Are you always between a band score of 4 to 6 in IELTS Reading? Do you find it challenging to complete 40 questions in 60 minutes? Well, you are not alone – many of them have the same struggle as you. 

The fact is that students don’t know how to scale up to a 7+ band score.

The key to improving your IELTS Reading band score is implementing the right approach. Here, we’ll discuss how to enhance your IELTS Reading band score and why it is essential to do so. 

The IELTS Reading test contains 40 questions and is divided into 3 sections for both Academic and General. The time allotted to complete the test is 1 hour. Each correct answer is awarded 1 mark, and the score out of 40 is converted into an IELTS band score. Individual band score from every component is compiled to produce an overall band score.

Several types of questions are asked in each section of IELTS. Here are few types of questions you can get in the reading section of the IELTS exam:

  • Matching Heading Questions
  • Sentence Completion Questions
  • True False Not Given/ Yes No Not Given Questions
  • Multiple-choice Questions
  • Summary Completion Questions
  • Short Answer Questions
  • Gap Filling Questions
  • Flow Chart/Table Completion Questions

Read more and discover 5 fantastic strategies to improve your IELTS Reading band score.

1. Effectively manage your time.

Hard Work is needed to attain a good score in reading. There are 14 types of questions taken from journals, magazines, and newspapers, and these texts are upto 2,000 words each. Instead of reading the text, focus on questions first. Make sure you read the instructions of the question carefully. You don’t need any prior knowledge to answer the questions in the Reading section. Don’t waste your time by reading full passages. Most of the questions focus on checking your ability to locate the answers and to understand the information provided in the question. There are two types of questions that require a detailed understanding of the passage – choosing a title and matching heading. The rest of the question types are based on locating the information. But this does not mean you have to skip reading. By reading a variety of content, your reading speed will improve, and will give you an edge while taking the real test.

Moreover, if you struggle with a question, leave it and move on to the next question. Once you are through with all the questions, go back to the unanswered questions and make sure you answer them. This technique will help you to manage your time effectively.

2. Annotate and highlight the text to improve your accuracy

Before jumping to the passage, read the question first. Reading the question beforehand will help you know what to look for in the passage. Also, while reading the passage, highlight any keyword that you feel is related to the question. If you can write or mark up whatever you are reading, it improves your understanding of the text. 

Moreover, while preparing for the IELTS reading test, read and practice different texts and highlight complex terms and phrases. This will help you to avoid mistakes. Try to summarize the passage verbally. It will force you to remember specific details and central points about the passage.

3. Follow Scanning and Skimming techniques

Next, skim the passage to find the section that contains these keywords. The skimming technique helps to locate specific words and facts quickly. At the same time, the scanning technique helps to get a general idea of the text quickly. To implement these techniques, you have to read the passage carefully and compare it with the information given in the questions. Apply this technique to section 1 and section 2 of the reading test. It will help you locate the answers quickly and leave you ample time to attempt section 3 of the IELTS reading test. Learn to spend less than 5 minutes skimming and scanning the text. It will help you enhance your ability to locate the information speedily. Don’t go for intensive reading. Instead, look for the gist of the text and do not get trapped in parts you don’t fully understand.

4. Improve your paraphrasing skills

Paraphrase whatever you read. Each question will have essential keywords that will help spot the answer. Learn to find the keywords and check if these keywords can be paraphrased. Learning new vocabulary will help you identify the correct usage of a word. The reading test of the IELTS exam is designed to check your vocabulary, comprehension, how well you understand the passage, and express the same idea differently with synonyms and paraphrasing. Enhance your grammar, too, as merely learning new words won’t help you paraphrase your answers correctly. Questions such as summary completion and sentence completion require good command over grammar.

6. Study from authentic practice tests

Practice makes a person perfect! You will find dozens of websites online that provide practice tests. However, some of these tests are not authentic and are much easier than the real IELTS test and might leave you unprepared for the test. Always look for authentic practice tests on reliable websites.

They help you to locate mistakes, compare your answers with correct answers and improve your test-taking skills.

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