1. Learning Synonyms

This first tip is very important. When you're practicing doing and preparing for the IELTS, the first thing you need to prepare is to start learning synonyms. 

Now, what's a "synonym"? A "synonym" is a copy of another word where the meanings are the same, but the words are different. 

Example: "intelligent" and "smart". These are synonyms. They have the same meaning, but they're different words.

How to be successful in IELTS Reading?
How to be successful in IELTS Reading?

Why should you learn different synonyms for the IELTS? The reason is oftentimes, on the IELTS you will have a text or a reading passage, and then, after that you will have a bunch of questions. Sometimes, in the questions, you need to look for certain information in the reading passage. After reading a question, and you need to find the answer in the passage. The way to do this is looking at keywords. You might see a keyword in the question. And you're looking for that same word in the reading passage. But they often don't use the same words in the question and the passage. Oftentimes, they will use synonyms. So for example, maybe in the question the keyword is "intelligent". In the reading passage, the word that you'll actually need to find is "smart". So by knowing synonyms, you'll be able to do the questions a lot faster, and you'll be able to find information faster. And on the IELTS, time is very important, so you want to be able to do things very quickly.

2. Pay close attention to negative words

The second point has to do with a lot of the question types, especially the "not given" question types. There's a question type called "True, False, or Not Given". There's also one called "Yes, No, Not Given". This point is for those.

How to be successful in IELTS Reading?
How to be successful in IELTS Reading?

Oftentimes, you need to pay close attention to negative words on the IELTS. So for example "never", "rarely", "hardly", "seldom". Depending on what the question is, sometimes, if it's a true or false question, it's very important to look for these words. This is one of the tricks you might find on the IELTS -- It's not exactly a trick, but sometimes, you might put down "true", but the answer is actually false because of these negative words. So key point: Notice and pay attention to these types of words in both the "True, False, and Not Given", and the "Yes, No, Not Given".

3. Focus on frequency words

This point is quite similar to the second point, it's very important to pay attention to frequency words, especially in the same part, and the "True, False, Not Given". You might see "always", "often", "sometimes", "never"

Why is this important? Well, if you see something that says, "Sometimes the Pharaoh of Egypt -- or the Pharaohs of Egypt were buried in tombs", but the actual answer is true or false, and it says, "Pharaohs were always buried in tombs", you might get confused. You might put down the wrong answer. So it's very important to pay attention to "always", "often", "sometimes", "never" in true or false questions.

How to be successful in IELTS Reading?
How to be successful in IELTS Reading?

4. Stick with first answer

This is probably one of my favorite points. During tests - this happens to all students - they will pick on answer; and then, they'll think about it; and they'll see another answer; and they'll want to change their answer; and they don't remember -- they don't know, "Which one should I pick?" It's good to go with your first instinct. So if you're doing multiple choice, and right off the bat you think, "Okay, the answer is A"; and then you look, and you think, "Okay, well, maybe the answer is C -- if both of them seem like good possibilities, and you don't know, choose the one you thought of first. Okay? Go with your gut feeling. Go with your instinct.

How to be successful in IELTS Reading?
How to be successful in IELTS Reading?

5. Questions often follow passage order

All the questions in IELTS test often follow the chronological order. Therefore, question 1 will be somewhere near the top of the reading passage. Question 2 will be underneath question 1 and so on. 

So why is this tip important to you? It’s because if you know about this, when you find the answer for the question 2, it’s probable that the answer of question 1 is above. It’s not “always”, but “often”. But this will help you a lot in doing the reading test of IELTS.

How to be successful in IELTS Reading?
How to be successful in IELTS Reading?

6. Know what topic sentences are

You need to understand the topic sentence specifically. There are a lot of questions in the Reading module. Therefore, if you know where the topic sentence is, it will help you find the answer quicker and easier.

So what’s topic sentence? – For every paragraph, there is a question to sum up all the main idea of that paragraph. And it is usually the first sentence or it’s at the beginning of the paragraph.

So this is a good tip, especially for paragraph heading and matching question. By understanding topic sentence and how to find it, this will save a lot of time for you.

How to be successful in IELTS Reading?
How to be successful in IELTS Reading?

7. Practice each question types

These are the 7 popular types of question in IELTS Reading.

  • True/False/Not given – Yes/No/Not given
  • Multiple choice
  • Short answer questions
  • Matching Headings
  • Matching information
  • Gap fill
  • Completing sentences

Depending on each type, you will have a different solution to deal with it. So, remember to practice all types of reading test, because you can not know which problem that you might face in the IELTS test.

How to be successful in IELTS Reading?
How to be successful in IELTS Reading?

8. Take an online preparation test

One of the effective way to learn IELTS is that taking a mock test. By doing this you can know clearly about the format of the IELTS and how to do the test. 

Moreover, taking the preparation test also helps you to evaluate your level of language skill. Therefore you can have a better plan to gain your target score.

You can take a look at Testuru – a technology platform that supports you to take a mock IELTS online test and prepare for you real one.

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