Choose your strategy to tackle the reading section of the IELTS
Posted on September 29, 2020
The reading section is an important part of the IELTS reading test where your approach to the text can determine your score. The reading section tests candidates on a wide range of skills which include the ability to read the passage to understand and identify what the author wants to say.
Adopting certain reading techniques can greatly improve your score. Here are some techniques you can follow.
Skimming and scanning
Skimming and scanning is a two-in one approach that can help your score in the reading section.
Skimming requires quickly looking through an entire passage. This method of IELTS reading allows you to get a general sense of the details in the passage. Read the first sentence or two of each paragraph to skim a passage in IELTS reading; this is where each paragraph’s main idea is. Then look at the remainder of each paragraph, checking for keywords relating to the opening sentences. Those keywords will give you an understanding of the supporting information for the main idea in the passage.
Skimming as an IELTS Reading method gives you the broad meaning of the questions that follow the passage. However, you’ll also need to know precise information until you get to the questions that you might not have discovered when you skimmed. That’s when it comes to scanning. You search through the passage for particular details relevant to a query in order to check an IELTS reading passage.
This useful IELTS reading technique requires strong English vocabulary skills, and you need to be able to identify similar words quickly and easily. If the question is, say, “conclusions reached by scientists,” the associated terms in the text could be “experiment results.” When you search, you need to understand the relation between pairs of words such as “scientists” and “experiment,” and “conclusions” and “results.”
Take a call on whether to read the passage first or not
For many test takers, the “passage-first” approach works well, whereas many other test takers are more comfortable with “questions-first.”
With one of the two methods, most students do their best. As you go through the questions, you can first skim the passage and then search for details; this is essentially the skim-scan method mentioned above. Other students choose to first read the questions and search the passage for each question; all scanning and no skimming is this technique.
To see which one works better for you, we recommend using both of those two strategies. The one IELTS Reading approach that you cannot use is to read the entire passage entirely right away. This requires a great deal of time and is not really required. In the questions, not every single aspect of the passage will appear.
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