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Home Reading Test Advice
Reading Test Tips Print E-mail
IELTS - IELTS Reading Test

Reading Test TipsLike the listening test, there are no short cuts to a good reading test score - the only route is hard work. However, with the reading test, there are no excuses; you can practice reading where you want and when you want. However, the following tips will help you approach the reading test.   

1. Just having a very basic gist of what a text is about before you start reading will make it easier to understand. Looking at graphs, tables and any illustrations will often give you a good idea of the topic of the text. 

2. Remember - there is no transfer time for the reading test. Make sure you put your answers down on the answer sheet - not the question paper. (See an example of the answer sheet below.)

3. The reading test is designed to be general and designed for people with a variety of educational backgrounds. This means you don't need any specialist knowledge to understand any of the texts. However, some readings may be more familiar than others.

4. If you are reading and answering texts out of sequence, take special care to ensure you don't write your answers in the wrong places on the answer sheet.  

5. If you are not sure of the answer to a question, it is natural to read text carefully to try to find the answer. If you dwell on a question in this way, you may run out of time. Remember, the reading test is 60 minutes long and there are 40 questions. If you spend one minute of each question that gives you 20 minutes to read a lot of text. If you really can not find the answer to a question easily, move on to the next question. 

6. Although there is no grammar component to the IELTS Test, grammar is important. As with the listening test, you can predict possible answers using the grammar of a question and using the reading text to check which answer is correct. Look at this example.

There have been at least 500 ........... to correct this problem.

a) Attempts b) Versions c) Tries d) Table Monolith

The fact that '500' precedes the missing word might suggest it should be a plural noun or an adjective. There are no adjectives in the answers and only three plural nouns: Attempts, Versions, and Tries. Now you can use the text to check the answer.  
 
7. As with the listening test, do not deduce the answer. This is especially true in True / False Not given questions. The answers are in the text, you do not need to work them out. For example:

"The introduction of new government policies gave people better lives: they had jobs and more money to spend."

Now look at the answer:

The introduction of new government policies had positive long-term benefits on peoples' lives. True / False / Not given

If people had jobs and more money, surely this is better for them, and so it is natural to consider this a 'true' statement. However, the key here is 'long-term'. From the text, it is impossible to say whether the new jobs lasted 20 years or one day. If you don't make assumptions it is impossible to answer question. As a result the correct answer should be: Not given.  

8. True / False / Not given questions are by far the most difficult types of question to answer as they are designed to trick people into thinking about the answer and giving their deduction as an answer. 

9. Many students are generally very good at reading tests - they are very good at spotting the key words in a question, finding those keywords in a text, reading around the key words and finding the answer to the question. However, as with the listening test, in the IELTS reading test the words in the questions are often not the words you will find in the answer. As a result you have to look for synonyms of key words as well as the actual keywords. Consider a word like 'correct' - among others, possible synonyms include:

a. Right
b. Accurate
c. Exact
d. Truthful
e. Spot on
f. Proper
g. Acceptable
h. Accepted

Depending on the context, only some of these synonyms might apply. You need to be aware of for these words as well as the keywords you are looking for. In addition, consider antonyms - words with the opposite meanings. A sentence like 'It wouldn't be wrong' would mean 'correct' in certain contexts. As you can see, you will need a fairly deep understanding of vocabulary. 

10. If aren't going to finish, guess some of the answers. It is surprising how many students leave multiple choice answers blank because they don't know the answer. If you have the choice of A, B, C or D, you have a 20% chance of getting the question right so just put one of the answers in!

11. If you really don't know the answer to a True / False / Not given question, and you want to guess the answer, DON'T choose "Not given" - it's the least frequent answer.

12. If a reading text is very specific in topic (e.g. the development of the computer chip), don't think to yourself that you don't know anything about that topic and therefore can't answer the questions - the more specific the topic, the more factual and straightforward it will to allow everyone to have a chance at answering the questions.

13. Some texts contain an opinion which you have to recognize. Remember that sentences starting with phrases like 'While it can be argued that…' do NOT express the author's opinion, they are more often a statement of someone else's opinion.

14. You might get a text with masses and masses of long, complicated words. Very often these words are key to the meaning of a sentence and therefore key to answering a question. However, equally often these words are unnecessary - they are adjectives or adverbs that provide greater description rather than play a part in meaning. If you start focusing on words you don't understand, you will run out of time. If the some words are too difficult, ignore them. Try this as an exercise - get a copy of an English language newspaper and find an article with lots of words in it you don't understand. Physically cross all the words out and then read the article to see if you can understand it. Chances are you will be able to.

15. If you get a text with a lot of dates, circle them as you go along - chances are the dates are going to be important. If you circle them you can find them again easily. 
 
16. Likewise with names; even if there aren't a lot of names, circle the ones you find so you can find them again easily. 
 
17. Don't worry about writing on the question paper if you need to.  
 
18. The biggest tip of all: read a lot. Every day read something. The more you read the easier it will be. Study the sentence structure and punctuation of what you read, but most of all, try to grasp the ideas in what you read. Look at a piece of writing and write down some predictions about what the reading will be about. As you read check off these predictions - which ones were right and which ones wrong? 
 
19. If you are really running out of time leave all the True / False / Not given and Multiple Choice questions until the end because you don't have to read anything to answer them. 

Reading Test Answer Paper
More IELTS tips: Listening, Reading, Writing, Speaking

Do you have any questions about IELTS Reading Test? Add your questions here and either IELTS Tips or another member of the IELTS Test community will give you the answers! 

Comments

avatar zahid
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plz tell me that who is the spesial words in the reading passage to underline .that is easy to find the answer in the passage
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avatar shalini
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help m in reading section only ...........
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avatar m shahid
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ist u read the passage care fully and underlines the worlds like date, names of insitute etc name of person, and also which lines u have not under stand
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avatar SWEETTY
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PLZ HELP ME IN READING SECTION AND IN WRITING............PLZZZZZZZZZZZZZ
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avatar Amir
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Hey sweety i have something good for you to improve you writing skill, actually i am student of IELTS as well.
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avatar Adnan Khan
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dear amir can you help me in writing section i need your lp
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avatar sherly
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hi can u give me a good advice for reading academic. i dont know wat to do. either to read the passage den answer or take a look at the question den scan the passage to look for the answer. please help me..
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avatar wali ullah
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i need help regarding four modules of lelts.Please help me in this regard.
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avatar IELTS SPEAKING ACCURACY
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nice post about IELTS SPEAKING ACCURACY. I am very happy to see it.
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avatar thammawit
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I took the test for 5 times, I got 6.0,6.0,6.0,6.0,6.5 overall espectcially my reading I got 6.0 5.0 5.0 5.5 5.5. see!!! there is nothing improve. What da F..!! I 'm so frustratated because I read everyday but it seem to be the same old. comparison in the first time and last time, every part is better, excepts reading. Please tell me how can I improve my reading in a short time.
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avatar Navdeep singh
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its best way to improve our skills
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avatar sandip
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how we can solve true yes ,no ,summry
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avatar Shrikant
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I need some tips for ielts exam plz send me on my email id plz shrik4ever@yahoo.com for all the module ...!
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avatar MOHAMED
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Pls send some reading module, as i find it to be very difficult. my id riaas_333@yahoo.co.in
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avatar syed shahid
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Hi, Can anyone guide me about the listening exercises/practice questions, as how can i get it online..i am getting material and practice questions for all other three modules,but not for listening.can anyon guide....
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avatar dolma yangchen
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Dear teacher
..I am getting nervous about my reading.Actually my problem is that i cannot choose heading of passage and have got some problem in yes,no ,and not given. questions..so if yhou have any better idea or tips of that then please guide me...thank you....
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avatar Tatiana
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I have the same problem too... Started to check just first proposal, but it doesnt work sometimes. What is the way ?
derskaia@mail.ru
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avatar maryam
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i wanted to have some more of the reading examples for academics.im really having difficulty answering them.pls,
maryamzowghi@yahoo.com
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avatar faraz
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please provide useful tips for general reading module i will be grateful to you
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avatar V.KRISHNARAO
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Hi i need more general reading books to improve my band score i am planning for band -7 can you please suggest what to do and where to get and presently I got CAMBRIDGE VOL 5-7 books but it is not sufficient I need more material can you please help me out.
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avatar wong
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HI, I'LL BE TAKING THE IELTS ON-LINE TEST. ANY TIPS ON GOING BACK AND FORTH ON THE PC SCREEN TO SEARCH FOR INFORMATION? IS IT MORE DIFFICULT THAN A PAPER TEST? HOW CAN I HIGHLIGHT OR MAKE NOTES OR CAN I TAKE WORK PAPER INTO THE ROOM? THANK YOU FOR ANY GUIDANCE AND TIPS.
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avatar SYED HASNAT
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i am having difficulties on reading, pl let me know how to improve? e-mail is hasnat@live.com.au
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avatar A.K.M.Nurunnabi Kabir
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i find difficulty in answering question like -finding information from paragraph. please give some tips about this.
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avatar darren
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I am taking IELTS test soon and this tips will be helpful for me. Hopefully I can also pass my exams at cursos de ingles en el extranjero.
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avatar Aman
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i need help with reading section.
my email is saroa.aman@gmail.com.
i would wait for your help.

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avatar Ghazal
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Hi, I need IELTS score 6 for going to Australia. I have tried 2 times but I got 5.5.
My big problem is reading.I am practicing Ielts reading samples every day but nothing has changed.Please give me a solution
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avatar dhir
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hi, I m really gd in all 3 parts except reading, is it possible for u to suggest me some specific tips to deal with reading questions and find the answers...pls
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avatar Ashu
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Can any1 send the Ielts reading general previous papers from ielts exams.
Iam facing the difficulty in true 0r false section .Please can u send the paper and tips n tricks at asim3027@gmail.com
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avatar pargat
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how we should do reading and listening module .i have no pace to read the all passages of reading .what i should do to avoid this problem ?
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avatar mohammed
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please update ur samples....as soon as
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avatar eshan
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do we answer the questions one by one????
or do we answer question after read all paragraphs?
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avatar eashan
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do we want to answer the question one by one?????
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avatar rajesh
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need new sample test's
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avatar Aamir
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I WANT SOME practically usefull STRATEGIES for each module of IELTS specially for reading and listening.
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avatar vimalraj
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What is best solution for yes no not given type questions?
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avatar luv.laxmi@gmail.com
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this tips is very helpful but as a student we need more tips from this site.
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avatar ravibhghimire@yahoo.com
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HOW TO FIND ANSWERS OF SUMMARY WITH BOX, & What is best solution for yes no not given type questions?With heading also..
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avatar irfan_fanitlg@hotmail.com
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these are more that good for ielts students
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avatar spaudel_3@yahoo.com
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i am reading some thing day to day, i am fallowing as much the tips given in different wave site but i am not preety sure that the skill of reading is improving.finding gist and key word seems quite hard for me is there any idea to improve the reading skill withine a couple of week?
some time it is because of many new vocabularies in a same passage so if there is any tips to improve the vocabulary????????
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avatar hamed_talkin@yahoo.com
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should i read the passage first then questions or vice versa?

i don\'t know the listening pattern. do we have to sit infront of the computer with question booklet in our hands?
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avatar BALRAJ SINGH/balraj_khehra@yah
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HOW TO FIND ANSWERS OF SUMMARY WITH BOX
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avatar GUEST
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What is best solution for yes no not given type questions?
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avatar GUEST
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i wanted to have some more of the reading modules for academics.im really having difficulty answering them.pls email me at angel_20_ph@yahoo.com
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avatar GUEST
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zoqktgjn xebvblfs http://ktablxth.com bqouunaa ovoizvyw [URL=http://xuxrcibd.com]uvghrdva[/URL]
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avatar GUEST
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I WANT SOME READING STRATEGIES.E-MAIL--hasanur2007@hotmail.com
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avatar GUEST
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tips of speaking
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avatar GUEST
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how to practice on speaking
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avatar GUEST
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If i spend more time on two passeges and guess answers in third passege . could i do like this?
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avatar Jeff
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skip the first - I think it's worth fewer marks.
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avatar SWEETTY
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HELP ME IN READING SECTION AND WRITING SECTION
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