IELTS reading (reading) is one part of the exam that you need to pass to study abroad. An effective reading preparation strategy.

The ability to read texts in English and analyze them is important for all students who are preparing to study abroad. Especially if you have chosen a specialization in English or law. Thus, the reading part is one of the most important parts of the IELTS exam…

Reading is one of the 4 parts of the IELTS exam. The reading part lasts 60 minutes and consists of 40 questions.

The IELTS exam can be of two types: general (for employment and migration) and academic (for study abroad). The reading part is the same for both types of exams.

The reading part consists of 3 sections, each of which includes one or more general texts. After reading each text, the student should answer a few questions on this text. In the test, there are questions of various formats:

  • insert missing words
  • evaluate the correctness of the statement on the subject of the text
  • answer yes or no
  • Multiple Choice etc

The main goal of IELTS reading

The main goal of IELTS reading is to test the student’s ability to read texts of various subjects in English. This part of the exam tests the ability to understand the meaning of the text, highlight its main soap, analyze the text and draw conclusions from the read.

What is the difficulty of IELTS reading?

Reading, traditionally, is not considered the hardest part of IELTS. You are given ready-made texts and assignments, you just need to choose the right answer. However, for many students, it is part of the reading that is difficult.

The main difficulty for most students is a misunderstanding of the essence of IELTS reading. When passing the exam, you need to remember that your main and only goal is to give the right answers to questions. Thus, everything must be done to answer correctly. But, many students, upon seeing the text, instead begin to re-read it many times and guess at the meaning of each incomprehensible word. This only spends the time allotted for the task but does not help to successfully complete it.

In addition, IELTS texts are usually full of vocabulary incomprehensible to most students, because they relate to the field of science, research, journalism or borrowed from the media.

In other words, the main difficulty of the reading part is a misunderstanding of the essence of the exam and a lack of knowledge of a particular vocabulary and language spoken.

How to prepare for IELTS?

There are several ways to effectively prepare for IELTS reading:

  1. Important training information is provided in the relevant training manuals. Get some high-quality textbooks that will explain in detail the specifics of IELTS testing and “pitfalls”.
  2. Read as many texts in English as possible. It is important that they be of various subjects and styles. In the process of preparation, you should abandon fiction and give preference to newspapers, magazines, scientific articles, websites and serious print media, such as The Economist, New Scientist, etc.
  3. Reading texts, translate and memorize new words, increasing your vocabulary.
  4. Find IELTS trial versions and their tasks in specialized manuals or on the Internet. Carefully study the subject of texts in the Reading part, as well as the types of questions for the texts. Thus, you will understand what kind of literature to read for preparation, and what tasks await you on the exam itself.
  5. Pay attention to reviews of other students who have already passed IELTS. Personal experience is especially valuable when it comes to difficulties. On many forums, blogs, articles and videos, students share their experiences and give recommendations on how to successfully pass IELTS reading.

Practical tips

In order to get a fairly high IELTS reading score, follow a few simple tips:

Time management

Carefully calculate the time you spend completing tasks. The IELTS reading part lasts only 60 minutes. This means that for each of the 3 sections you will have about 20 minutes. Competent time management will help you meet the deadline and successfully complete tasks.

First, questions, and then text.

In order to successfully pass the test, you need to work with each text and tasks to it in the following sequence:

  1. Read the headline and understand what the text is about.
  2. Read all text questions and answer options in Multiple choices
  3. Double-scan the text: the first time – find out the general meaning of the text, the second time – try to find answers to these questions

Attention to questions

Thoughtfully and carefully read the questions to the texts. Do not lose sight of a single word. Often it is a misunderstanding of the question or carelessness that leads to the wrong answer.

The catch in Fill in the gaps

Fill in the gaps – type of question in which you need to insert a missing word in a sentence. Usually, this word is taken from the text, but be careful – inserting it into the sentence, do not forget to put it in the correct grammatical form for this case.

If you can’t find the answer to the question…

You may not be able to find the answer to any of the questions in the text the first time. Do not panic! Just skip the question and answer others. Most likely, when searching for answers to the remaining questions, you will find this missing answer.

If you cannot understand the meaning of the word…

Usually, to answer questions you do not need to know the exact meaning of all the words in the text. Focus only on the words and phrases you need to answer the question. Often the meaning of words can be guessed by context, in addition, some words are similar to Russian or international terms (especially, this may refer to a particular vocabulary).

As a last resort, try to determine the form of the word, part of speech and the connection of the word with other words and constructions in the sentence. This will certainly help in answering the question.


Do not forget to check your answers, double-check the question numbers and transfer everything from the draft to the examination form. Be extremely careful and leave time for checking and recording answers in advance.

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