze if you’re a fast reader or if you can comprehend the passage and how well your vocabulary is.

If you’re a person who can read the entire passage and still remember, then it will be easy for you to locate the answer to the question. But the drawback of this strategy is that you’ll have to read the passage twice and it will work out only if you’re a fast reader and if you can comprehend.

Strategy 2

Read the questions first and then scan for keywords

In the above strategy, it was to read the entire passage and then answer the question below. But here, the first step is to look at the question and try understanding them and figure out the key words or the key ideas in the question. Once you find out the key ideas and words, start scanning the passage, and quickly look everywhere for the keywords and the information for that particular question. If you have a set of four different questions, start reading the first question and then go through the passage to find the area that answers the question. In this type, you might also be able to answer questions that relate to the same paragraph. Keep in mind that the questions and the answers that you’ll have to find will not always be chronological. In a certain type of question such as “fill in the blanks” type, then the answers in the passage will be in the chronological order where you can find the answers in the same passage and order but this again does not apply to all the question types. They might be mixed up so you have to be keen on managing your time and scanning the passages. This strategy might or might not work for you but you can practice this and check if this works for you and you could also do some tweaks to this and improve yourself better.

Strategy 3

The third strategy is not easy and it is a bit complicated than the other two but if you could practice this well and master it, you’ll be able to complete the entire test on time just by reading the absolute minimum in the passage given.

Summarize each paragraph

Read the paragraph and try to understand the topic sentence because that sentence will give you an idea. Once you get a general idea about the passage, start looking for keywords that support the topic sentence and write a two to three word summary of that paragraph. Do the same for the rest of the paragraphs as well. You should be able to complete the summary of the entire passage in about 5-7 minutes which gives you over 10 minutes to work on the questions.

The next step is to start reading the questions, and the key is to find out where the answer should be. If you ever wonder why then the answer to your question is explained here.

When you read the questions, you’ll look at the summary that you’ve written for each of the paragraphs which will eventually help you connect to the question. The keywords and the summary beside the paragraphs will help you locate the answer in the exact paragraph. The 3 pros of this strategy are:

  • You read less
  • You do it much quicker as you’ve already gone through the passage to write the summary points
  • You are prepared for one of the question types that says “give a topic for each paragraph.” As you’ve already done the summary, it’s easy for you to frame a question from it which saves you a lot of time.

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