IELTS Reading

The Reading Module is a 60 minutes test. Academic and General reading are different in terms of complexity. In Academic module, there are 3 long sections, each with multiple paragraphs, and candidates need to answer 40 questions (13 to 14 per section). Unlike the listening test, no extra time is given at the end to transfer answers to the answer sheet. Time can be a major constraint since candidates only have an hour to finish the test. Passages are taken from magazines, journals, books, and newspapers and they are quite wordy and complex. But the General reading module is comparatively easy and questions are usually asked based on the information provided in a passage or drawings. Answer all questions. There is no negative marking for incorrect answers.

A variety of questions are used, chosen from the following types:

  • Multiple choice; Yes, No, Not Given; True or False
  • Short-answer questions
  • Sentence completion
  • Matching Paragraphs with the lists/phrases or given meanings
  • Notes/ summary/ diagram/ flow chart/ table completion
  • Fill in the blanks with appropriate words from the passages
  • Identification of writer”s views / attitudes/ claims
  • Arranging passages
  • Picking up information from Advertisement or Database etc.

General Tips for Reading Module:

  1. Scanning is what one does, for example, when looking for a phone number in a directory. You know the specific information you are looking for and you go down the page quickly to find it. This technique is used when answering questions such as multiple-choice and matching. You scan the passage to quickly find the information mentioned in the question.
  2. Skimming refers to reading a paragraph quickly to get an idea of what it is about, without trying to understand its details. This technique is used to answer “Provide headings for the paragraphs” , “In which paragraph does this information appear in the text?” and “Author”s views” type of questions.
  3. The sections get progressively more difficult. Aim to spend about 15 to17 minutes on Section 1, 20 minutes on Section 2 and 23 to 25 minutes on Section 3. If possible, keep some spare time to check your answers.
  4. Read the questions FIRST & remember them. Circle key words on the questions like dates, names, places etc. This is so that you can have an idea of the type of information you will be looking for & when you are reading the passage these key words will trigger.
  5. Read the instructions for each question very carefully. If the question specifies that you must not use more than three words in your answer, stick to three words.
  6. While reading paragraph also encircle the key words in the paragraph.
  7. Do at least one hour of reading daily in quiet place & try to read 6 pages.
  8. Try to Skim and Scan as fast as possible.