The focus of IELTS Reading section is assessing your skills in Reading. Mainly, for both Academic and General Training module, some long articles are presented to you which are of international standard. Then, there are a set of questions for you to answer such as short-answers, multiple choice, list of order, sentence completion, list of headings, summary completion, matching information, identifying information etc. IELTS Reading for Academic and General Training are a bit different. The articles and items given in Academic IELTS Reading are harder than General training because it is attempted by students who wish to apply to foreign universities for higher studies.
Generally, most of the students would like to get some tips or techniques which help them real time in IELTS Reading. It is also the most feared module by many students. I’m providing here some really interesting and entertaining ways of becoming expert in IELTS Reading module in a very short time.
- Read a lot, but with some targets: Many of us find reading as one of the most boring things in the world. This seems mind-numbing and confusing in the beginning. For this reason, my suggestion for you is to read something which really attracts you a lot or which you are passionate about. For example, if you are a student of accounting or management and you would like to know more about your subject, find an article which focuses on financial matters or organisational principles. This will make the reading more interesting for you as you have some previous idea about the article. Make a target to learn something new from this article like new sentence patterns, vocabulary etc.
- Watch and then read: This may be more effective for those who have no idea about reading. Suppose you have found an article about the animal world. Keep it but don’t read it yet. Go to Discovery Channel, National Geographic or Animal Planet channel. Watch a few programs there and then start reading. Thus, you will find the article more and more interesting. Visualization always helps.
- Mark your reading: Another way of improving your reading is marking your reading. It can be done in many ways. Many students use highlighters green or yellow colors, some use pencils and make different notes on the important points about the article. This can help you to remember what you have read when you recheck it later on. It also hones your ability to find the details.
- Practice the conventional comprehensive questions: As IELTS Reading has some similarities with conventional comprehensive questions; you can practice some of your own 8th or 9th grade comprehensive questions. This will boost your confidence in reading.
- Always mark the time: The most important thing to consider in practicing your IELTS Reading is to mark the time you are taking in completing each set of question. For instance, if you practice a set of 7 MCQs from Cambridge IELTS 12, note the time you took to complete the set. Suppose, it was 13 minutes. After a couple of days or weeks, repeat the test. See if it took less than 13 minutes. If so, you have progressed a lot. In this way, try to keep a record of your timing. This will make your smarter in IELTS Reading.
- Practice Skimming and Scanning: Take a short article of 500 words and try to practice both skimming and scanning. Try to make a summary (use skimming technique) and find out important individual points (use scanning technique).
In fine, these small yet effective ways can help you to achieve your target band score in IELTS Reading. Remember to keep your focus clear and add more techniques to these practices.