The term management itself means “manage-me” which implies managing yourself to attune with the given time. So when you are able to utilize the time at hand efficiently and effectively, you can say you have managed the time. And if you are not able to manage the time, that results in loss of mark as you may not be able to complete the test in time. Besides that, poor planning especially for IELTS Reading can make your experience stressful and sometimes may lead to a mental block.

A mental block is a state where due to stress you are unable to understand the meaning of the passage. In order to avoid that situation, it’s always good to bifurcate your time section-wise in an effective manner.

No matter whichever test you take, there will always be a time limit to complete it. Now moving back to the IELTS reading, honestly, it is pretty taxing to go through such long passages or lot many texts and then answer them all within an hour’s time. You got to have fast reading skills and a quick understanding of the text. Time is crucial in the IELTS Reading exam but managing the time section-wise can work wonders. For that, you need to have a clear understanding of the Reading section format.

To start with, IELTS General Reading section has three sections and 40 questions in all which are to be completed within 60 minutes.

  • Section 1 has two to three or many short texts which can be related to daily life such as advertisements, notices.
  • Section 2 has two texts which are based on work-related topics such as job descriptions, staff training.
  • Section 3 has one long passage which emphasizes more on instructive language and it can be taken from any source such as newspaper, magazine, fiction or non-fiction books.

The IELTS Academic Reading section carries three sections having 40 questions in all. The time allowed is 60 minutes to answer all the questions.

  • Each section contains one long passage with an increasing level of difficulty. And the passages are selected from various sources keeping in mind the level of university-level students.
  1. Divide your time For IELTS Reading: Managing the time means dividing your time in a way that you are able to go through your passages and answer all the questions. Besides that, you are able to review your answer sheet. And all this requires skill and practice. You must take a lot of IELTS Reading practice tests, it will help you understand different types of passages and questions.
  2. Keep timer with you: Additionally, you can keep a timer with you, whenever you start for IELTS reading or for anything put a timer and record the time it takes to read around 800-1200 words passage. The more you practice this, the better the speed you will have in reading.
  3. Increase your reading speed:

    Typically a person with normal reading speed can read up to 150 words per minute and if you want to have fast reading speed then you need to surpass that speed to a minimum of 400 words per minute. If you are able to achieve that speed you will be in good form to attempt all three IELTS reading sections in time.

  4. Apply different strategies:

    Furthermore, to manage the time well during the reading test, always read the first sentence of each paragraph as that will give you the main idea about the whole paragraph. Side by side keep marking the important dates, numbers, words, and names as that will help you in finding the answers easily. This strategy will save your time and you will not have to go through the whole passage word by word.

  5. Assign the time section-wise:

    Usually, the first section is the easiest one and it requires less time to finish, assign around 15 minutes in all to this section. The second and the third section requires deep understanding as the content gets a bit confusing and tricky. So try to assign 20 minutes to section 2 and section 3 each respectively. Out of 20 minutes, the first 15 minutes can be given to reading the passage and the next 5 minutes to answer the questions. In the last 5 minutes, you can review your answers.

  6. Keep time for review:

    Try to gear yourself in a way that you can have some time to review your test as you will not get any extra time for that. So try to allot specific timeframe to each section, keep some time for review and follow that schedule religiously as each section of the reading test is different.

  7. Use time-saving tips:

    Use all the time-saving tips and tricks such as skimming, scanning, speed reading, marking the keywords, read the topic statement, etc. These tips will help you go through the text holistically and get the main theme of the text. Let us define these techniques that enable you to manage your time during the exam.

    1. Skimming technique is used to read in a way where you can extract the main crux of the passage by going through it quickly without reading it deeply. And also earmarking the paragraphs in a way that you know what content belongs to which paragraph.
    2. Scanning technique is used when you know the text and you want to find some specific information/word/answer. This is used when we are searching for answers.
    3. Speed reading is when you quickly go through the text and comprehending its meaning.
    4. Keywords are usually numbers, names, places, dates, etc. which lead to the correct answers. So marking or underlining such words help you save a lot of time.
    5. Reading the first line of every paragraph will give you the theme of the whole paragraph. The first sentence of the paragraph is also called a topic statement as it defines the whole paragraph in a nutshell.

All the time management strategies won’t be easy at first. You will have to practice constantly to achieve the desired results. Therefore, having proper planning of the reading exam and consciously controlling the time at hand to utilize it effectively are required to get a higher band score.