Mastering the IELTS reading test: Essential tips and expert advice - Hindustan Times
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Mastering the IELTS reading test: Essential tips and expert advice

By, New Delhi
Feb 21, 2024 03:17 PM IST

Effective time management becomes paramount as test-takers have a limited 60-minute window to tackle the diverse array of questions.

IELTS is the foremost choice among English language proficiency tests for candidates as it acts as a pivotal pathway for those aspiring to migrate, study, work, or reside in English-speaking nations.

As a globally acknowledged assessment, IELTS has earned the trust of 12000 organisations in over 140 countries over 30 years.(HT Photo)
As a globally acknowledged assessment, IELTS has earned the trust of 12000 organisations in over 140 countries over 30 years.(HT Photo)

As a globally acknowledged assessment, IELTS has earned the trust of 12000 organisations in over 140 countries over 30 years.

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There are four sections in IELTS -Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking, each given equal importance. Out of these, the Reading section plays a crucial role in assessing candidates' reading proficiency in both the general training and academic versions.

Comprising 40 questions, this section evaluates various skills, including reading for gist, main ideas, details, skimming, understanding logical arguments, and discerning writers' opinions, attitudes, and purpose. Many candidates may find it somewhat challenging to get the desired score for this section.

Effective time management becomes paramount as test-takers have a limited 60-minute window to tackle the diverse array of questions. Here are a few things to keep in mind to get the best results in the Reading section.

Also Read: Vocabulary Made Easy series: Guide to sharpen your word power

General Training vs. Academic Reading

In the general training reading segment, passages feature extracts from everyday materials commonly found in English-speaking countries. This includes content from newspapers, advertisements, handbooks, and notices.

On the other hand, the academic reading test delves into materials relevant to university admissions and professional registrations worldwide, encompassing books, journals, magazines, and newspapers.

Acquainting oneself with these distinct text types proves essential for efficient time management and comprehensive preparation.

Question Types in IELTS Reading

Both general training and academic reading tests present a spectrum of question types, demanding versatile skills from candidates.

These include multiple choice, identifying information, identifying a writer's views or claims, matching information, matching headings, matching features, matching sentence endings, sentence completion, summary/note/table/flow-chart completion, diagram label completion, and short-answer questions.

Mastery of these question types is fundamental for providing accurate responses within the 60-minute timeframe.

Tips for Time Management

1. Skim through the passage: A fundamental strategy is to quickly skim the entire passage to capture its essence. Focus on headings, subheadings, and main points while avoiding detailed reading, which can prove time-consuming.

2. Focus on introduction and conclusion: The author's perspective is often encapsulated in the introduction and conclusion. Reading these sections thoroughly enhances the accuracy of responses to most questions.

3. Identify keywords: During the initial skim, identify and underline keywords associated with the passage. This proactive approach assists in answering subsequent questions with greater precision.

4. Read all questions first: Before diving into the answers, take a moment to peruse all the questions within a group. Highlight key information words, leveraging the earlier skim to facilitate locating answers efficiently.

5. Answer every question: Even when uncertain, attempt to answer every question. The IELTS examination does not penalize incorrect answers, encouraging test-takers to make educated guesses for potential positive outcomes.

6. Check your answers: Allocate a dedicated period of at least 10 minutes to meticulously review your answers. Utilise practice materials available on official websites to refine and optimize your timing skills.

Also Read: Vocabulary Made Easy series: Guide to stand out in competitive exams

The IELTS reading section, acknowledged for its complexity, can be conquered with thorough preparation and effective time management. Test-takers can substantially enhance their scores by developing a strategic approach for each question type and honing their skills through consistent practice under simulated test conditions.

Through these efforts, success in this critical component of the IELTS exam is well within reach.

Use official materials: While there are many online resources available, it's best to practice with official IELTS materials. They closely resemble the actual test.

The IELTS reading test is a crucial element of the IELTS examination, and achieving success in this segment demands consistent practice, thorough preparation, and employing the right strategies.

Success hinges on dedicated efforts, including regular practice and becoming accustomed to various English accents. Through commitment and strategic preparation, individuals can approach the IELTS reading test with confidence, bringing them nearer to their academic and professional aspirations.

(Authored by Piyush Kumar, Regional Director- South Asia and Mauritius, IDP Education. Views are personal)

 

 

 

 

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