Test strategies are always needed in any test, so is in IELTS test without which the test taker is hard to gain a good score. Reading is one of the challenging tasks in IELTS . You need to know how to tackle it. The following strategies are always effective in handling reading tasks. It is important to use them for all Reading question types.
- Make notes
You are allowed to make notes on IELTS question booklets, and IELTS examiners will never look at these notes. During the examination, you can make notes, underline, or draw arrows and symbols on the reading question booklet to help yourself understand the text better and find answers faster. This might help you avoid having to read the same portions of the text again to refresh your memory.
- Try to predict
Before you read a text in the IELTS Reading module, try to guess what the topics of that passage will be. One way to do this is to use the information in the title, any subheadings and the introduction.
- Build a mental mapof the passage
Reading a text for the first time can be disorientating—you may find it difficult to find your way around. A useful technique to help you ‘navigate’ a text is to build a mental map. Identify the topic or purpose of each paragraph in the passage. Make notes (a couple of words) about the main idea or purpose of paragraphs and sections next to them to help you. Knowing what the paragraphs are about will help you find answers faster.
- Identify the type of text
For example, identify whether it is about a problem and a solution, or a chronological account of something, or it discusses positive and negative points regarding a certain topic. This can be done by quickly skimming the text and looking at the title, introduction and paragraph openings. These will give you the clues needed to identify the main ideas, topics and organisation of the text.
- Study the keywords
To locate the parts of the text where the answers might be, carefully study the keywords in the questions and then scan the text for these or synonymous and parallel expressions. Using your mental map of the text should help you do this.
- Skim actively
When you skim a text, try not to worry about words you do not understand. Instead, try to get an overall impression of the text, making sure you read the first sentence of each paragraph. These will give you an overview of the text. Remember that sometimes two different task types may focus on the same part of the text. However, you will not be tested on exactly the same information.
- Make intelligent guesses
To read effectively, you need to make intelligent guesses about the meaning of words you do not know, if they seem important in the context. Try to work out the meaning from the surrounding words and sentences, and think of other words that might fit the context.
- Don’t lose track of time
You must enter your answers on the separate answer sheet during the 60 minutes allowed for the module. If you cannot figure out an answer, go on to the next question.It is a good idea to save as much time as possible by dealing quickly with the easier questions. Before you move on to other questions, do not forget to mark the difficult one with some sort of symbol, like a question mark, so that you can easily find it later.