IELTS Reading

Reading Skills

If you want to improve your IELTS reading band score, you need to work on your general reading skills. These skills are 100% important in the IELTS reading paper. One of the most practical and effective ways to improve your score is to work on these skills separately. It can be a mistake just to do practice test after practice test.


Advice on understanding the 3specific reading skills: scanning, skimming and close reading

Skimming/reading for general meaning

Skimming is the ability to read a text quickly for general meaning. This is an IELTS reading skill that often gets ignored. Don’t make that mistake. There are certain question types where you must skim the text first if you want to get the answers efficiently.

Scanning/finding words

This is another vital IELTS reading skill. You may think of this as looking for “key words” in the question. In fact, it is more complex than that and if you want to improve your IELTS reading band score you need to learn how to scan and what to scan for. This is what these lessons teach you.

  • IELTS reading – scanning skills 1 – how to make sure you scan as quickly as possible in the exam: don’t start at the beginning and don’t read from right to left
  • More about scanning: a tutorial with a practice reading exercise to explain how to scan more effectively

Close reading for detail

The third main IELTS reading skill is learning to read closely for meaning. This is sometimes the hardest of all the reading skills as to do it well you need high level vocabulary.

Understanding the question types

One of the best pieces of advice for IELTS reading preparation is to become familiar with all the different question types. These tutorials help you with advice on how to approach the different question types, each containing a free practice test exercise:

Band score calculator

Calculate your approximate band score in reading for general and academic modules

Exam tips

Advice on how to prepare for the IELTS reading paper and how to improve your reading skills:

General Training Reading

General reading resources

One of the best ways to improve your IELTS reading is to read as much as you can. It also helps though to focus your reading. This lesson advises you on how to do this by reading newspapers.

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