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Top 7 IELTS Reading Tips Increase Your Score

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The reading section is the second part of the IELTS (International English Language Testing System). It is taken immediately after the listening test. In this section, the test taker is given 60 minutes to read three long passages along with answering the 40 questions related to the three passages. Sounds easy, right?

However, it is harder than it sounds. Yes, it is hard, but not impossible.


The difficulty of the reading section in IELTS comes from the reading of passages and understanding that large text as well as answering a number of questions related to it in such a short amount of time. It is quite hard for test-takers who are only aware of academic reading as they will be presented with harder and trickier texts.

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With each of the seven tips mentioned below, test takers can take the reading section test easily. Take time to read these tips carefully, as they will help you to score good marks in the IELTS reading section.


  1. Read And Analyze Different English Texts As Much As Possible:

It is quite obvious that reading can help you a lot. Reading is the key to a good IELTS score. It is important to expose yourself to as many forms of English reading concepts as possible. It includes novels, newspapers, articles, online publications, social media platforms, and many more. Exposure to different English texts will help in improving reading skills as well as vocabulary. It will also increase your reading speed. It will also take the edge while you are taking the real reading test. Always remember that time is limited. Hence, you will have to read the given passages and questions quickly and answer them with equal speed. It will also save you seconds to cross-check your answers at last.

Also, do not forget that reading fast, alone, can help you to score good marks. The reading section tests the ability of the test taker to understand an important piece of information. So, it is important to answer the questions correctly in 60 minutes.

Along with reading a number of English texts, try to analyze the details as well. Unless you start analyzing, you won't be fully prepared to take the IELTS reading section. You can do this by creating questions for yourself using the English texts you read. It will help you to create a mindset of answering in a short time along with analyzing the passages.


Read The Given Instructions Carefully: Instructions are given to IELTS test takers to help them get good marks. Follow the instructions of the reading section exactly as they are written. If you do not follow the instructions regarding how to write your answers, then the answer can be marked wrong. Marks can be deducted even if the information you wrote is correct in the answer as the format suggested to you is not followed.

The easiest mistake that test-takers make is not following the instruction of writing the answer in limited words. Few examples of IELTS instructions can be:

  1. One-word answer only.
  2. Not more than three words.
  3. Not more than two words.

If you fail to answer with the correct number of words, then you are most likely to lose the marks. IELTS is very strict about the instructions. So, it is very important to follow their given instructions. For example, if the answer is 'General Training' and you write 'General Training Test'. Both of them are the right answers but do not match with the instruction of a two-word answer, so the second answer will be marked as an incorrect answer. 

It might seem harsh to you. But always remember that the IELTS reading section is testing you for your reading skills. So, understanding the instructions of IELTS is also a big part of the test.

The instructions will be different for every question. So, be extra careful and read the instructions before answering them. It will tell you how to answer the questions.


Divide Time Evenly Between The Passages: The reading section of IELTS asks you to take tests on three different and long passages. You get 60 minutes to read and answer the questions for the three passages. It is important to do it strategically. For each passage, do not spend more than 20 minutes. At that time, 20 minutes might not seem enough time for you to read and answer the questions of a passage, but remember, you only have 60 minutes to complete the reading section.

As you will be splitting time evenly among the three passages, it will ensure and give the best chance for your success. Just remember one thing. Keep an eye on the time as you do not wish to spend only 5 minutes on the last passage.

Read All The Questions First: Make it a habit of reading the questions first and then reading the text. By doing this, you will see a few numbers, words, dates, and names, which will be included in both questions and texts. It will make it easy for you to find answers.

Reading questions first will help you in locating the relevant information, which is being asked in the question and find the right answer. Along with this, it will also aid in understanding the passages for you as the questions will give you clues about the text in advance.

Practice And Try Guessing Meaning From The Context: It is not possible for you to understand every word in that long text. If you come across something you do not understand, you will start getting stressed. Getting stressed will only hamper your work quality. Accept this fact that you will not understand every single word of the context, and start practicing guessing the meaning of the word from the context.

Making an educated guess is simple. You will just have to guess the meaning that comes to your mind after reading the context. If you fail to do it quickly, leave it there and move on. You do not need to understand and answer the meaning of every single word to score high on the test. 

During your general reading practice, try to make a habit of guessing the meaning from context. Do not look for a dictionary to find its meaning. Try to work it out on your own by simply just reading the context and paragraphs.


Focus On Your Vocabulary: This is the most important tip for getting a good score in IELTS. The reading test is simply a vocabulary test. Your vocabulary is going to determine your IELTS score.

However, this does not mean that you only need to know a lot of words and their meanings. Along with these words, you need to know their synonyms as well.

When you appear for the test, the question might seem straightforward to you, but when you start looking for answers, you will not find anything like matching keywords or phrases. This is because they have used the synonyms of the words or the question has been paraphrased with the information given in the text.


Always Check Your Grammar And Spelling: Grammar and spelling are the important factors of any language. It is a basic step that everyone is aware of and does not need to be mentioned.

As many of the answers are directly going to come from your text, there is no space for grammar or spelling mistakes. Yet, you might make them because of ignorance.

If your answer is correct but the spelling and grammar are wrong, then it will be marked as a wrong answer. So, don't make this mistake and let your marks go away from you.


With the above-mentioned tips, the reading section of IELTS is going to be easy for you. All you need is dedication and a good amount of preparation before appearing on the test.


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