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IELTS advice from Band 9 achiever – Part 4, Reading tips.

In this post you will find some really good tips that helped Debashis get Band 9 in his IELTS Reading exam. Enjoy!

I carried a red pen with me, which was invaluable.

Key points – Scan the ‘reading sections’ and ‘questions’, and decide the sections you will answer first. After picking a section, read the questions relating to it in detail, then read the section in detail. While reading, underline and annotate them with key words in bold red for easy reference. Quick referencing is vital.

1. We received 4 reading sections. I rapidly scanned through all 4 sections and questions to identify the easier sections, and then tackled them in that order.

2. After selecting a section, I read it’s questions in detail, underlying key words in a red pen, and summarising it in 2-3 words in bold red next to it. For e.g. if the question was “how many times did the explorer Captain Scott return to England after his first trip”, I would write next to it in red “RETURN UK > 1st ?”. This helps in quick referral to the question when studying the main body.

3. I then went back to the reading section, studying it in detail, and annotating it with my red pen. For e.g., if there were ten paragraphs, I would write in bold red what the paragraph related to right next to it. This assists in quickly determining the likely paragraph a question relates to. I further underlined the possible answers, a task made easy as I could rapidly and readily read questions from their red summary in 3.2.


OVERALL – I found this module easy, as though I did not get time to practice, I am accustomed to reading large reports. I finished half-way through, and then proceeded to check my answers, twice. I noted with satisfaction that I did not need to change a single answer on revision. I got grade 9.

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