Thursday, September 18, 2008

IELTS Reading

IELTS Reading is pretty demanding and speed reading is just one of the several skills needed to do well in the paper. But let's face it. If you can read the whole passage at the speed of a bullet train and not be able to comprehend the passage, it defeats the whole purpose. I say this because I notice some students doing exactly that.

Trying to read word for word is also not a solution. Students do that and get stumped when they come across a word they don't understand. The most important thing you need to do is to run over the questions to get an idea of what is being asked. Look for the title if any because the title will tell you what the passage is about. Read the introductory paragraph carefully because the main thrust of the passage should be in there and that holds the key to the rest of the article.
Then go over the conclusion which summarizes the main points. Now use the questions to help you read the whole passage while looking for the answers.

If you come across a new word, do not panic. Make an intelligent guess by reading the surrounding sentences.

Most important of all, as with the other three modules, know the question format.

THe IELTS Reading Paper cover a wide spectrum of subjects, quite often academic in nature. But the content is written such that you don't have to be an expert to understand it.