The most common IELTS reading mistakes you should avoid to achieve high band scores.
IELTS reading exam is considered as a vocabulary test. Comparing with other skills tests, candidates can be easier to improve band score of reading exam. However, a number of test-takers make these mistakes which you should know and avoid them.
1. Time management in IELTS reading test
An IELTS reading exam lasts only 60 minutes and in this period of time, candidates have to deal with three passages with 40 questions. Some spend too much time for two first paragraphs and just leave about 10 minutes for the last one which is the most difficult paragraph in the exam.
It’s crucial to allocate time logically. You should not waste time for a question. If you cannot find the answer for it, just guess it and move to the next one, then come back later. In addition, you should practice a reading test at home in 60 minutes to adapt to the limited time in the real test.
2. Reading the instructions carelessly
At the beginning of each type of question, there is an instruction that you should pay attention and read carefully. If the instruction says ‘no more than two words’, your answer should be one word or two words. It is a wrong answer within the excess 2 words. Additionally, with true/false/not given question, your answer is ‘yes’ or ‘no’, you will lose your mark.
3. Transferring the answers in the answer sheet
It sounds silly but there is a number of candidates forgetting that there are no extra 10 minutes to transfer the answers to the answer sheet like in a listening test. Remember that do not write your answers to the question booklet. It drives you crazy if you make this mistake.
4. Synonym and paraphrasing
Underlying keywords in questions is the key strategy in terms of locating the answer in the paragraph. However, finding the exact keywords in the text may waste your time. As I mentioned before, a reading exam tests your vocabulary, so most of the keywords the in the questions are synonyms in the text. Similarly, the phases are paraphrased in the text. Honestly, I highly recommend that when you learn new vocabulary, you should also learn its synonyms and antonyms.
5. Reading all the passages.
It does not make sense to read entire three passages and answer tons of questions. In fact, however, a number of candidates try to do this. Some people told me that they could not understand the passages without reading all of them. Now, I will recommend a strategy to solve this problem.
Skimming is the best skill to make sense each passage. You do not need to read an entire passage but the title and the first paragraph. For other paragraphs, you should just read a couple of first sentences. This strategy will help you get the main idea of the passage and not to waste time for reading without question in your mind.
6. Incorrect spelling.
It is the unnecessary errors that cost your mark. Keep concentration on the test and save yourselves from this kind of mistake.
7. Make up the answers.
In fact, if you don’t have any interesting answer, you can make up it in IELTS speaking test. It is acceptable. However, you must note that, in IELTS test, all answers lie in the text. If you cannot find the answer, maybe you are looking in the wrong place or the phrases are paraphrased. Guessing the answers should be the final choice.
If you want to get your target band score, you should improve your English first! Follow your website, we will help you step by step to achieve your goal.
IELTS Sharing Community Team.