Well this discussion is related to academic reading of IELTS.
The academic reading section has a lot of myths related to it, specially about how to get a good score.
Following are tips what the author found effective and thought sharing will be of worth :
- When you get the task it may be wise to look at the tasks and find out which section looks more simple, and one may start answering from that section. Because more correct answers matter for a good score, not which question.
- While reading the paragraphs a good habit may be to mark things that might be important like important dates, names of cities or persons etc. It helps when we skim the paragraphs latter on to find a specific answer.
- A big controversy which students discuss in regard to the reading test is, if one should read the whole text or not. Some say they just read the first line of each para of a section and can guess what the answers will be. While others say that reading the questions first helps to find the answers. See, which is effective method for you. What I found is certain paragraphs are easy to understand and can be dealt with reading the questions first, and not reading the whole text at first. However, that don’t look wise way to approach when we are dealing with paragraphs that are bit difficult. In case of the latter, reading all the paragraphs in detail is the safest strategy, I believe.
- Time management in academic reading appears to be a big challenge. It’s ideal to be fixed to the 2 minutes time allotted for the tasks.
- For better time management, leave questions that are difficult and come back to them at the end if you have some time left. although this sounds easy and a matter of common sense, it can become difficult in real testing situation. The time pressure can make things messy.
- Many perceive ‘yes’, ‘no’ and ‘not given’ type questions as difficult and confusing. When got stuck with them, specially the ‘not given once’, a healthy guess work might work. It’s better to guess since there is no negative marking.
- Another mistake that can happen when you are not attempting the reading passages in order, for example when you are choosing to answer the second passage before the first, don’t always expect the questions to be found only after where the passage finishes, a part of the questions can be at before the the passage too. So before and after reading the passage, try to check if you went all questions related to the passage.
- If possible practice daily. I found it as a skill which improves with regular practice, to learn techniques to handle the the task in limited time. Even a native English speaker probably can’t get a good score without practice, in my opinion the reading test is a type of aptitude test rather than language test.
- While copying alphabets like ‘a’ or ‘b’ or ‘c’ as an answer to a multiple choice question be cautious to write the correct letter on the answer sheet.
- Spelling is important so take care of it.
- Strong nerves help, when little time left and lot of questions are undone. Even you may not be able to complete all, attempts in calm mind may help get more questions right.