This is a no-nonsense, right on the button blog about practical hacks to get the highest band score you can in Reading section of IELTS. No long build-ups or motivational speeches, let’s jump right to it! Here are my top 10 tips!
1) Just as one mustn’t mix drinks, it is a piece of sound advice not to mix Academic and General reading text samples, during preparation. The academic reading is based on journals and university papers, while general reading would be on more day to day practical topics. The more well versed you are, in your type of text reading, the more “in the zone” you shall be during the actual text. The magic number of reading mocks you must take is around ten to twelve.
2) When attempting preparation reading mocks, treat the time limit with the same brevity and seriousness as you would bake the cake in the oven, for your mother in law! Not a second more than the recipe book! 1 hour – 40 questions, unlike listening you won’t have an iota of additional time to transfer answers on the sheet.
3) For a band 7, as a rule of thumb, you need to get 30 of 40 questions, of course, this may vary. So have a mental target to reach that milestone first and then strive to further improve the score.
4) Do NOT assume instructions, you need to visualize the meaning of the precise instructions, and how that instruction shall be adhered to in the answers, in your mind before you attempt the questions.
5) Remember an IELTS Reading test is actually more a test of vocabulary. Understanding the usage of words in the key, so go through vocabulary sources which are more example-based and used in sentences, in all its different connotations. Merely memorizing a dictionary list shall not be sufficient to ace a reading test.
6) Skim reading which you would have heard a lot in context of a reading text, essentially means reading words but visualizing the main ideas or meaning or intent of those words, You cannot lose sight of the fact that intent of reading is to answer questions, so once you have an idea of what the text is about, you should just be able to know where in the paragraphs you have to look for answers
7) You do not get any marks for an incorrectly spelled answer. Misspelling a word, when you actually know the spelling is a cardinal sin in context of a Reading test
8) You do not get any negative marking for wrong answers, you should penalize yourself for leaving answer spaces blank!
9) Underlining key text and crossing out wrong option from answers – just this exercise of using your pen for a paper test helps increase focus and declutter your brain, organizes your thoughts better
10) In all your preparation, choose your own modus operandi for scoring better and feeling better about the reading test – the choice is simple, whether you want to read the questions first and then the text, or you want to read the entire text first before glancing at the questions! or maybe somewhere in between the two techniques! Whatever works better for you, what is important is to be consistent in your method and work out what is the best option for you!
These hacks if understood and followed are statistically certain to get you a good band score, nothing works better than a well rested mind which can focus on the task at hand, and not worry over what happens to me if I do not get this one test right! There you are – hope to see you leading your reading test scorecard!