When you are preparing for the IELTS Reading paper there are several things that can help. Obviously doing past test papers can help you understand the expectations of the test and the different question types you may come across, such as True/False or matching headings to paragraphs. However, understanding the exam is only one part of your preparation. You also need to think about your general reading ability.
Like any skill, improving your reading takes practice. You should be reading things in English as often as you can. The good news is, it shouldn’t be too hard. Don’t choose texts that are too complicated or that are difficult for you to read. You’ll get tired and frustrated and it won’t improve your reading. Also, don’t aim for texts that are too easy. If there is no challenge, then you won’t exercise your reading skill. You need to choose things that you are comfortable reading and that you enjoy reading. In that way you can build your reading fluency – you will recognize how English works, come across familiar patterns and understand how texts develop.
Try to read a variety of texts – newspaper articles, magazine articles, short stories etc. The wider you read, the better prepared you will be. Remember, the more you read, the easier it becomes.
The reading test can be frightening when you hear that you have to read three texts of between 2150-2750 words each and answer 40 questions in 60 minutes! One thing you can be sure of – you need to be able to read fast.
To improve your scores for reading there are two techniques you should follow:
Skimming – for just two or three minutes, skim your eyes over the text. Read the headline/title, the introduction, the first sentence of most paragraphs and the conclusion. This will give you an overall general idea of the reading passage which helps you manage the questions better.
Scanning – now read the questions and scan your eyes across the text to try to find the answers. When you scan, you are looking for synonyms (words with similar meaning) to locate the part of the text where the answer lies.
Working on these reading skills a little bit every day will help you in your test. Try to read in English for 20 to 30 minutes per day from news websites, novels, magazines etc. Use your travel time to read in English on your mobile. By building up your speed and concentration, you should soon see an improvement in your reading ability.
True/False/Not Given and Yes/No/Not Given questions are common questions in the IELTS Reading paper. Let’s have a look at this question.
These questions can be confusing but here are a few ideas to help.