The joy of reading
It is important that you enjoy your reading experience. Reading for pleasure not only makes you want to read more, it also improves your reading skills. These include the skill of focusing on what is most important:
- developing an awareness of synonyms
- increasing your vocabulary
- following the author’s main ideas.
Take every opportunity to read. Newspapers, magazines, and journals are great to read while travelling by bus, train, or – for example – while waiting for a doctor’s appointment.
Longer forms of literature, such as novels or non-fiction books, might be better in the comfort of your own home. The important thing is to gain experience of reading what you enjoy in a variety of formats.
Re-telling the story
It is a good idea to paraphrase what you have read. You can do this by writing down the main ideas of a chapter in a story, or an article you have found interesting. Summarising what you have read, using your own words, helps to build your vocabulary, which is very important for your IELTS test.
Time your reading. Managing time is one of the most important skills for IELTS test takers, so choose reading passages of between 700 to 1000 words, then give yourself 20 minutes to write down some of the key words and the main idea, before summarising what you read.
You could also practice making up questions to go with the passage you have read using typical IELTS question types, such as:
- true/false/not given
- multiple choice
- sentence completion
- matching headings.
In the IELTS Reading section, if you don’t know the answer to a question, it is better to skip it and move on without spending too much time feeling worried. Remember, you can always come back to the question later.
Knowing you have answered less problematic questions should give you the confidence you need to answer those you find more difficult.