How To Prepare For IELTS Reading: An Effective Guide of 2021

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Hello Guys,

Are you preparing for the IELTS reading test and want to get full information about the reading test of IELTS. In this IELTS reading guide, I am going to tell you and everything about the IELTS reading exam.

The academic reading task in IELTS is for 60 minutes with three passages and 40 questions to answer. The topic of general interest for journals, magazines, books, or newspapers.

The general reading task in IELTS consists of 40 questions with three reading passages. It also lasts for 60 minutes. the topic includes basic social English topics and general reading. the topic includes notices, timetables, documents, newspaper articles, instructions, and manuals.

Before starting the main information, I want to share with you some articles, if you have time then visit them. These will be extremely helpful for you.

Types of questions in IELTS reading test

In this section, I will show you the type of questions in the IELTS reading exam. What types of questions you will get in IELTS academic reading test and IELTS general reading test both.

  • Multiple-choice questions
  • Short answer questions
  • Sentence completion
  • Completing notes, summary table, flowchart
  • Choosing headings for paragraphs or sections of a text
  • Matching lists and phrases
  • Identification of writers point of view in the form of Yes/No/Not given or True/False/Not given
  • Labeling diagram
  • Classifying information

I will discuss to solve each type of question further but before this, I will tell you some IELTS reading tips which are necessary to discuss. So, let’s move to them.

Special tips for IELTS reading

These IELTS reading tips you should implement before giving the exam.

1. Read-Read-Read

Read as much as you can in English. it does not mean practicing endlessly in IELTS reading. this will help the candidate to understand and bring out the meaning of the topic If the student is unable to understand the vocabulary. Reading the literature will help you to improve the speed of reading and understanding.

You have so many options to read many types of things like newspapers, novels, literature books, facts social pages, internet reading, blogs, and articles, etc. You can enhance your catching power to grab the meaning of the topic and this will save you time in the IELTS reading test.

2. Improve skills (Skimming and Scanning)

Most of the candidates feel that the length of the text and limitation of time does not allow them to read the complete passage carefully. But you don’t need to read the whole passage. I am going to tell you the 2 most discussed things by IELTS trainers to get 7 Bands in IELTS reading.

  • Skimming:- Read the passage quickly
  • Scanning:- To looks for specific and necessary information

if you want to know the meaning of skimming and scanning then visit this “Skimming & Scanning” ( A pro Tip)

3. Time management in IELTS reading

Different learners have different styles and different needs. But here i am going to give you 2 types of tips. Let’s know.

  • A general tip:- Use 20 minutes to complete each task as written on every passage. For example, 20+20+20 = 60
  • A personal Tip from my experience:- Use 15 minutes for first task as most of the students feel 1st passage comparitively easy but 2nd one is moderate and 3rd is tough. So time management, which may be helpful to score more can be: 15+20+25 = 60

Note:- Write answers directely on answer sheets to save time. No extra time is there to transfer the answer as given in case of listening.

4. Focus on the instructions in IELTS reading test

Generally a candidate ignores IELTS reading instructions carefully as He/She is familiar with the type of question. But, reluctant towards instructions sometimes make your correct answer wrong. Let me explain you this with an example:-

(1) Instruction:- use ‘not more than three words’ ( If a student write an answer “the two long bones”, then the answer is incorrect as it contain four words )

(2) Instruction:- choose one phrase (A-H)

  • Some Repitiles use their tails (………………)
  1. To catch prey
  2. to balance
  3. to walk or run

The answer is B. if a candidate writes the answer as “to balance” which is a correct answer, you will loose marks as it is not demanded as an instruction want.

5. Learn what to underline

Usually, students underline all the reading passages. But I will recommend you to underline only keywords or information that relates to the question. suppose you are doing multiple choice questions and you need to select the opinions of people. It is good to underline every opinion by the name of a person who says that. It saves your time.

6. Don’t match words in IELTS reading passages

One of the common perceptions of the students is to match the word without understanding the meaning. Most of the time this skill does not work as an answer because many keywords are repeated. So it is better to understand the idea being asked in the question.

7. How to start IELTS reading

Most students ask whether to start from the first passage as it seems to be easy or from 3rd passage which the students find difficult and time-consuming in most cases. My suggestion is to start from the beginning. Keep an eye on the time. Complete it in a maximum of 20 minutes. You will feel relaxed if you are within time.

Some students read the passage first and then attempt the questions. It may be time-consuming as to find an answer you have to read the passage again. So it is better to read the questions first and apply the skimming and scanning method to help to find answers simultaneously.

8. Train yourself by practice

Every student wants 7+ bands in IELTS reading test from very first day. But this is not possible for everyone in first attempt. Most of the students find readind most difficult and time consuming module. Learning skills and practice them. Practicing too much everyday and scoring equal bands every time give you stress. SO learn the skills to attempting and time management. Definitely you will achieve the required bands.

Quick Exam tips for IELTS reading test

  1. Don’t get panic.
  2. Read the titles and look without wasting a second.
  3. Look at the questions quickly as much as you can.
  4. If you had practiced attempting 1st passage then start with it. If you have practiced to start with the 3rd passage first, start with it. But, don’t change the techniques and skills at the last moment. that may create confusion and it may be more time-consuming.
  5. Read the passage and do not get stuck in the part which you do not understand. Move ahead and save time.
  6. Don’t spend too much time on the questions on which you are not sure. Just make a guess and move further.
  7. After answering all the questions if you are left with time then go to that questions on which you were not sure and make it right.
  8. Do not spend more than 20 minutes on each passage.

Skills to Attempt specific types of questions in IELTS reading

In this section, i will show you “how you can solve every type of question” with an example.


  1. Search for an idea which helps to scan. The main idea asked in the question.
  2. Identify the comparison or expression which is a qualifying expression in the statement.
  3. Find the word or idea in the text. Then read in the passage to locate the answer. (iv) If the phrase or the idea is exactly opposite to the idea given in the text. It is FALSE.
  4. If the idea or the phrase is not mentioned then NOT GIVEN.
  5. If the idea or phrase is often clearly stated in the text. The words will have a similar meaning then TRUE.

For Example

Staff selection is a key concern for almost all the companies in India. The firms which are willing to buy their employees’ loyalty have to give career opportunities rather than money. As most of the employees look for it.

Many companies are offering training programs focusing on improving skills for growth and development. Managers scrutinize jobs and focus on required staff to reduce unnecessary financial burden on the company.


  • TRUE :- if the statement agrees with the information
  • FALSE :- if the statement contradicts the information
  • NOT GIVEN :- if there is no information on this
  1. Employees give more importance to their career path than money.
  2. Managers suggest training programs for employees.
  3. Focus of training program is to generate for money.


2. Matching Headings

  1. Skim the general idea of the paragraph.
  2. There may be two ideas in a paragraph. You will find one idea supporting the other. The main idea discussed in the paragraph is the heading of that paragraph or section.
  3. Check the connection and logical ordering between the organized words.
  4. Relate each heading to the paragraph and try to match.
  5. Check your predictions by reading your headings in order.
  6. Don’t match the words, match the major idea in the paragraph or section.

For example

Most migrations begin with the birds starting off in a broad front. Often, from narrows into one or more preferred routes termed flyways. These route typically follow mountain ranges or coastlines, sometimes rivers and may take advantage of updrafts and other wind patterns to geographical barriers such as large stretches of open water. Most birds migrate in flocks.

Choose a suitable heading:

  1. Migratory birds
  2. Birds migrate in flocks
  3. Geographical barriers while flying
  4. Sky road to fly

The most suitable heading is (4).


  1. Scan the text from the passage which relate to the summery.
  2. Find the words/synonym words/ides/phrase from the text which match with the meaning.
  3. Match the meaning or ides which is asked.

For example

Young people in many countries are facing new challenges in the corporate world. They have to face many hazards of the new century which they have to overcome.

Complete the sentence :- Young people have to beat the (…………) created by the corporate world today.

  • A. Obstacle
  • B. Consequences
  • C. Rival

The correct answer is ‘obstacle’


  1. Scan and underline the name in the passage.
  2. Search whether the finding/opinion is before the name or after the name. Then find the appropriate answer. (iii)
  3. After that match it with the answers given.

For Example

Richard Serpell, a researcher of New York concluded that culture in Asia and Europe have developed cognitive styles, including the way intelligence i understood. However, the other study conducted in the same community conclude that practical and academic intelligence develop independently. Most of the children feel practical easy so they score high. Whereas score poorly when tested for academics. This was found by psychologists R. Ronald & P. Deva. S.

Match each researcher with correct finding:

  • 1. Ronald and Deva
  • 2. R. Serpell


  1. Practical and Academic intelligence are two different aspects which develop (A)
  2. independently. The way cognition is developed is different in Asian and Western culture (B)

ANSWER: 1-A, 2-B


  1. Study the diagram and scan the text which describe the diagram.
  2. Read the section carefully and match with the diagram.
  3. Usually the sequence of labeling the diagram is in the same order as described in the passage text.

Conclusion of IELTS reading Test

73% of the IELTS students think that the reading module is the toughest module of IELTS and this is gonna be messed up at the time of preparation. But this is the wrong perception. Yeah it is right that it takes time to prepare and sometimes it is irritating but it is not impossible to crack.

You just need a perfect guide to understand. If you prepare for this in a better way and with perfect working techniques than it is going to be extremely interesting. I just want to say that, don’t make a doubt and wrong thinking in IELTS 7 about any module because it can affect in baddest way and affect your band score. IELTS reading test is the most easiest module after listening, speaking and writing module.

Thank you to read this article.

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