In this IELTS reading preparation and strategy video, I explain several techniques for preparing for the IELTS reading test.
Specifically, I talk about how you should use IELTS sample tests for preparation, why reading for pleasure can help your IELTS score, and how reading a single article multiple times can improve your vocabulary.
General Advice for IELTS Reading
To improve your IELTS reading test score, you need to improve your overall English ability. It’s useful to know about the test but only doing IELTS sample test after sample test will not help you much if you are only testing yourself. In this lesson, we’ll focus on a technique you can use to improve your IELTS reading.
Reading Fast – Testing Yourself
When you first start preparing for the IELTS reading test, it can be good to take a few sample tests (2-3). This can help you learn what your current level is.
You can time yourself during these tests. If possible, mark how much time it takes you to complete each section. Also mark any questions that take you a particularly long time! Analyzing your speed and accuracy on certain question types can help you understand where your strengths and weaknesses are.
When possible use high quality reading tests from the Cambridge IELTS Series.
Reading Slow – Finding New Vocabulary
The other side is reading slow and really absorbing the new language. IELTS Reading tests are actually an excellent source of new vocabulary (and grammar!).
So after you’ve used an IELTS reading test for testing yourself, examine all of the vocabulary from it.
Take a look at our lesson on Vocabulary for Academic Reading for an example of this.
Reading Fast Part 2 – Reading for Pleasure
You can probably guess that the more you read, the better your reading skill will become. There are many different free websites that have the kind of reading that will be on IELTS reading tests.
Find articles that interest you and read them for pleasure.
If you can, find articles that have an audio version as well. Reading and listening at the same time is great practice as well.
Reading Slow Part 2 – Read more than once
Reading something more than once can be very helpful for language learning. So read the same article 4, 5, even 10 times if you can. The language will become more familiar to you.
You will be able to remember the vocabulary and grammar from the article better, and your overall reading skill will improve.
Review & Action Steps for IELTS Reading – Fast and Slow
- Read Fast – take IELTS sample tests sometimes to measure your current level, not to improve your reading skills.
- Read Slow – use old IELTS sample tests to learn new vocabulary and grammatical structures.
- Read Fast – find articles that interest you and read them often.
- Read Slow – reread the same articles/sample tests many times over.
Action Step: Choose two of these methods (one fast and one slow) and do them both today.