GENERAL STRATEGIES FOR THE IELTS READING MODULE

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As we know, the reading module is the second part of the IELTS examination. It lasts roughly around 60 minutes and consists of 40 questions based on a variety of task types. Although the task types of the Academic and General Training modules are the same, however, their types of reading passages differ. To put it simply, the Academic module will usually contain at least one passage organized as a logical argument, while the reading modules in the General Training on the other hand are likely to be more descriptive or instructive.

Obviously, in order to achieve the best results in the IELTS reading section, the use of combination of strategies must be implemented simultaneously. Hence, the following strategies which will be explained below are some of the effective tips that can help you with this part of the IELTS exam, since they are considerably important for you to study them in order to help you achieving better scores both in the reading context of Academic and the General Training comprehensions.


STRATEGY 1 – MAKE NOTES
During your examination day, you are allowed to make notes on the IELTS question booklets since the IELTS examiners will never look at these notes that you have already written. Well, you can simply make notes, underline, draw arrows and symbols on the reading question booklet just to help yourself understand the text better and find your answers faster. By doing it so, you might be able to avoid chances of having to read the same portions of the reading passage repeatedly.


STRATEGY 2 – TRY TO PREDICT WHAT THE TOPIC IS ALL ABOUT & BUILD A MENTAL MAP OF THE PASSAGE AS YOU SKIM IT
Before you read a text, it might seem rather helpful if you could try to guess what the topics of that passage will be. One way to do this, perhaps, is by using the information of the title, any subheadings, and the introduction part.

Obviously, reading a text for the first time can be disorientating or quite unfamiliar where you may find it difficult to scan through the entire passage. Thus, a useful technique to help you navigating the whole passage easier is by building up a mental map of the reading text. In other words, what you need to do is try to identify the topic or purpose of each paragraph in the passage, make notes (a couple of words) about the main idea or purpose of paragraphs and sections next to them, and then get to know what the paragraphs are about which will help you to find the answers quicker.


STRATEGY 3 – IDENTIFY THE TYPE OF A TEXT THAT YOU ARE READING
For example, try to identify whether the passage is about a problem-solving case, chronological accounts/history/series of events of something, or whether it discusses some positive and negative points of view regarding a certain issue addressed in a topic presented. So, this can be done by quickly skimming the entire text and looking at the title, introduction, and opening paragraphs. As a result, these will give you the clues needed for you to easily identify the main ideas, topics, and organization of a reading text presented.


STRATEGY 4 – STUDY THE KEYWORDS & SKIM EFFECTIVELY
To locate certain parts of the text where the answers might easily be discovered, you need to carefully study the keywords in the questions and then scan the entire passage for these synonymous or parallel expressions. Well, by using your mental map of the reading text, this should help you to perform this technique effectively.

As for the skimming method, try not to worry about words, terms, jargon that you don’t understand. Instead, it is better if you can get an overall impression of the text and one way to do this is by making sure to read the first sentence of each paragraph. Eventually, these will give you an overview of the text that you are reading upon. However, you must remember that sometimes, two different task types may focus on the same parts within the passage. In other words, you may not be tested exactly on the same information provided just in case.

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