Top Tips for IELTS

IELTS reading tips

Before you read – watch this video – it really may help you make far fewer mistakes

For many academic IELTS candidates reading is the hardest paper and the one which requires most training. Here I suggest some different ways to make that training as efficient as possible. These IELTS reading tips are fairly general and are designed to help you think about the best way to train yourself in IELTS reading and how to avoid some common mistakes.


1. Beat the fear – read as much as possible

My first IELTS reading tip is to read as much as possible. By this I don’t mean do endless IELTS practice tests, I mean do as much general reading as possible. I suggest you focus on reading short articles on topics that interest you or on topics that are common in IELTS – newspapers and magazines are a great resource here.

One reason why this is such a good idea is that many candidates freeze in the reading believing it is too hard and so fail to get their band score. If, however, you read enough “native English” before the exam, you will become more and more confident in looking at texts where you don’t understand every word. Confidence is a very important concept in IELTS.

If you look at Daily Exercises, you will find lots of possible exercises for you. The idea is to find something that interests you and read. That’s all.

2. Improve key skills – skimming and scanning and reading in detail

A major problem in the exam is the length of the texts and you will not have time to read them all carefully. You need to train your speed reading skills so that you can read as efficiently as possible. 2 skills here are skimming which is reading quickly for general meaning and scanning which is looking for specific information.

You may sometimes see advice saying that you don’t need to read in detail. Incorrect. Bad advice. You shouldn’t read the whole text in detail but you will need to parts of the text in detail – if you want to get the right answer. Put simply, skimming and scanning are useful skills to help show you where the answer might be: reading in detail tells you what the answer is.

You might want to look at this post on improving your reading speed.

3. Time management – experiment to see what works

Because the texts are so long you need to have a definite strategy for how you manage your time in the exam to make sure you finish on time. This means deciding:

  • how long you look at the text before answering questions
  • how long you spend on each question
  • how long you spend on each group of questions
  • how long you spend on each text
  • do you leave time at the end to go back at look at unanswered questions?

There is a lot to consider here. You will find books and websites that insist you do it their way. They may claim to have a magic formula and that you must do this or you must do that. Ignore them. Their advice may be good for some people but not for you.

The key point here is that different learners have different styles and different needs. Much the best advice here is to experiment and try different approaches and see what works best for you.

See this earlier post on time management.

4. Focus on the question – avoid careless errors

The texts in IELTS are typically quite hard, so candidates spend as much time as possible reading the texts. Mistake. Why? Well, a huge amount of mistakes are made by not focussing enough on the exact question. It can be easy if you are in a hurry to miss a word such as “always” or “often”: the problem is those sorts of words can change the meaning of questions.

There is an easy solution to this problem: it is to go back and look at the question before you write in the answer. Make sure that the question says what you think it says. You will normally save yourself 2/3 marks this way.

5. Learn the exam – know the different types of questions

There are 8/9 different types of reading question that examiners may use. Before the exam, you should make yourself familiar with each type of question as they are slightly different. What I suggest is that you look at my series of tutorials on the different types of reading questions as a first step to see what the question types are. The next stage is to experiment and see what techniques you are going to use for each type of question.

This may mean that you approach different types of questions differently.

6. Train yourself, don’t test yourself

One common mistake candidates make is to practise exam questions too much. Exam practice is important to learn the timing (3 above) and learn the question types (5 above), but that does not mean that every time you practise reading you need to do it in exam conditions. My suggestion is that you do some “open book” tests where you can see the answers as you do the questions. This way you will  learn how examiners set questions and how to find the answers. If you just test yourself, this may not happen. How often and when you do this training will depend on your preparation programme.

7. Learn how to underline

This is a very specific piece of advice. You may believe it is wrong to write in books and generally I’d agree with you, but IELTS is different. A very strong suggestion is that you should underline words in the text in the exam. There are at least two reasons for this:

  1. if you underline key words in the text, it can help you organise the text and this will save you time in the exam
  2. if you find an answer, it is sensible to underline the part of the passage that relates to the question as a check (see 4 above) and to write the number of the question next to it in case you find a better answer later

How you do this will depend on you and your style. Some people underline different types of words in different ways.I’d only add that less is more: if you underline too much, it can become confusing.

8. Beware word matching – be careful with key words

One very common mistake is to match a word in the question with a word in the text and to think you have found your answer. It is almost never that simple and I am tempted to say that if the words do match, then that is not your answer. What you are normally looking for are either synonyms (words with a similar meaning) or paraphrases (short bits of text that say the same as the question.

One reason candidates make this mistake is that teachers (myself included) tend to say look for key words in the question. This is helpful advice to show you where the answer might be and which paragraph it might be in. After that you need to go back and read the whole question carefully to see what the answer is.

9. The questions follow the text – normally

This is a very practical piece of advice and could save you a lot of wasted time. Typically, the questions will come in the order of the text: so the answer to question 3 will come after the answer to question 2. This can be very helpful in the exam if you are a quick worker who goes through the questions once for the easy ones and then a second time for the harder ones. If you have answer 4 underlined (see 7 above) and answer 6 underlined then you know where answer 5 must come.

One word of warning. In certain types of question (eg paragraph matching) the order of the questions are jumbled.

10. The questions or the text – which do you read first

There is no one right answer here.

Text books tend to advise you to read the text quickly first so that you know how the text is organised. This helps as you will save time later by knowing which paragraph will contain the answer. This can be a good approach, particularly for high level candidates provided you don’t spend too much reading and you have notes/underlinings afterwards.

Many teachers say that you should read the questions first and not read the whole passage. There is logic here too. Normally, you do not have to understand the meaning of the whole passage to answer the questions, so why waste time reading it? This approach can work, especially for lower level candidates who might not understand too much of the passage anyway.

However, thee is always a third way. Life is not black and white. It is quite possible to decide to use different strategies for certain question types. In paragraph matching you are going to have to read the whole passage, so you might decide to read first then. In the short answer questions, you might decide you look at the questions first. As ever, you decide.

The only bad piece of advice is the one that tells you you must do it their way. Ignore them. The only right way isa the way that works.

11. Fill out the answer sheet

Okay, this is an eleventh tip. Practise filling out the answer sheet before you get to the exam. Too many  avoidable mistakes are made this way. I’d go further: whenever you practise IELTS reading, use an answer sheet. This is what I do with my classes. Two points:

  1. when you go through the answers in your practice book, make sure that you have written the answer exactly as it is in the book – anything else will lose you the point
  2. you need to fill out your answers in the 60 minutes. They don’t give you any more time.

You can down load practice answer sheets from my downloads page.

Are you new here? You can get free email updates by entering your email address:
Delivered by FeedBurner

You might also be interested in:

How to like it, share it and save it


Get more help with IELTS preparation on the main pages of my site

Home page

Speaking Guide

Writing Guide

Essay writing guide

Academic task 1 guide

Letter writing guide

Reading guide

Listening guide

IELTS vocabulary

IELTS grammar

Keep up with me on Facebook - all the updates and even more advice there


Or just get all my free lessons by email

Subscribe to DC IELTS by Email


135 Responses to IELTS reading tips

  1. DORLA January 3, 2010 at 1:04 am #

    I’ve been looking all over for this!


  2. Name January 22, 2010 at 11:53 am #

    Thanks for the tips..Really helpful

  3. khoa January 27, 2010 at 5:58 am #

    thanks so much. Your tips have helped me a lot. Best wishes to you!

  4. betty April 19, 2010 at 7:44 am #

    Hello there
    Many of my students achieve 6.5 in writing but need 7 for Immigration purposes.Could you help me with that elusive .5!I know there is no magic answer and have read many books and blogs.btw your blog is v good Dominic.
    thanking you

    • Dominic Cole November 14, 2010 at 5:36 pm #

      As you say there is no magic answer. It might amuse you to know that with students who can afford it, I tell them to book 2 tests at once. If they get the grade 1st time, they won’t be disappointed about spending the money. If they don’t, they have a second chance. I’ve known many who have come out with very different scores only 2 weeks apart.

      • Anonymous July 12, 2015 at 9:52 pm #

        hi Dominic
        thanks for your website. actually this method (book 2 tests at once) does not gonna work for many (because the price of test, in some countries many individuals can not afford it).
        about reading i cant answer by scanning, most of the time it takes long time to find where is the question and stress eschew me to reply the other questions so most of the time i read one paragraph and then the question to find out whether is any question in that paragraph. it works most of the time but the problem is if i cant find an answer i cant give the question up and its time consuming of course plus more stress even at home, i don’t know how can i deal with stress in real test.only 1 month is score is around 8.5 or 8 but i need 9 because my writing is awful as well as speaking.

  5. Huria April 28, 2010 at 8:15 pm #

    I am very very greatful to you for sharing this remarkable tips and tricks .Million thanks once again!

    • Anonymous November 9, 2015 at 8:38 am #

      I am in trouble with reading so I want to help…

  6. gaurang May 10, 2010 at 9:33 am #

    this is realy helpfull for practice more extra’s
    thanks a lot

  7. reply May 12, 2010 at 9:03 pm #

    really good and helpful , keep carry on. Thank you for your valuable time and hard-work

  8. soniya shaikh June 1, 2010 at 3:03 pm #

    thanks for those helpful tips!

  9. SO July 1, 2010 at 5:54 am #

    Great site, you have a link issue on the reading practice test page.
    The answer link for all 3 parts of MasterClass test goes back to Part 3 reading. I am an IELTS teacher and would like to use these in class.

    • Dominic Cole November 14, 2010 at 4:56 pm #

      Thanks for the info, it should be sorted now.

  10. ajaya sah August 15, 2010 at 5:25 am #

    i think ur tips have helped me very much

  11. ji August 18, 2010 at 12:56 pm #

    thanks a lot……………………

  12. vava August 27, 2010 at 7:02 am #

    awesome~~~Thank you so much~~~~

  13. Name November 30, 2010 at 1:03 pm #

    im a fan….ryan from philippines

  14. Name December 4, 2010 at 7:34 pm #

    thanks alot.. really great

  15. wow, wow, wow, Lilian July 12, 2011 at 11:11 pm #

    ur suggestions are fantastic.

  16. KC July 23, 2011 at 6:03 am #

    I think even native English speakers will fail the reading IELTS, or should I say, would not get a desirable grade since it uses more of your logic rather than understanding English. It is correct that essays mostly include paraphrases and idioms therefore it is unfair for those who really don’t use english at all, that they have to learn the basics like nouns, verbs, adjectives etc. plus learn advance english like idioms.

    Don’t get me wrong but your tips are very helpful Dominic, just wanted to share my two cents on the idea of IELTS.

    I wonder if its the other way around that we have to learn chinese or japanese etc. instead of english….

  17. Dominic Cole July 23, 2011 at 9:12 am #

    Hi KC

    This is one of the really academic parts of academic IELTS. You’re right in thinking that many native speakers would struggle too. Almost all IELTS teachers I know check the answers very carefully indeed before they teach a reading just because they are uncertain they would get the answers themselves.

    What you need to do is to find a way of not getting stuck with “difficult” questions. After a time, you make a guess and move on. It is not really a 100% sort of exam.

  18. humble August 15, 2011 at 9:37 am #

    Hello Mr i want to tell you something i always feel frustraed when i do the reading test and always without any progress

  19. humble August 17, 2011 at 6:57 am #

    hello Mr we i make 3 times exams but on every time i got 5 no more no less i dont know why can you tell what to do i actually attend 2 courses i even make practice at home daily

  20. humble August 17, 2011 at 7:00 am #

    i am waiting for your reply please

  21. Dominic Cole August 17, 2011 at 9:28 am #

    There is no one answer I can give you.

    One possibility is that if you got the same score 3 times in a row – 5 is your level. It can take months to improve your level in IELTS. Simply going to a course is not going to help – you probably need more general English. So don’t learn IELTS, concentrate on English.

    If, however, you did significantly better in the other papers (listening etc) then you have a problem with reading skills. In tho case, I suggest you contact a teacher to help you directly. If you are working on your own, then you need to practise extensive reading and then more close reading, sanding and skimming skills.

  22. humble August 18, 2011 at 12:23 am #

    Thank you very much for you realy try to give us any hope in this life

  23. Harish August 31, 2011 at 7:08 am #

    Hi, I am Harish. I have got 7 in speaking ,6.5 in reading, 6 in listining AND 5.5 in reading please help me to raise my band in reading
    Thank You

    • Dominic Cole August 31, 2011 at 7:51 am #


      Only to happy to help. Was that 6.5 in writing and 5.5 in reading? You gave a reading score twice there.

  24. Kay August 31, 2011 at 4:34 pm #

    I am confused with YES/NO/NG and TRUE/FALSE/NG.
    This type of questions is the most difficult to me.

  25. Anonymous September 20, 2011 at 12:23 pm #

    hello, i am finding difficulty in reading i got 6.5 but i really need a band score of 7 so please help me

    • Dominic Cole September 21, 2011 at 4:23 pm #

      In the next few weeks I aim to publish a lot of materials on reading – 2/3 a week in October and November. In the meantime, I suggest you simply read as much as possible. People who read a lot, read well. Take a look at this post for ideas:

      • Anonymous May 11, 2016 at 6:50 pm #

        Can you send me vocabulary words which are with meaning and I want to meaning in punjabi… Help me my exam has been occurred near about 28 may

  26. Libyan September 21, 2011 at 9:58 pm #

    Thanks alot. I truly liked it

  27. vachan October 22, 2011 at 9:16 am #

    Thanx for your tips…I like it…

  28. Anonymous October 31, 2011 at 11:22 pm #

    your tips exactly matched as i think so it is very helpful bcoz this is the way

  29. Raihan......Chittagong November 2, 2011 at 7:00 am #

    Very useful techniques for reading……………….@@

  30. Arif November 8, 2011 at 1:24 pm #

    I found it Really helpful.. thnx alot!! 🙂

  31. IELTS Teacher December 20, 2011 at 8:28 am #

    Very well !..Nice work for helping IELTS Students.

  32. Maryam December 31, 2011 at 6:00 pm #

    Dear Dominic
    May happy times and warm memories brighten your new year. Have a great year.
    Happy New Year, Thank you very much for such a great website.
    With best wishes
    Sincerely yours

  33. Joe January 17, 2012 at 8:03 pm #

    It is not good

    • Mandy April 1, 2012 at 3:39 pm #

      I am stuck at 6.5 in reading everywhere else I scored 7.please help to make it 7 each

  34. Catherinee February 18, 2012 at 6:12 pm #

    If I can add something ,I think it is a good idea when we have names in the text to undrline them. There is always a question where you have to say whose opinion is that.. so when I search in the text it is easier to have all names underlined. 🙂

  35. WAQAR AHMAD February 29, 2012 at 8:45 am #

    Very Very Very useful site….
    Dominic Cole Thank alot…

  36. alam March 7, 2012 at 7:07 pm #

    very helpful tips thanks a lot

  37. sana March 8, 2012 at 9:38 pm #

    every single word is like a amount of gold

    thank you very much dominic 😉

    i am student in ils english

  38. Elgun March 20, 2012 at 11:26 am #

    You are the best one for the IELTS tips.

  39. brohi April 10, 2012 at 2:09 am #

    Hi Cole

    Thanks for making fantastic web for IELTS

    I wonder if you please advice me about IELTS PREPARATION BOOKS + PRACTICE BOOKS.

    I need 7 Bands in Academic. Please advise me. I like to study on printed material. When I try to read on internet, I get lost with so many things and material and at the end of the day, nothing is gained



  40. amir April 18, 2012 at 8:34 pm #

    hi I’ve a situation here. When I try to read the passage in one go first without looking at the questions and then answer it i got 20-30 questions right. but when i try to follow these instruction and tips it drastically lowers the number of right answers for me like 10-15. I want to get 7 in reading at least and I’m more confused than ever before. need prayers 🙂

    • Dominic Cole February 22, 2014 at 4:39 pm #

      There is nothing right or wrong. Only things that work or don’t work – not least because different people work in different ways. You just need to find a technique/strategy that works for you.

  41. bhumika April 20, 2012 at 7:20 am #

    Hii Dominic,

    Thanks for providing these tips,These seems to be really helpful.I have my ielts exam tommorow,and i hope i will be able to use your tactics.


  42. vick April 22, 2012 at 7:39 am #

    Dearest Domini,

    I am an engineer. I need 7.o IELTS for general training for my VISA. I took 4 IELTS. I received 7.5 overall with 8.5 listening, but 6.5 reading and 6.5 writing. I then recenlt 10 days ago received my IELTS over all 7.0 with again 6.5 reading with 7.0 writing.

    Please help me on reading. My reading test was not bad in my book, but it is actually. I could hardly complete it but could not revise my answers. At last minute I completed. But with 2 wrong answers I thought.

    Please help me as I have started working on my IELTS again and on my reading, with reading different books and english magazines, novels.

    I shall be really thankful to you if I get my test right this time and get my desired score atkeast 7 in each of four mudules.

    Please pls pls pls……..

  43. DHARMENDRA MALHOTRA April 27, 2012 at 12:43 pm #

    Its really very wondeful tips from you

    Thanx a lot

    – Dharmendra Malhotra

  44. Anonymous May 21, 2012 at 8:42 am #

    it”s good but very difficult to practising

  45. neeta May 27, 2012 at 4:00 pm #

    Dear sir,

    Please help me,give me some suggestions about gap fill question.i am so poor in reading,my requirement is 6 band but I got 4.5.please give me some clue to find out the answers..i will be very thankfull to you…

  46. mea May 30, 2012 at 7:54 pm #

    hello Dominic,

    I am preparing for the IELTS nowadays and found you website really helpful. I was looking over the web to find a resource which helps me practise the right skills instead of just testing myself over and over again. Thanks

    Please allow me to add a little teeny weeny tip for reading … oh thankyou … 🙂

    While doing a practice test from a book i noticed questions worded like ” in paragraph 4 the author is refering …” . So i think while you skim and read its a wise one if you number your paragraphs, so that when you are answering questions like these you dont waste time on evaluating the paragraph number again and again. Please evaluate and lemme know if i am right?

    thanks again for a great resource

  47. Parvat June 15, 2012 at 10:24 am #

    I have given several attempts, one thing which annoys me is once I come out of the exam hall, I feel that I have answered most of the questions correctly (both in reading and listening), but in the result it always stops at 7 in reading and 7.5 in listening. When I take practice tests, I end up getting (37-40) in listening and almost, if not better in reading (like 36-39). This thing makes me perplexed.

    Am I committing any mistakes in transferring the answers on to the answer sheet? or Do I have to answer all the answers in caps?

    Can you please spare a thought and pass a tip on this beleaguering point ?

    • Dominic Cole July 6, 2012 at 8:37 am #

      Perplexing. It won’t be the caps – though if your handwriting is particularly horrible, you could of course be losing one or two points for illegibility, but there again the same would happen in the writing paper. Is it spelling? They are very tough on that.

  48. faizan June 29, 2012 at 12:12 pm #

    hi.i am very confuse in i am going to take test again.u should give me advice what should i do/i got 4.5 in reading

    • Dominic Cole July 4, 2012 at 3:35 pm #

      Hard to give you advice without more information – what were your other scores?

      • Soniya October 10, 2016 at 5:45 pm #

        hi Dominic,

        its really appreciated that you are helping to lots of people to get their desire score. I really need your help . i have to give my exam on 19th november and problem is , I am very bad in reading . dont know what to do. can you suggest something and also provide reading data with different reading pattern so that we can practice .

        • Dominic Cole October 10, 2016 at 7:34 pm #


          Sadly I’m prioritising writing and speaking for the time being on my site. I will quite shortly – probably next week – be posting details of how to find good reading practice on the net.

  49. Nalini July 6, 2012 at 3:38 pm #

    Hi Dominic

    I am having a difficulty in reading section especially Where TRUE,FALSE ,NOT GIVEN are the choices for the questions related to Paragraph.

    Big difficulty with choice of FALSE or NOT GIVEN.

    I need your tip in this area.

    Thanks & Regards
    Nalini Kanth

    • Dominic Cole July 8, 2012 at 3:55 am #

      Yep, this is probably the question type that causes most confusion. The good news I suppose is that you do have a one in three chance of guessing right!!

      The one that causes most difficulty is normally the difference between False and Not Given. It is slightly over-simple but the main idea is that Not Given means that you find nothing about that question in the text, which does not mean that you won’t find words in the question in the text. In contrast, with False you will be able to find info answering that question in the text – but the other way around – if you see what I mean.

      One tip is to read the whole question and think about its meaning and don’t just focus on individual words. This is where “key words” advice may very well make you go wrong – it is a very, very dangerous strategy if you use it wrongly. To repeat myself read the whole question.

      Another tip is to make sure you don’t spend too long on any one T/F/NG question. It is after all only one question and you may be looking for something that isn’t there if the answer is NG. This brings me back to my first comment, you do have a one in three chance (which is better than most question types), give yourself a bit of time, then guess intelligently.

      A final tip is to invest in a Cambridge exam book and go through the answers carefully. See how the examiners set the questions and what F and NG really mean. Once you have done a few questions of this type, you will soon get the idea.

  50. Kishor July 26, 2012 at 2:30 am #

    Really great tips

  51. HASAN August 6, 2012 at 11:58 am #

    GOOD ADVICE. I sat for real IELTS exam for about 10 times. But I could not get 6.0 in every band. There may be 5.5 in reading or writing mainly. I can not find out where is my problem? I went for IELTS coaching. But still I can not improve myself. Can any body give me positive suggestion so that I can get 6.0 in every band? Please help me to overcome by limitation.

    • Dominic Cole August 6, 2012 at 1:27 pm #

      Hi Hasan
      This may not be the advice you want to hear but…The chances are you need to work on your general English and not so much IELTS. If you spend too much time on IELTS, you spend less time on English and at the end of the day IELTS is a test of English. This does not mean doing no IELTS, it just means paying attention to grammar and vocab. For example, the main reason why people do badly in reading is problems with vocab and is not to do with “IELTS reading”. I suggest you talk to a teacher and find out what YOU need to do to improve YOUR English. Try and make a specific programme for your needs.

  52. Mustafa August 8, 2012 at 6:35 am #

    thank you. it is really useful tips.

  53. soodeh August 13, 2012 at 3:00 am #

    thank you 🙂

  54. Naveed August 18, 2012 at 8:20 am #

    Thanks it,s very helpfully and logical.

  55. sri August 27, 2012 at 1:52 pm #

    tnx aloot

  56. kamal September 12, 2012 at 2:49 pm #

    just more than helpful

  57. Kann September 13, 2012 at 4:55 pm #

    Okay..that covers everything. It’s a shame I didn’t come across your site earlier. My IELTS is in 2 days. But still, it calms down my nerves after reading your thorough instructions. Thanks.

  58. Suzie September 14, 2012 at 7:59 pm #

    Can you please explain to me in detail about how to do ”open book” test mentioned in no. 6 of your reading tips…

    • Dominic Cole February 23, 2013 at 8:19 pm #

      There is no one special way to do this, but here is one suggestion. Look at the answers (or some of them) first and then try and work out why they are correct by finding/underlining the answer in the passage.

      • Miss. Rupinder September 12, 2013 at 12:45 am #

        Thank you so much…………I am trying to imporve reading with your tips !!

      • Miss. Rupinder September 12, 2013 at 12:47 am #

        Thank you so much…………I am trying to improve reading with your tips !!

  59. Abdul Mannan September 20, 2012 at 1:13 pm #

    Thank you for giving nice tips and I want to get more tips about IELTS preparation and exam. I want to obtain more than 7. please give me the suggestion.

  60. Anonymous September 21, 2012 at 12:26 am #

    thanks for the tips and i found them helpful -_-

  61. Happy Girl September 29, 2012 at 1:00 pm #

    Dear Dominic,
    Thank you for a great advice. Most of IELTS tutor ask the students not to read the whole passage but just the topic sentence. I had been following the suggestion for quite a bit and what it did was not give me correct answers but it took more time to understand individual questions and go back to the passage to locate the key words. Just as you mentioned, reading the entire passage and highlight main ideas is more fruitful. Thank you so much once again 🙂

  62. Happy Girl September 29, 2012 at 1:00 pm #

    Dear Dominic,
    Thank you for a great advice. Most of IELTS tutor ask the students not to read the whole passage but just the topic sentence. I had been following the suggestion for quite a bit and what it did was not give me correct answers but it took more time to understand individual questions and go back to the passage to locate the key words. Just as you mentioned, reading the entire passage and highlight main ideas is more fruitful. Thank you so much once again 🙂

  63. shuvo October 1, 2012 at 7:36 pm #

    Thank you for your 10 tips regarding reading module .
    I was very much confused regarding this .
    i will follow all of your instruction and Tips
    Hope , i will over come my problem

  64. pardeep October 8, 2012 at 12:28 pm #

    thanks it is very helpfull

  65. amna December 7, 2012 at 9:39 pm #

    thanks 2dy is my test so i wish i get good band

  66. very handy January 4, 2013 at 7:27 pm #


  67. Elvi February 3, 2013 at 9:59 pm #

    Just wanted to say Thank You! I have taken IELTS last month and got 8.0 overall with 9.0 in Reading. Most of preparation work was based on this blog, have done all the exercises, this helped me to succeed.
    Best Regards

    • murtaza June 24, 2013 at 6:53 pm #

      bro i wanna to ask so how u got 9.0 Band over all becouse i have problem in reading if u give me some tips i’ll get good band

    • bonji November 29, 2013 at 4:25 am #

      Amazed at your score on the reading section. How did you prepare to get to this score am really interested. Reading has been my greatest problem in IELTS exam.

  68. Sohel March 14, 2013 at 11:56 pm #


  69. Rebecca May 3, 2013 at 2:54 pm #

    Hey there, You have done an incredible job. I’ll certainly digg it and personally recommend to my friends. I am confident they’ll be benefited from this site.

  70. Shiplu Barua June 7, 2013 at 10:38 pm #

    I am new comer to learn about IELTS.

  71. ashad August 17, 2013 at 7:55 pm #

    i need procedure of ielts course

  72. September 1, 2013 at 6:49 pm #

    its so helpful . i want say thank you…

  73. rammy bains September 25, 2013 at 10:49 pm #

    its vry useful for me

  74. k viky November 7, 2013 at 9:40 pm #

    thakyou very much providing information in this test

  75. Anonymous December 24, 2013 at 5:06 am #

    Thank you

  76. Rajib February 9, 2014 at 1:45 pm #

    Great Job !!!

  77. giridh March 12, 2014 at 6:12 am #


  78. sania March 16, 2014 at 12:10 pm #

    im preparing for IELTS, will appear on this 5th april in exam..
    Actually im not having plenty of time to attempt later but im not satisfied with my preparation,though i hav worked a lot and practiced all cambridge series books.. plz help me to get 7 in each

    • Dominic Cole March 16, 2014 at 5:17 pm #

      I hope it all goes well on the 5th. Do let me know how it went, The only way I can really help you though is on my website.

    • hasnian July 11, 2014 at 3:13 pm #

      what was your band

  79. Rockie May 3, 2014 at 12:04 pm #

    Thank you , very useful tips

  80. ayisha June 10, 2014 at 12:51 am #

    i need band 7.5.but I am struggling with reading.i think these tips will help me..but if u plz give me suggestion or preparation in 1 month.

  81. Anonymous July 11, 2014 at 8:13 pm #

    If you miss an answer don’t linger move on, come back later and put a guess
    Section 1 (Page 11)- Read and remember the instruction: Write NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS for each answer

    While waiting for the naration to begin
    1. Underline keywords leading to the gaps e.g.

    2. Try to predict the answers

    While listening to the naration
    1. Watchout very carefully for these keywords or their synonyms.
    They will help you pick out the word for the Gaps
    They will act as your land marks for where you are as you are listening
    2. Don’t listen too deeply
    3. Write out the answers in the Gap

    Section 2 (Page 13)- Read and remember the instruction: Write ONE WORD AND/ OR A NUMBER for each answer
    While waiting for the naration to begin
    1. Go through the questions
    2. Underline the Keywords e.g
    3. Convert each question statement into a question e.g (note: write the question very quickly because the time is short, to save time you can cross out some words from the question statement and replace it with yours)

    While listening to the naration
    1. Watchout very carefully for these keywords or their synonyms.
    They will help you pick out the word for the Gaps
    They will act as your land marks for where you are as you are listening
    2. Don’t listen too deeply
    3. Write out the answers in the Gap

    For Questions like the type on Page 14
    While waiting for the naration to begin
    1. Underline the keywords in the options (they help you pick out the options quickly as you listen) e.g:
    2. Don’t listen too deeply but be very attentive

    While listening to the naration
    1. Write beside each the options alphabeth as you listen. So sometimes what is said is corrected later so you have to cross out the option you had written for an answer

    Section 3 and Section 4
    For this sample test use the same approach as Section 1, but listen very carefully but not deeply.

    Like more than one person would speak so try to identfy their voices

    General Instruction
    Don’t spend beyond the alloted time for each PASSAGE.
    Don’t waste time on difficult questions, you might gain overall which you could use to answer them questions later

    1. Follow the time very strictly and be hard on yourself while preparing.
    2. Scan the questions quickly and underline keywords e.g names, terms etc.
    3. Underline Keywords in the paragragph as you read it
    4. Don’t read the entire PASSAGE before answering the questions, after reading a paragraph go to the questions and answer the one related to it
    5. Don’t let your prior knowledge of the subject be your answer rather it should be what the paragraph says.
    6. “Not given” is not the same as “No” or “False”. It means there isn’t information on it in the paragraph

  82. Amad August 8, 2014 at 10:07 pm #

    Dear Dominic,

    I found really interesting over here.. I am working with Multinational company given one attempt of IELTS. i had confusion, when the one passage was given 1-8 Question for matching heading and 7 questions of fill in the blank by using one word… now what has to be strategy for that?? I mean the passage is so long and you need read in detail for blanks… and need to match in matching heading from A-G… so how to get start? as to save more time this is what I am confused about… need your help please…


  83. Srini August 29, 2014 at 6:08 pm #

    Hello Dominic ,

    Recently i have done my IELTS , I got 8.5 List, 5.5 reading , 6 in writing and 7 .5 in speaking . Could you please help me to increase my score in reading and writing . I need 7 in all 4 modules . Could you please help me out

  84. Raheel Qureshi September 24, 2014 at 6:37 am #

    Wonderful tips about ilets preparation 🙂

  85. Sunny September 28, 2014 at 8:28 pm #

    I just wanted to
    know about the basic
    Difference between IELTS and
    TOEFL exams. Which one
    Is comparatively easier? Which
    One is
    recognised more?

    • Dominic Cole October 13, 2014 at 9:54 am #

      Okay quick answer: TOEFL is more recognised in the US and IELTS in Australia and the UK. The levels required from both exams are exactly the same – the nature of the tasks are slightly different. For me, the integrated tasks of TOEFl (where you listen then write etc) are more challenging than IELTS.

  86. Anonymous September 28, 2014 at 8:41 pm #

    Can i take both
    IELTS and TOEFL exams?

  87. gauri October 24, 2014 at 6:11 pm #

    I have taken IELTS Exam two months before i got 6 in writing and speaking, 5.5 in reading and listening but my target is to achieve 7 in all.
    Please let me know how i would improve myself especially in listening and reading because i have my next exam on 15th nov 2014.

  88. Abdulrehman Khalid November 7, 2014 at 5:46 am #

    Very very helpful : ]
    Peace & Love.

  89. mohamad February 4, 2015 at 4:50 pm #

    Thanks ….

  90. MO April 5, 2015 at 2:04 pm #

    I have a band score of 6 and i want to imporve my self in reading and listening. would you pls help me.



  91. chiru May 9, 2015 at 4:41 am #

    very very help full

  92. Anonymous June 29, 2015 at 3:06 pm #

    I usually do mistake in the part of find the headings
    I just fed up from this part
    Could you please explain that how can i improve this?

  93. Sarabjit singh July 5, 2015 at 11:04 am #

    Reading is a very hardpart for to solve the IELTS exam. I need to know is there any simple technique ti solve answers quickly and correctly. I need only 23 answers to be correct.

  94. mon ngon cuoi tuan July 23, 2015 at 5:14 am #

    Ԍreetings! Very սѕeful advkce within this ƿost! It іs
    the little сhangeѕ which will make the largest changeѕ.
    Many thanks for sharing!

  95. Rob September 2, 2015 at 12:42 pm #

    Thanks so much for all the great tips! I’ll definitely pass these on to my students.

  96. Topa November 1, 2015 at 11:42 pm #

    Great Tips.. Thanks alot

  97. arbindersingh November 4, 2015 at 7:30 am #

    any body need Ielts writing or reading syllabus, plz let me know. my whats app is +919988760233

  98. aliya November 27, 2015 at 8:44 am #

    hi, i want to clear one trick …in reading General .if i start solving first section 3,instead of sec 1..because sec 3 is bit more tricky and long,since in the start of the test we are more fresh and active …so we can solve it more quickly instead of sec 1 which is not more tricky …on the other hand some ppl told me we get confused when we read the difficult questions starting easy one is good idea…whats your opinion ..plz reply.

  99. Anonymous December 8, 2015 at 8:49 am #

    Really helpful site. Ane can we tackle the matching type question by just reading the first sentence of the paragraphes for the topic sentences are found there, typically?

  100. jass February 7, 2016 at 11:40 am #

    Hey sir….I got 5 bands in reading because I does not find the answer in a available time what should I do

  101. Pell February 9, 2016 at 9:39 am #

    Hello sir, thank you for your tips. This is definitely one of the best tips i’ve read. I did what others advice and i got 6.5 in reading test. I find it difficult, really difficult! Because my reading comprehension is not that good. I am going to sit again in april. i am preparing for this as this is maybe my last one hopefully. I will do what you say.. So i am hoping i will get the score i needed. Thanks a lot.

  102. Masud June 10, 2016 at 3:00 am #


    Is there any materials for GT Reading and writing ? It will be appreciated if you could please provide me some materials for Reading and writing for GT IELTS!


    • Dominic Cole September 28, 2016 at 8:54 pm #


      ESL bits
      ESOL courses
      IELTS essentials

  103. godreet September 28, 2016 at 5:26 pm #

    Hi, everytime I scored 5 bands In reading and I also practice alot but still not score good bands. What should I do ?

    • Dominic Cole September 28, 2016 at 8:45 pm #

      One way to improve may be to try GT reading. The texts are slightly easier but the skills you need are the same. Once you are more confident with GT then you could go back up to academic.

  104. Manish thakur October 31, 2016 at 12:11 pm #

    I have 6 bands each but 4.5 in reading how can i improve it in 12 days because my final exam is after 12 days

  105. devenir riche March 22, 2017 at 5:04 pm #

    Your way of explaining the wholpe thingg in this article is in fact pleasant, all can easily be
    aware of it, Thanks a lot.


  1. The Use of Scanning and Skimming in Writing IELTS - IELTS Kampung Inggris :: Eddy Learning Centre - January 19, 2013

    […] References:,, […]

  2. The Use of Scanning and Skimming in Battling with Reading IELTS - IELTS Kampung Inggris :: Eddy Learning Centre - January 19, 2013

    […] References:,, […]

  3. ielts reading tips | - February 25, 2014

    […] […]

  4. ielts reading Day 4 - (Table completion, Short-answer questions, TRUE/FALSE/NG) - July 30, 2015

    […] this out : […]

Leave a Reply