Using the 'Reading Time' Wisely In IELTS Exams!

IELTS Reading Tips

Dear IELTS Students,

What should you do in the reading time when you are taking an exam or test?

I am often amazed at how many students do not utilize the reading time before a test or exam effectively. Recently when I questioned a group of students about what type of things they do in the reading time I was truly astonished by their responses.

Many students just looked at me blankly and then when I tried to make light of the situation and jokingly made some ridiculous suggestions about the time being for gazing out the window, the students nervously laughed and many honestly admitted this is what they did. Especially if they came across something in the paper they were unsure of, either the meaning of a word or exactly what the question was asking them to do.

During this time you should read the question to clarify the meaning of any new or unknown words. This is particularly important during the timed writing tests. Make sure you understand the topic. It would be impossible to write successfully about a topic if you are unsure what it means.

So what should you do in the reading time? Here are a few suggestions:

  1. Read the questions. Look through the whole paper to see what type of answers you need to give. Are they multiple choice, short answers, true or  false type questions?
  2. Check you understand the meaning of any unknown, new words.
  3. Read the instructions carefully. Exactly what is the question asking you to do? Clarify anything you are not 100% sure about.
  4. Check through the whole test to make sure you have every page. How many sections are there? What is the value or marks assigned for each  part? Sometimes parts are not weighted equally in value. It might be best to complete a section that has more marks assigned first.

Being a successful learner is also about helping others. Add some other ideas and tips to help students use the reading time wisely and effectively, rather than having them gaze out the window!

So remember the more you connect, share and communicate the greater your language learning.