Top Tips for IELTS

Learning to read more quickly for IELTS

Do you know how many words on average you need to read in the IELTS exam? It can be up to 900 words for each of the three questions- that’s a lot. How long does it take you to read all those words? I don’t know, but it’s a question you need to ask yourself.

Now, in the exam of course, if you’re smart that is, you don’t have to read all those words and I’ll be posting later to show you effective strategies to do just that. Nonetheless, it’s still true that you will need to up your reading speed. This is not just about skimming and scanning, it’s about reading more quickly. Take a look at this advice on how to improve your reading speed, there are techniques here you can learn.

Cueprompter is a fantastic program which can help you do just that in another way. If you use it regularly, your reading speed will increase. And there are at least three other advantages. It’s free. It’s fun – so you’ll actually want to use it. It’s also an excellent way to read newspapers and RSS feeds, both of which will improve your general vocabulary for the exam.

Here is a brief video tutorial on how to use it.

Moral: almost the hardest part of IELTS reading paper is the amount of words you have to process. You need to practise this skill regularly, you won’t learn it overnight.


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23 Responses to Learning to read more quickly for IELTS

  1. Vanesa November 16, 2009 at 10:01 am # is a FREE tool for speed reading, very useful the reading part of the IELTS. It has exercises that help to move eyes faster, reduce sub-vocalization, excellent online tool

  2. juhi June 9, 2012 at 12:14 am #

    its really helpful tool for increasing ur reading speed

  3. ALI July 27, 2012 at 7:52 am #

    Thank you so much i am really feeling so glad after watching this website, but i found this so late, i have the IELTS test tomorrow so can you give me some tip to prepare in this limited time. yours advise are really helpful and give the right direction to learn some thing.

    • Dominic Cole July 27, 2012 at 8:06 am #


      Best of luck for tomorrow.

      My best advice is that it is now too late to learn anything new. Sit down and make a plan for each paper based on what you already know – have one or two things to concentrate on.Normally it is best to have a clear head in the exam and if you try and learn new things now, the chances are you’ll confuse yourself

  4. franklin September 10, 2012 at 11:41 am #

    Thank you so much dom… Your advice was very useful. I very well appreciate your work.

  5. Shuchi September 29, 2012 at 12:26 am #

    Thank you sir.For these all useful main problem for reading is i feel bored whenever i start reading,and thats why i am not able to concentrate in reading.

  6. Almira November 5, 2012 at 2:46 am #

    Hi! I want to thank you) I find your blog very helpful. Great job!

  7. LuckyAli March 27, 2013 at 5:02 am #

    Your work is superb thanks,I have one question should we read the newspapers like “The Guardian” ,”The Economist” online? to improve our reading ?? or should we read through paper??Please Suggest me.

    • Dominic Cole March 27, 2013 at 6:50 am #

      Good question. My ‘standard” answer is to read what interests you – simply because that way you will learn more. If you are bored by what you read, you won’t learn.

      To try and answer your question directly the idea is that it helps to read extensively – that’s as much as possible – read for quantity. That will help improve your reading speed and other reading skills. You should also read intensively – that’s reading for quality – the idea here is that this way you will improve your vocabulary- and vocabulary is a large part of reading.

      • Deepak February 14, 2014 at 11:07 am #

        Hey Dom, i want to ask will this technique be beneficial for improving vocabulary as well??
        When we do a speed reading sometimes we wont be able to get even a general idea if the words are not familiar with us.In that case we have to look the dictionary.So what can we do in this case?

  8. ana May 27, 2013 at 6:25 pm #

    i am planning to give ielts next month ,my reading is v poor and i dont hav time to read newspapers please advice

  9. Dasoroth K Paul July 19, 2013 at 2:02 am #

    This is the most useful website for IELTS preparation i think. i’m making preparation for GT but during exam when i’m going for last passage, i feel bore and stress as a result sore is getting low. Would you please suggest me how can i remove this?

    • Ankit Timbadiya June 23, 2016 at 6:28 pm #

      The solution is build up your stamina. Practice of reading much at a time and try to relax.

  10. Abdullah October 23, 2013 at 4:56 pm #

    Thank you so much

    It will be advantagous to me

    Thanks aloooot

    I wish happiness and healt also wealth

  11. risav January 4, 2014 at 12:16 pm #

    i have my ielts exam in march 8…… i have problem in reading section….. plzzzz help me in improving reading section to get correct answers….

  12. Beth January 29, 2014 at 12:08 am #

    Hi Dominic,

    I am on to your site quite a lot and it helps me mastered the structure of Ielts exam.
    Could you post more tips on how to master the Reading exam in Ielts?
    Thank you very much.

  13. Rick Wilson February 14, 2014 at 6:19 am #

    Thanks Dom. By the way, please check out this free speed reading app

  14. phanindhar reddy October 10, 2014 at 5:21 am #

    i am planning to give ielts next month ,my reading is v poor and i dont hav time to read newspapers please advice and previously i hav done with IELTS but not gud with the scores total 4.5 i got (S5.5 L 5.0 W 4.5 R 3.5) SO not satisfied with those score pls adviuce me how to over come these thing in my IELTS.hope ur reply soon.

    • Dominic Cole October 14, 2014 at 7:25 am #


      This may not be the advice you want to hear but easily the best way to improve your reading is to read more. The people who read most tend to read best.

  15. larry tony November 1, 2014 at 2:30 am #

    hi Dom.
    im taking the ielts test in a month’s time.can you give me some advice on how to understand some text.cause english is not my first language.

  16. Nileshwar Bisht March 3, 2015 at 4:23 pm #

    Hello Team,
    I am scheduled to take IELTS exam next month need to get your help to improve my scores in Reading and listening. Ur help would be highly appreciated.

  17. mohamed April 7, 2015 at 5:00 pm #

    Really . I hate ietles reading . I believe it is not fair and crazy way to meansure students’ skills . I struggle to do practice reading and read newspapers daily . I just need score five in the exam . I am under pressure .


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