The IELTS reading module is 60 minutes long. The passages given for reading are taken from books, journals, magazines and newspapers. No special subject knowledge is necessary for doing well on the IELTS reading test. All the information you need to answer the questions are given in the passages itself.
You will find a variety of questions in the reading module. These could be of the following types: multiple choice, sentence completion, table completion, diagram label completion, short-answer types, flow-chart completion, note completion etc. There may also be questions that require test takers to identify information and identify the writer’s views or claims.
Reading test tips
After reading the first paragraph, you should be able to get a general idea of the passage. The first paragraph often contains the opinion of the author. It may also give some clues regarding the information structure of the passage.
Preparing for the reading test
Read as much as you can. Read both academic and non-academic texts. Note down the unfamiliar words you come across while reading. Look them up in a dictionary. Learn these words and try to use them in sentences.
Try to understand the meaning of words using context. You should be able to figure out the meaning of an unfamiliar word using the words and phrases around that word.
Familiarize yourself with the kind of questions that could be asked on the IELTS test. Learn how to skim and scan. These two skills are essential for finding information quickly.
During the test
Read the title and the headings first. You should get a general idea of the passage from the title itself. The headings should provide additional clues about the information structure of the passage.
Take a quick glance at the questions. Don’t read them carefully at this point. Just see what kinds of questions are asked and what information you should look for in the passage.
Read the passage at normal speed. Don’t spend too much time on parts that you don’t understand. Remember that you don’t have to understand or memorize every minute detail given in the passage. You just need information that is necessary to answer the questions. That’s all.
When you answer the questions, answer the easiest ones first. If you don’t feel sure about a particular question, skip it and move on to the next. You can go back to those questions after you have answered other questions.
Don’t spend more than 20 minutes on a passage.