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Posted on July 20 2020

7 tips to manage your time in the reading section of the IELTS

By  Editor
Updated April 03 2023
7 tips to

The IELTS reading section tests candidates on a wide range of skills which include the ability to read the passage thoroughly or skim through it to understand and identify what the author wants to say.

The reading test has a time limit of 60 minutes and has 40 questions. The question types you can come across in the reading section include:

  • Multiple choice
  • Identifying information
  • Identifying a writer's views/claims
  • Matching information
  • Matching headings
  • Matching features
  • Matching sentence endings
  • Sentence completion
  • Summary, note, table, flow-chart completion
  • Diagram label completion
  • Short-answer questions

You must learn how to manage your time to answer all the questions in the reading section. Here are some tips to help you so that you get a better score.

Learn to skim through the passage

For understanding the gist of the passage, you must learn to skim through the entire passage. Do not waste time reading in-depth every sentence as this can be time-consuming and wasteful. Search for key points that explain the passage, this will help you when searching for answers.

Boost your reading speed

One ability that is extremely important is to enhance your reading pace. You will need to read the passage quickly to grasp the meaning of the whole paragraph. The better your understanding, the quicker you'll be able to answer the questions. To read quickly you need to learn to skim through the passage.

Focus on the introduction and conclusion

The author's point of view is expressed in the introduction and conclusion passages. You can answer most questions correctly when you read these two sections of the reading passage. You can skim through the body of the passage after you go through the introduction and conclusion.

Learn to identify keywords

A keyword will help you understand the concept in the passage. Identify and if necessary, underline these keywords when skimming through the text. This will help you answer the questions after the passage.

Read all questions before attempting to answer them

Get a quick look at all of the questions first before you start answering. Because you've skimmed through the passage and identified keywords already, you need not spend more time on the questions. It is also important to carefully read each question before answering them.

Move on if you are stuck

Keep the time-limit in mind. If you're lost and can't focus on the answer, just move on. If you take more than one minute for a question, it is best to leave it and move on.

Check your answers

Checking your answers can help boost your score. Make sure you answer all the questions and assign a total of 20 minutes for checking your answers.

Make the most of your time at home during this pandemic, increase your score with live classes for IELTS from Y-Axis. Stay home and prepare.



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