Strategies to Improve IELTS Reading
There are 3 approaches
1. Reading the full passage and then tackle the questions:
- There are some positives as well as negatives associated with this strategy. What is needed in a student for this strategy to be successful is
- To know that they can read the required amount in the given time.
- This strategy is recommended for people with a fast reading speed.
- They must understand vocabulary at a high level and retain the information that they have read.
- The positive is that once they have read the passage they can easily find their way back from the questions and are able to locate and answer quickly, as they should have also retained the location of the answer.
- This strategy involves a student having to read a large part of the passage twice as the questions may have a difference of just one word and nothing else. This level of specificity makes it necessary for students to read the passage twice and this is considered tough for students with a slow reading speed.
2. Start with the Questions and then skim the passage for the answers:
- The student must identify the keywords/ ideas of the question and identify what is being asked of them.
- They should then look for the same ideas or words in the passage, remember that the IELTS may not give you the exact same words and ideas but will involve the student look for synonyms of the same.
3. The Summarization technique:
This is by far the toughest technique and will require a lot of practise to get used to. However, this technique will allow the student to read the minimum amount while getting the maximum out of the passage.
- Find the topic sentence in a paragraph: This will always be the 1st or 2nd sentence, which gives you the general idea of the paragraph.
- The student must then find ideas supporting the topic sentence which gives them a complete idea of the paragraph
- The total time taken to complete reading an entire paragraph should not take more than 8 minutes, which if leaves almost 12 minutes to answer the question.
- The student should use the details given in the paragraph to confirm the idea of the topic sentence.
- This technique allows you to kill many birds with one stone. If the questions require you to give the key idea in a passage, you can do that. If it requires you to give the topic heading, you can achieve that as well.
A student needs to recognize what works for them. Not every approach will work for every student. To succeed the student needs to try out the one that works best for the student. Practise and perfect the strategy that works for you, ditch the ones which do not work for you. Also, it must be stated that it is not necessary that the technique works for every student.
Another question that is often asked is how a student can improve their reading speed. These are a few reliable techniques for the same. Please note that all these techniques take time, so the student must adequately spend a good amount of time on it. The student must be patient with technique and stick to it. Results do not appear overnight, and you will see changes only after a lot of practise.
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