IELTS reading test is all about managing time. And if you are successful in doing that, a high band score is guaranteed. Students who are avid readers do well in it because they are in the habit of reading. If you are an early starter, which means you have time – six months or so before you decide to give your IELTS exam, invest in the habit of reading. You will not only become a fast reader, also build strong vocabulary and find a lifelong friend in books.

Unfortunately most of our students don’t have that kind of luxury of time. For which we have designed some strategies that can help them reap benefits even if they are not avid readers.

There are around 14 types of questions in the IELTS reading test. Some answers can be in the same order as the question and some not. Each type of question required to be tackled in a certain way.

  1. Read the first line: Pay attention to the first line of the paragraph. Usually the crux is carried in the first line. The first sentence will give you some idea.
  2. Skim through the passage: Which means go through the text quickly to get a general idea. There is no need to read the comprehension word by word as that will waste a lot of time. You just need to get a sense of topic and layout. Don’t spend more than 2-3 minutes on this. All questions except one come after the passage, so you read the passage before starting to work on the questions. Only matching headings come before the passage. 
  3. When you are skimming – Underline the keywords, and important information like – dates, names, facts, numbers, etc. they will help you locate the answer. This is called scanning. 
  4. Practise speed reading – it will help you find key information quickly. You must be able to scan the passage and locate information. When you have less time, this skill can be very useful. 
  5. Mark the connecting words: The connecting words in the text hold a lot of information and most of the time the answer lies around them. These are words like: First/firstly, second/secondly, third/thirdly etc; Next, last, finally; In addition, moreover; Further / furthermore; Another; Also; In conclusion; To summarise.These words get your a good score in coherence and cohesion. You need them in IELTS writing and IELTS speaking. In reading these connecting words tell you where the answer is.
  6. Build vocabulary: You need a good vocabulary in all four sections. But it is not just about knowing new words but also understanding their correct usage. You will lose points if you start using them incorrectly.
  7. Grammar: Many questions in reading are based on grammar. You will be asked to check if the sentences are grammatically correct or not. If your concepts in grammar are not clear, you will end up losing points.

If you are looking for comprehensive IELTS preparation course or just want to work on a particular section, get in touch with us at You can also find free practise tests for self study.