How to Obtain high band score in IELTS |IELTS tips: Part 2


I have already laid down the basic information regarding IELTS. Before I go to the tips section of my article I want all the prospective candidates to fully understand that there are NO easy way out to get great scores in IELTS. There is only one way and that is called "PRACTICE".Try to finish at least 20 sets of IELTS test before you even think of entering the exam hall. However, do not make the mistake of presuming that this does not apply to you simply because you think that you are really good in English. Although the IELTS test does test your prowess over the English Language, it also tests how well you react under the exam pressure. Also, everyone needs to agree, unanimously, that Practice can do you no harm!

The World Speaks IELTS.
The World Speaks IELTS. | Source

Reading:

The IELTS Reading test is of two types: General Reading and Academic Reading. Both types of Reading tests take 60 minutes to complete. The Reading test is comprised of approximately 40 questions on three different passages. Each passage should be given 20 minutes to complete, however, I suggest that the first two passages be completed in 18 minutes, leaving enough time to complete the last section without feeling rushed. The one thing a candidate can live without at an exam hall is feel panic which is usually the result of time constraint.

Tips:

Tip 1:

Unlike the O’ Levels English Language comprehension section, IELTS Reading is a bit different. In the former case I always suggest that students read the passage at least 3 times in order to answer well, however, in IELTS, the candidates are not given the luxury of reading the whole passage properly, let alone thrice.

I suggest that the candidate read the first 2 to 3 questions (FAST) and with a red pen underline the important word in the question. Then turn to the first passage and read the first paragraph, the first few answers are usually at the beginning of the passage. However, if not, then continue reading and you will be able to spot the answer quickly as you already have a good grasp of the question.

Tip 2

Read the questions first, and then look for the answer. Learn the art of skim reading. Only through a lot of practice can this be achieved. Learn to remember information that you have read while running over the words.

Tip 3

Always underline names of professional people (example: Professor, Dr, lawyer, etc). I ask candidates to underline these names because usually where there are expert opinions, there are questions asking candidates to match the initials of professional people with the opinion they have made or the work they have accomplished. By underlining the names the candidates can quickly and easily find the paragraphs containing the answers.


Cambridge IELTS Practice Book
Cambridge IELTS Practice Book

Tip 4

Do not get flustered seeing a picture in the place of a question. It is quite common to find a picture with missing labels or names. Calm down, find the paragraph in the passage containing the answer, read it carefully and you will be able to answer it.

Tip 5

The questions at the beginning of the test usually ask questions in a chronological pattern. However, as the test proceeds towards the ending, the questions might want answers that were mentioned at the beginning of the passage. So do not feel scared, try to remember where you read the answer to the question, trace it and answer.

Tip 6

Matching the headings with paragraphs seem to scare most of the students. I agree that this part of the test is a bit daunting for most candidates; however, it is not that difficult either. There may be similar paragraphs and hence might confuse a candidate as to which heading should go to which paragraph, however, if the paragraph and the provided titles given are read carefully, it is quite easy to answer them correctly. There is always a word in the paragraph which makes its title distinctively its own.

Tip 7

Another part of the Reading test that confuses candidates is the "True/False/Not Given" or "Yes/No/Not Given" section of the test. Though it is usually easy to find what is given and what is false, the ‘Not Given’ category can become a little perplexing. Often candidates get confused over very simple things like, for example: it is common knowledge that the earth revolves around the sun. So if there is a question that goes like: the earth revolves around the sun: is it True/False or Not Given. Although we all know that the earth does revolve around the sun, it is not conclusive for your IELTS Reading test. Unless this information is provided in the Reading passage, this particular information will fall under the NOT GIVEN category. this is where most students make the mistake of mistakenly writing True instead of Not Given giving their answers based on their common knowledge! Therefore, heed students...pay more attention!

Tip 8

Lastly, remember that unlike the Listening test, the candidate must answer the questions in the answer book. No transfer time is given.

Good Luck!

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Comments 10 comments

rafiq 6 years ago

It's really helpful.


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K Kiss 6 years ago from Newcastle upon Tyne, UK Author

I am glad that it helped someone :) since that was the motive behind writing this article. You might find the part of the the IELTS tips helpful too.


JASSI 6 years ago

Hi, i am jassi i am going to give my IELTS exam on 19th June so i am very scared how i should do more practice in reading section i understand it is a toughest part of the test & also it has been becoming more tough vis a vis to past time tests. I want to attain more then seven band in this test, so, if you have any good tips just tell me it can really facilitate me in several ways. I will be your highly obliged.

JASSI 7-5-2010


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K Kiss 6 years ago from Newcastle upon Tyne, UK Author

Well Jassi...I have already incorporated most of my best exam techniques in this hub. However, I would like to suggest that you make good use of the time that you have left till the exams to practice as much as possible before your upcoming exam. I practiced for a week before sitting for my IELTS and I am telling you, it is no big deal to get an eight in the Reading section. This is mainly due to the fact that a candidate's grammar doesn't show in this part of the test as the answers are limited to a maximum of only 3 words if I remember correctly.

Timing yourself is essential. Keep track of the time no matter what. Do not make silly mistakes like not synchronizing your watch to the exam time and following it.

While practicing, keep your wits about and always be ready to catch words and their placing in the passage (this is made easier by colour coding your underlines: e.g, underline all the names of persons with red and the names of places with green, etc). This technique helped me a lot as it made it easier for me to go back in a flash and find the relevant word when the question asked any of them.

The passages are huge, so instead of reading and re-reading the passage (you won't get that kind of time), read the first couple of questions quickly and search for the answer. The questions usually ask for information contained in the passage chronologically, so it won't be much of a hassle finding the relevant answer for the first 2 or 3 answers in the first couple of paragraphs.

My last advice is, do not panic and you will be able to secure your desired band score.

Good Luck Jassi with your exams.


Benny  6 years ago

Hey K !

I got my Ielts exam tmrw ,July 17 and i have jus started going thro the books ! i know im not your candidate student :P (as u advice ppl to start preparing weeks ahead),ul have to excuse me on that but i have found your arcticle very helping and has given me a good idea of how to go about with the exam, thank you fr posting this , its highly appreciated.


K Kiss profile image

K Kiss 6 years ago from Newcastle upon Tyne, UK Author

Thank you for your comment Benny.

Since there isn't much time left till your exams I doubt you will even get to read my comment before your exam. However, if you do then just remember to keep your wits about in the exam hall. Time is crucial so do not succumb to panic. Hope you get your desired or required band score. Good Luck :D


steve meli 6 years ago

i am really scared of what will happened in november, please if someone has any guides or tips on the reading section i think he or she can help me thanks


M AMIN 5 years ago

dear i a afraid about my writting skils i have a fobia of writing :( suggest e on my mail thanks

maq387@hotmail.com


K Kiss profile image

K Kiss 5 years ago from Newcastle upon Tyne, UK Author

Hello M Amin. Don't be afraid of writing for IELTS. It is more about practice than the general talent required for writing fiction. Be diligent and you will do fine. Remember about the word limit. You must try your very best to write the paragraph in the region of words allowed. Try not to write too much or too little. The writing part of the IELTS will test your ability to write in a manner than explain everything needed to explain in a precise and concise way. Be careful not to make silly grammatical or spelling errors. Keep the sentences short and straightforward and you cannot go wrong.

If you need any further help please feel free to comment here and ask for help.


Sohail Iqbal 4 years ago

Hi I m sohail from Karachi i am about to appear in ielts exam. but to be very honest i m facing difficulties in reading i strongly believe your this ill be helpful for me thank you very much indeed

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