How to attempt the reading section of IETLS?
To score good marks in IELTS reading section you need to first understand the question types and then know the methodology of how to attempt each question type, keeping time limit in mind. Below I mention few of the important question types and the methods of attempting these types:
List of headings – This is one of the most common types that comes in IELTS reading tests. The general suggested method to attempt this type is to read first 4–5 lines of each paragraph and then figure out the heading answer. While reading these lines look for keywords which are of three types – noun e.g. name, place or thing, verb – some kind of activity and adjective – some kind of quality either positive or negative. This method works in most cases, however in some cases headings are not clear e.g. when first 4–5 lines seem to be similar for 2 or more paragraphs, in this case read the next line i.e. 6th line and which ever is the keyword in that line mark the heading containing the synonym of that word.
Paragraph matching – In this type you have find out that which para contains the information provided in the question. For this type start reading para from the middle, it is important, because first 4–5 lines generally do not contain answers for these types so focus on the middle part of the para and match the information provided there with the questions.
Multiple choice questions – This question is attempted in two steps. First is to find the exact location of the question and then use the method of elimination. We use this method because seldom the answer is given straightaway. Hence we need to look at the keywords and then remove the options (A, B, C and D) one by one. Generally you would be left with two options after elimination. At this step whichever option has more synonyms that should be your answer.
Fill in the blanks (with options) – These are the most easy types of question to attempt in IELTS reading. In this type there is no need to read the passage to find the answers. Answers can be matched from the options as per the sense and meaning of the sentence. For example, you just need to figure out that what type of word would fit the blank, and by type I mean three types – noun, verb, adjective. Then find these types of words in the options and mark your answer.
Fill in the blanks (without options) or complete the summary – For these types of questions the most important step is to find the first blank because the rest of the answers would be present in the part of the passage after that blank. Here again you can apply the earlier mentioned method of first finding the type of word that would fit the blank.
True, False or Yes, No, Not Given – First thing to find in these questions is whether the statement is mentioned in the passage or not. This can be figured out by looking for the subject of the statement. Generally if the subject is present then the answer is either True or False. Now to find which is the answer, look for adjective and its connotation (whether it positive or negative). Same connotation in the passage and the question means True and opposite connotation means False. For Not given focus on the verb, if verb is missing in either passage or question then the answer is generally Not Given.