IELTS Academic Reading: How to score well?

The IELTS (International English Language Testing System) is an internationally accepted English language test for non-native English-speakers to study, migrate, and work in English-speaking countries. The test has two modules: IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training. IELTS Academic is taken by students who plan to study in English-speaking countries. The test consists of four sections: speaking, listening, reading, and writing. The IELTS Academic Reading section is a vital and compulsory section of the IELTS Academic test. 

The ‘Reading’ test assesses English skills including the student’s ability to read passages and recognize the writer’s opinion, attitude, reasoning, and argument. The 60-minute-long examination tests the proficiency of students in understanding the important ideas, opinions, and details in a passage. It has 3 sections and 40 questions related to the passage. The passage topics are not of general interest but are academic in nature.

Tips for IELTS Academic Reading section:

The IELTS Academic Reading section consists of three long passages and the difficulty increases as one proceeds in the test. The test is designed to meet the standard and level of English language proficiency among students entering college or university. An IELTS reading score of 8 means that an applicant is proficient in the English language. Here are some of the most important tips to get an 8 band in the IELTS Academic Reading section: 

  • Read the three long passages by investing 2-3 minutes for each passage. Students need to go through the entire passage to gain an understanding of the concept, format, and information in it. The key is, quick skimming helps students answer at least 50% of the questions in one go. 
  • Scan and locate the correct answers and information relevant to the passage. Students need to practice quick scanning of the provided passage. The quicker they are, the better. IELTS Reading has a strict time limit. So, students unable to manage the task within the stipulated time have to submit an incomplete test. 
  • Use the keywords. Keywords are given in the question paper. They  help the students locate the right answers in the long passage. 
  • Students need to have an excellent vocabulary. If they are unable to understand the meaning of a particular word, they should try to understand the meaning of the sentence or the words around to find a cue. 
  • Answers should be grammatically correct.
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