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How do I improve reading skills for IELTS?

ILETS or the International English Language Testing System is a globally recognised test that is taken by non-English speakers. It can be really useful for any professional who wants to grow in their career and work in an international set up. Students planning to study in an English speaking country can also make great use of IELTS as this standardised test gives them the certification of approval. Many universities make it a mandatory requirement that international students must clear IELTS to get admission to their campus.

Given the value that this test holds, strong preparation becomes a pre-requisite for any candidate sitting for the IELTS. There are around 1,000 test locations in nearly 140 countries where you can give this assessment. Once you clear this test, you gain a favourable position to take your professional or academic career forward. The course is divided into 4 parts- speaking, writing, listening and reading and while you can enhance your skills with IELTS course, self-study can help you improve your skills vastly.

Here are the best ways in which you can improve your reading skills for IELTS:

Learn to skim and scan passages– To perform well in your test you will have to go through passages and skim them to get an idea of what is being said. This has to be a fast and yet thorough process where you can take in the crux of each paragraph. By scanning, you are able to locate information and answer questions easily without having to read each word of the passage with complete attention which can be a time-consuming task.

Speed reading– Contrary to reading books at leisure, speed reading is expertise where you can scan everything quickly. Considering that IELTS has a specified time limit, you should be able to read things fast and locate answers with ease. The questions are designed to check your ability to locate the specified answer in a short period. Hence, you must start practising scanning comprehensions at the earliest and learn to extract important points from long passages.

Vocabulary– Having a good vocabulary is an important part of learning English and it plays a useful role in helping you score well in IELTS as well. Vocabulary is not just limited to the meaning of words but is also concerned with its correct usage. Students who do not possess the knowledge of proper vocabulary often end up making mistakes and hence scoreless marks. A good solution to counter this problem is by picking words from reading passages and understanding their use in the sentence.

Read a lot– It is evident that to enhance reading skills, you have to read a lot but in the case of IELTS, you have to choose the right material as well. Three excellent sources for this are – BBC news which offers excellent material for IELTS preparation, The Economist which preps you for reading passages and National Geographic which again has well-written material that is suited for Academic and General Training Reading exams.

These are some of the crucial factors that you need to consider if you are preparing for IELTS reading test. By focusing on them, you will certainly put yourself in an advantageous position to perform well.

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