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Important IELTS Reading Guidelines


Time, practice and perseverance are the keys factors that will determine your score in the test.

There are many approaches to scoring well in the reading test. Students must try out various methods; figure out which one works for them, and practice that one the most. The IELTS reading exam tests your ability to skim and scan information.

One way to prepare for IELTS is to learn synonyms and antonyms. IELTS will often use words that are similar or opposite to a word in the question. For instance, smart, savvy and intelligent are synonyms whereas big enough and rather small are antonyms. Next, focus on words like hardly, never, rarely, seldom. Also, pay close attention to frequency words like always, often, sometimes.

Focus on the topic sentence of every paragraph, the first few sentences of the paragraph that gives you the main idea. Make a note near every paragraph as to what the paragraph is about. This helps you to find the answer faster than having to read the paragraphs over and over again to understand the meaning of each paragraph.

What’s important is not the answer; it’s how you get the answer. Look at key words and connect it to your overview and then when you get to the right location read carefully. This is how you get tested on the IELTS exam. Questions often follow the passage order. For example, the answer for the first few questions will most often be in the first couple of paragraphs and the answer to the last questions will often be towards the end of the passage.

Practice each question type. There are many different types of questions in the reading test. Multiple choice questions, true, false, not given, yes, no, not given, fill in the blanks, match the right headings to the paragraphs etc. Also remember not to read slowly. Practice within the time limit. Don’t spend too long on one question. Move on. There are 40 questions in total and three passages with increasing difficulty level.

Bear in mind there is no extra time to transfer your answers. The answers must be transferred within the one hour time that is allotted to read and find the answers. Focus on the instructions given before every set of questions. For example, the words limit. Also, spelling and grammar are equally important.

As a final point, on the day of the test you will take the test with many other candidates in the same room, so get used to doing the practice with people around you, maybe in a library, on a bus or in a class with other students around you. This is psychological approach to do well and Option Training Institute helps students to overcome their fear of reading test through intensive classroom training.