Things to remember
· Remember to read the instructions carefully. The instructions will tell you where to find the answers, what you need to do, what kind of answer is required and how many words you need to write. The instructions will also tell you whether an answer can be used more than once and remind you to transfer your answers to the Answer Sheet.
· Remember that for many item types the questions follow the order of information in the reading passage.
· Remember to read all the questions very carefully.
· Practise scanning for key words in the extracts or the reading passage that match the items. You can also practise scanning for paraphrases of key words.
· Remember that in most cases, e.g. Short-Answer Questions, the answers have to be grammatically correct and should be spelt correctly. Accuracy in spelling and word form are very important and you will be penalised for incorrect spelling.In most cases, the words you need to write will be in the text you are reading so copy them carefully on to your Answer Sheet. Copying incorrectly will lead to loss of marks.
· Remember that in Sentence Completion tasks, you must focus on the meaning when choosing the correct ending.
· Use the information provided in the notes, tables, diagrams or flow-charts as well as any examples to predict the type of information that is required.
· In classroom activities, discuss the type of information you need for each item type.Underline key words and phrases when you read as well as paying attention to key words in the questions.
· Practise synonyms, summary words etc. to help you locate information.Practise different ways of expressing the same ideas or information in a text.
· Think about what certain pieces of information have in common – shared features – and what distinguishes them from each other.
· Practise reading skills such as skimming and scanning for information.
· Some students are convinced that only test practice will really help them, and want to do test after test. This can be discouraging, as they do not see the rapid progress they would like. You should also read widely, e.g. newspapers, journals, magazines and books, and use materials from these sources when preparing for the test.
· Be aware of the different text types and how best to approach them. Practise the full range of IELTS General Training Reading item types.
· You should make sure that you understand that there is more than one way to read a text. Some students believe that they must read every text slowly and carefully, underlining every unknown word and stopping to worry about it.
· You should remember that your main aim is to locate the answers to the questions. You do not need to read in the same way you would if you needed to memorise something.
· You should try not to worry too much about the presence of unknown words, and you should also practise guessing meaning from context. Try not to look up every unknown word in the dictionary.
· Make sure that you read the instructions carefully in every case: many item types contain variations, and it is easy for you to confuse them if you do not check carefully what it is you are required to do.
· You should remain conscious of time limits, and you should move on rather than spend too much time on a particular question to which you are unable to find the answer.
· Be aware of the dangers of relying on locating the exact words in the text that you find in a question: practise using paraphrases and locating paraphrase in a text.
· In task types where the information is located in order in the text, remember you don’t need to go back to the beginning of the text for each question.
· Make sure that you get some practice in using an Answer Sheet.