Tips for a Higher Band in the IELTS Reading Test

We often hear that the IELTS reading section is the hardest in comparison to speaking, writing, and listening. But, being used to with some of the simple tips can make you perform better in the IELTS exam.

1. Do not cherry-pick: Do not focus on small details (like unimportant keywords) and waste your time; do not read statements in brackets, inside inverted commas and in between two commas before reading and analyzing the question.


2. Do not worry about difficult words: They might not be needed to answer the questions.


3. Do not focus on only 50% of the statement; rather, focus on the main subject, the main verb, and the object(s): you need to be able to match all these to find the correct answer. Just use the skills you already have from your lower secondary schooling years.


4. If you do not find the subject in True/Yes, False/No, Not Given, don't waste your time: the statement is NOT GIVEN. Similarly, a sentence has a subject and a predicate, so if both of them are not in the passage, the statement in the question is NOT GIVEN.


5. Use a pencil; write your answers in capital letters and do not touch any of the lines on the boxes; similarly, write the answer exactly as it is in the passage (e.g., if the passage says 'stepsisters', write 'STEPSISTERS', not 'STEPSISTER' or 'STEP SISTER').


6. Don't forget that your goal is to achieve a band 7.0 in the exam: That's 30 correct answers out of 40, so don't waste your time on the difficult questions and lose the opportunity to solve the easy ones; this way, you'll have more than 15 minutes to find the answers to the 10-15 difficult questions. If you only have 2-4 minutes to solve them, just guess: You may have more than 5 correct answers doing this. By the way, do you know about my DONKEY-GUESSING Technique?


7. Read the 1st and the 2nd sentences to confirm the heading of the paragraph; however, if there is/are no supporting details and/or examples to verify this heading, keep reading the paragraph until you can find and confirm the central idea of that paragraph. Do you know about "pivots"?


8. While scanning, locate all parts of the question (the subject and the predicate) to find the answer; if you cannot confirm ALL PARTS, keep reading the rest of the passage (read Tip no. 3 again!)


9. Do not use symbols; this is the Academic Reading Test of the IELTS exam, so don't be informal.


10. The IELTS Reading Test can be called an ENGLISH VOCABULARY TEST in its entirety; so learn as many words and collocation as possible before the exam. If you can identify the paraphrased version of any statement, nothing can stop you from getting a band 7.0 or higher.

Do you know how the questions are paraphrased in the Listening and Reading tests?