IELTS ACADEMIC READING
The IELTS Academic Reading test consists of three reading texts. There are overall 2,200 to 2,750 words and you will be given 40 questions to answer. The texts are taken from magazines, books, journals and newspapers and all of them are for non-specialist audience. Texts may also contain diagrams, graphs or illustrations.
You will receive 1 mark for each correct answer and you will be given 60 minutes to answer all 40 questions including the time to copy your answers to the answer sheet. Unfortunately you won’t be given extra 10 minutes to copy your answers as it is in the Listening section. Make sure you do not make spelling or grammar mistakes while copying your answers. If so, you will be penalized.
Common challenges of IELTS candidates in Reading Module:
- Time is the number 1 obstacle for test takers
- The texts are long and contain difficult vocabulary
- “Paragraph heading” questions are hard for students
- “True/False/Not Given” questions are hard for students
Tip for candidates: IELTS Reading test can be called “A test of Vocabulary”. If you are good at English words and phrases, then you will do well in the test.
The best way to improve your IELTS academic reading score is by reading and improving your vocabulary.
How to improve your Reading score:
- Develop a strong Vocabulary:
Dear student, if you want to get 7 and higher in the Reading module of the IELTS test, first and foremost, expand your vocabulary skills in English. You can improve your vocabulary by:
- Read daily- I am always recommending it to my students;READ what you find INTERESTING!!! I am listing here some useful websites for you to read. However, you can surf on the web and find your favourite:
- Use English-English translators. Majority of non-native students translate words into their language, which is waste of time. In this case you do not get the clear meaning of the word. I love English-English dictionaries, because not only you get the exact meaning of the word, but also you learn how to explain that word in a different way.
- Learn words in context. You have probably experienced it where you found yourself in a situation where you couldn’t remember the words you listed in your dictionary. No worries, this happens to everyone out there. What I recommend in this case, is to Learn the word in readings or with a sentence. Believe me, you will remember it faster than ever before!
- Surround yourself with English. This one is especially for non-natives. Although you did not have a chance to be born in an English speaking country, you can do your best to be so close to that environment. Start with the little things. Take your mobile phone as an example. Change its language to English. Join local or online conversation clubs. Make friends from foreign countries. Watch English channels on TV. Listen to podcasts in English. Watch online movies. Play games in English. Briefly, be English!
- Improve your grammar: Grammar is essential for all parts of the IELTS test and of course for the IELTS Academic reading section. Go here to learn Grammar.
- Develop speed reading skills:
Your reading speed actually increases as you read more. But there are certain techniques that may help you improve you pace. There are many articles and softwares to help you out. But my suggestions are as listed:
- Skimming and scanning: This one is completely taken from Speed reading technique and can be applied in the IELTS Academic REading section. If you read the previous articles you know what it means. Skimming is reading the passage before questions to have a general idea of the content. You should do it quickly (in 2-3 minutes) and underline or circle the key words in the passage. You can find more on this video by British Council:
- Practice IELTS Academic Reading Tests: There are free online tests and several books (affiliate books) to do practice tests. Here are links to the free and paid sources of the IELTS tests: