IELTS READING EXAM TIPS
In the IELTS Reading exam you may have to complete gaps in a summary with words from a reading passage. Recognizing which part of speech is required in a gap can help you do this.
He won the argument because he was able to present the most__________ evidence.
In this sentence the gap comes before a noun so it is likely to require an adjective.
He won the argument because he was able to present the most credible evidence.
In the IELTS Reading exam you may have to show that you can identify the writer’s main ideas by matching headings to sections of text.
The headings capture the main ideas, and the sections contain detailed information and examples. Superordinates (words that describe a group or category) can help you match headings.
For example, in the word set: summer, season, winter, and spring, the word season is the superordinate term because summer, winter and spring are examples of seasons.
Learn to recognize superordinate terms.
In the IELTS Reading exam you may have to indicate whether statements about a passage are True, False or Not given (i.e. not mentioned).
You can often recognize a True statement if you can match it to a part of the passage that expresses the same idea in different words.
Recognizing synonyms (words with approximately the same meaning) can help you do this.
Allergies are common in wealthy countries. Allergies are common in affluent countries.
In the IELTS Reading exam you may have to complete gaps in sentences with words from a reading passage. Recognizing collocations (i.e. words that commonly go together) can help you do this.
If you look carefully at the words on either side of the gap you may be able to use your knowledge of collocations to choose the right word(s).
The patient was_______for cancer. The patient was treated for cancer.
In the IELTS Reading exam you may have to answer questions about the writer’s attitude.
Writers often convey their attitude by choosing words which have positive, negative or neutral connotations.
If a writer describes a solution as simple, they mean that it is obvious and straightforward (positive connotation).
If a writer describes a solution as simplistic, they are criticizing it for being simpler than it should be (negative connotation).
Learn to recognize whether a word has a positive, negative or neutral connotation.
You do not need to know all of the vocabulary in the IELTS Reading exam.
You can often work out the meaning of a word by looking at the context. If you do not understand a word or expression, you can look for:
- a superordinate term; for example if you don’t understand endives: Britons these days eat endives, rocket, and sprouting broccoli, vegetables that a generation ago were unheard of.
- examples; for example if you don’t understand artefacts-. Artefacts such as tools, jewellery and containers, can help us understand ancient civilizations whose history is not recorded in writing.
- a synonym or definition; for example if you don’t understand drowsiness-. This drug can induce drowsiness, that is difficulty staying awake.
- an antonym; for example if you don’t understand anxious-. Some children can be relaxed at home but anxious at school.
If you have to answer multiple-choice questions, before you read the text, read the stem of each test item and underline key words. This will help you identify the part of the text that you need to read carefully in order to select the correct option A-D.
For Q 5 opposite, you should underline ‘Adult’. When you read the text, look out for the word ‘adult’ (or a synonym) and read that part of the text carefully.