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Improve Your IELTS Reading Skills With Our 8 Power Tips

Are you planning to take your IELTS exam soon? It doesn’t matter what aim you are taking it for, because you need to ace the English exam as it plays a significant role in your overall score. Reading is the most significant skill you will need.

It is an essential component of every IELTS exam as it shows the examiner you understand the meaning of the text and you are familiar with grammatical concepts. However, many people fail this component. They fail to focus properly, and they end up with a bad score.

If you don’t want to make the same mistakes, you are in the right place. Here are the 8 most powerful tips that will improve your IELTS reading skills in no time.

1. Work On Skimming And Scanning Skills

Skimming and scanning is an underrated skill that many people miss when preparing for their IELTS reading exam. However, you should focus on this if you want a great score. You need to get the general idea of a passage because you can’t waste time reading and comprehending every passage given to you.

After all, the biggest skill you need to do well is time management. So, skimming and scanning will save you time. You should skim and scan before you start tackling the questions.

Don’t waste time understanding the passage. Instead, just get a sense of the layout and the topic. Skim read the messages for two to three mutes; don’t take longer than that.

As you are doing this, you should also underline any important keywords. Scanning, later on, will help you identify information more quickly without wasting time. You can comprehend the passage later on.

There are questions that come before the passage too. These are related to matching headings and for this, you don’t need to go through the passage first. So, when you are practicing, remember to work on this skill.

2. Enhance Your Reading Speed

Enhancing your reading speed is another powerful tip that will help you manage your time for the exam. You need to keep in mind that every part of the exam is time-limited and even if you are not done with one part if the time is over, you can't go back to it.

The reading portion is just for one hour so you need to have a fast reading speed to complete it on time. Practice your reading speed consistently at home. You can read passages and set a timer so you can check how long it will take you.

If you can’t discipline yourself like this, then you can ask a friend or tutor to help you out. If you want to challenge yourself, you can read passages of various difficulties from various sources. Doing this will help you enhance your speed even further and you will be a pro in no time.

Take out at least an hour every day to work on your speed. Scoring well in the IELTS exam is all about adequate preparation, and that is what you need to work on.

3. Enhance Your Vocabulary

The English proficiency exam is all about comprehending what is written and analyzing it. The reading exam will contain many complex words that you may not be familiar with. That is why you need to enhance your vocabulary when practicing for the exam.

A good practice is to learn new words from the dictionary. Don’t just read definitions, but also see how these words are used in different contexts. Doing this will help you understand the words even better in different contexts.

You can also view past IELTS exams and learn new words from there. However, if you want to enhance your reading speed and your vocabulary, then the best solution is to read new literature. Doing so will help you work on both aspects.

Note down all the new words, their meanings, and their uses. You can refer to this later on, and you will be surprised at the number of new words you have learned over the course of your practice. It is the best thing you can do to prepare for your IELTS reading exam.

4. Identifying Key Words

Identifying and locating key words is an essential skill for the IELTS reading exam. Without this, you will not be able to save your time and work faster. Each question in the exam has key words.

These key words will help you find information in the passage so you can quickly spot the correct answer. That is why it is important to learn this skill and know how to use key words correctly. Another thing you need to check is whether the key words can be paraphrased.

When you are practicing the IELTS reading exam, you have to learn to identify and use key words correctly. Some key words will be obvious to you as soon as you read the question. These include numbers, dates, names, and places.

However, there are other key words hidden in the question that are far more subtle. Practicing consistently will help you in identifying these keywords, and you will have this skill in no time. It is important that you work on finding subtle key words during your practice because it will prepare you well for the exam.

5. Work On Your Grammatical Skills

Sometimes the IELTS exam can be surprising, and this can catch people off guard. When you have been caught off guard, you tend to make more grammatical errors. That is why it is important to have a good grasp of your grammatical skills before your IELTS reading exam.

IELTS updates grammar rules from time to time to suit the context it is used in today. You must familiarize yourself with these updates so you don’t get any surprises when you are giving your IELTS exam. Another thing you need to remember is that the grammar can differ.

That is because the grammar can differ depending on the English language you are focused on. Give yourself time to familiarize yourself with grammatical terms, uses, and concepts so you can be well-prepared before the exam.

While giving your exam, it is important to review once you have answered. Double-check your answers and analyze them to understand if you are using everything correctly. That is why you need to practice consistently; you need to have some time at the end of the exam for review.

6. Familiarize Yourself With Complicated Passages

While you are working on your reading skills, you should choose complicated passages on various topics. For example, you can read the news and familiarize yourself with what is happening. The news has complicated passages and terms that will challenge you and improve your skills.

Reading skill is the most essential thing for this exam and so you should read as much as you can. After all, you need to understand English well and see how different words are being used in different contexts. So, during your practice don’t be afraid to grab a newspaper.

You will get a chance to increase your general knowledge, vocabulary, grammar, reading speed, and much more. There is no better way to prepare for IELTS than by doing this.

7. Don’t Waste Time On Comprehending The Full Passage

Many people waste time by reading the passage and then trying to understand everything in it. This is not a good utilization of your time because your job is to locate answers. The IELTS reading exam questions are all about testing your ability to locate the information.

Once you locate the information, you can comprehend and understand the sentences that contain this information. Questions that ask you to choose a title or match headings will require you to understand the whole passage. So, save your energies and time for these questions.

8. Be Consistent

You can’t develop the right skills for the IELTS reading exam in a week. You need to be consistent and start practicing a while before you have to give the test. A good rule of thumb is to start preparing at least a month or two before your test.

This will give you ample time to familiarize yourself with everything and put it into practice. Once you are confident in your skills, and you know that you can give the exam within the time frame, then you can take the IELTS reading exam.

Don’t leave everything to the last minute because this will cause you to feel unnecessary burden and stress. Prepare everything beforehand so you don’t get any surprises during your exam. Once you do, you will ace the exam with perfect scores.

Final Words

These are the eight most powerful tips you need to have to score well on your IELTS reading exam. Once you start putting these into practice with consistency, you will ace your exam in no time. Alternatively, you can engage a private IELTS tutor to guide you through the process on how to pass the exam.

So, what are you waiting for then? If you are going to give your IELTS exam soon, put these tips into practice now and see the results.


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About Author

Tutor City's blog focuses on balancing informative and relevant content, never at the expense of providing an enriching read. 

We want our readers to expand their horizons by learning more and find meaning to what they learn.

Resident author - Mr Wee Ben Sen, has a wealth of experience in crafting articles to provide valuable insights in the field of private education.

Ben Sen has also been running Tutor City, a leading home tuition agency in Singapore since 2010.