IELTS Hacks: How to Read Scientific Papers

The IELTS test measures the test taker's ability to communicate using the English language. If you plan to work, study, or migrate abroad, enrolling in an IELTS review center is one surefire way to achieve your desired band score. There are available training facilities in the country where you can choose from. The IELTS review center in Cebu, for instance, caters to students in the Visayas.

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During orientation in the IELTS review center, you will learn that the exam has two categories: IELTS Academic test and IELTS General Training test. Instructors in training programs, such as the IELTS review center in Cebu, train students on how to employ speed reading as both exams entail reading and understanding of passages from various resources.

Basic Tactics in Reading Scientific Papers

If you plan to take the IELTS Academic exam, you will encounter three long texts derived from books, journals, magazines, and newspapers in the Reading section. Thus, to help you prepare for the exam component, here are some reading techniques you can employ when you encounter excerpts from scientific papers.

•    Skim the paper
The secret in reading a scientific paper is to get the big picture first. Run through the title, the keywords, and the abstract to understand the significance of the major findings of the paper. While skimming, you also need to take note of the difficult words and concepts in the article to guide you in the next step.

•    Read the article
Once you get an idea of the primary context of the paper, re-read the article again. This time, carefully read the article to get a full understanding of the content. Answer the big question, “what is the problem?” Identify the issue and focus on how it was discussed in the article. Determine the approach used to address the research questions and how the unfamiliar concepts were presented.

•    Interpret the data
Look for the key findings of the paper. Make sure that you understand every detail including the diagrams presented. Before looking at the caption for each graph, try to make your own interpretation first. Draw inferences from the material to clearly comprehend the information. 

•    Summarize what you have read
Take note of the most significant details in the article to improve your comprehension and memory retention. Finally, reread the abstract of the paper to have a better understanding of the text.
Reading technical papers can be challenging for some. As an IELTS Academic test-taker, you need to practice reading scholarly articles to help prepare you for the academic and professional environment. Apply the reading techniques mentioned above and secure your chances of accomplishing your IELTS band score goal.

  • Elsevier. "Infographic: How to Read a Scientific Paper." Elsevier Connect. Accessed June 08, 2017.
  • “How to Read a Research Paper.” Accessed June 08, 2017.
  • "How to Read a Scientific Paper." Science Buddies. Accessed June 08, 2017.
  • Raff, Jennifer. "How to Read and Understand a Scientific Paper: A Step-by-Step Guide for Non-Scientists." The Huffington Post. June 18, 2014. Accessed June 08, 2017.
  • Raff, Jennifer. "How to read and understand a scientific paper: a guide for non-scientists." Violent metaphors. January 31, 2015. Accessed June 08, 2017.
  • Purugganan, M., & Hewiit, J. “How to Read a Scientific Article.” Accessed June 08, 2017.
  • Stanford University. Accessed June 08, 2017.
  • "Test Format." IELTS Test Format. Accessed June 08, 2017.

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