IELTS Hacks: Tips for Reading Lengthy Texts

Reading long texts is an essential, albeit a tiresome, part of any IELTS Academic test taker’s review. 

Here’s why:

IELTS Academicexaminees must read and analyze lengthy passages from academic materials like books, journals, newspapers, and magazines. The texts are of general interest, mostly tackling subjects that are relevant to people who want to continue their academic pursuits (i.e., under- and postgraduate courses) and seek their professional registration abroad. So, if you are taking the IELTS Academic exam, expect to read dense, challenging texts.

These are the reasons why excellent training facilities, like the IELTSreview center in Makati, provide one-on-one coaching sessions about the reading component. Here are some of the tips they teach to help their students go through long texts.

ielts reading tips

      ·         Preview the passages
Watching a movie trailer gives you an idea of what to expect in the film. You can do the same when reading. To get a text’s preview, just scan it from the beginning to the end. Take note of the text’s headings and subheadings. Keep an eye out for information that is presented differently from the rest of the text (e.g., passages in bold, large, italicized fonts, texts in bullet points, etc.).

      ·         Preview the questions 
Here’s the thing that most test takers don’t know about the reading exam: you don’t have to read the texts thoroughly, just pinpoint the answers you need. This is one of the lessons that IELTS Philippines instructors drill into their students’ heads. Read the questions first before the passages so that you have an idea of the information you are looking for.

·         Note important information
Underline or encircle important words or phrases. This will save you a lot of time later when you need to backtrack to find the answers to the questions.

·         Use a pointer to guide your reading
This tip can double your reading speed without sacrificing comprehension. Letting your pen or finger guide your eyes will minimize the time you spend staring at individual words. It will also prevent you from reciting the words in your head—a practice that slows down reading.

·         Synthesize information as you read
Before moving on to another paragraph, pause and reflect on what you learned in the current passage and how it relates to the preceding paragraphs. This strategy will help you establish the passages’ main idea. Many IELTS Philippines instructors teach this technique to their students.

Make sure you are prepared for all the aspects of the IELTS exam. Develop your ability to read dense passages by integrating these tips into your IELTS review. Enroll in the IELTS Review Center in Makati to discover other effective test strategies.

Adam, Abderisak. “Tips for Quickly Reading Long Journal Articles.” Study-Habits. November 26, 2011. Accessed November 28, 2017.
Isakon, ManĂ© B. “Five Keys to Helping Students Read Difficult Texts.” CTL BYU. Accessed November 28. 2017.
merryjazz. “Techniques in Reading Text Books.” Study Skills Blog. November 20, 2006. Accessed November 28, 2017.
Raga, Suzanne. “7 Tips for How to Read Faster (and Still Understand What You Read)” Mental Floss. July 5, 2017. Accessed November 28, 2017.
Schweitzer, Karen. “How to Read a Lot of Dry Text Quickly.” ThoughtCo. August 1, 2017. Accessed November 28, 2017.

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