How To Perform Better in IELTS Reading Section?

How To Perform Better in IELTS Reading Section?

Zilpah D'Souza Published:
January 28, 2023

When we talk about language proficiency tests for non-native English speakers who are planning to migrate to an English speaking country ,the first thing that crosses one’s mind is to clear IELTS (International English Language Testing System) which  is a standardized English test accepted and acknowledged globally. If you are planning to move to a country like Canada, IELTS plays a very important role in your migration process. There are 4 different modules to be completed in IELTS which are reading, writing, listening, and speaking. However, many wonder how to clear the reading module without any stress especially if the candidate is not too big on reading. This article mainly focuses on the reading module and the things to be kept in mind when attempting the test.

The Reading module consists of 3 sections which must be completed in 60 minutes. The test taker needs to answer 40 questions with each question carrying one mark. If the test taker is not too keen on reading, chances are that they may end up scoring fewer marks. As the level of difficulty increases with each section, the test taker may lose focus. So, let us peer into some common mistakes candidates make in the Reading section of IELTS.  

5 Common Mistakes That You Must Avoid

Overlooking the instructions: Many test takers tend to overlook the instructions given in the questions and end up writing the wrong answers which lead to losing scores. Instructions related to the word limit and true, false, or not given are tricky. However, reading the instructions concerning the questions and answering accordingly will help one avoid making mistakes.

Time management: The time allotted per section is 20 minutes and 3 sections need to be completed in 60 minutes. Therefore, it's important to manage your time wisely. The level of difficulty increases in section 3. Utilizing lesser time for easier sections will help the test taker to make use of the extra time for the difficult ones. For example, the test taker can spend 15 minutes in section 1 which will give them extra 5 minutes in Section 3.

Two answers per question: Many test takers get confused especially in multiple choice questions and end up writing 2 answers per question, hoping that the examiner will consider the right one. It is important to remember in such cases both answers will be considered wrong, and the test taker will not receive any scores for such answers. Moreover, the candidate should read and comprehend the question given and select only one answer.

Unknown vocabulary: Certain words in the passage may include language that is challenging to grasp. Therefore, try to read the sentence from the passage and then skim the questions to determine whether the terminology is pertinent before answering.  If not, move on so that the time is not wasted.

Incorrect grammar: While answering questions like completing the sentence, the test taker needs to fill in the answers that make complete sense when used in a sentence. After filling out the answer in the blank, read the sentence and check if it makes sense. Be sure that the tense used in the sentence is meaningful and accurate.

Below are some tips for a stress-free Reading test

  • Develop strong reading endurance to save time.
  • Practice reading a variety of texts daily.
  • Do not overlook the word limit instructions given in the question.
  • Ensure to copy the right spelling from the passage while answering the questions.
  • Learn to tackle different kinds of questions.
  • Improve your vocabulary by reading different material as a part of your preparation for the reading test.
  • Practice using mock tests so you can familiarise yourself with different kinds of questions.

Contact us if you need help from our language experts. Check out Owlspriority Immigration’s Canada Settlement Resources to learn about finding employment in Canada, making your initial days stress-free, etc.


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