Reading is something that most of us do almost regularly, whether it be for a project proposal at the office, for an entrance exam, or simply for pleasure. But how often do we think of improving our reading skills or increasing our reading speed?
The International English Language Testing System or IELTS is one such examination that tests candidates on four parameters: Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking. Out of these, the reading section is perhaps the most difficult one as perceived by many students. With over 3 types of texts, 40 questions and 11 tasks to be completed in 60 minutes, the candidate needs to acquire the skill of reading fast. This is in order to retain as much information as possible while conducting analysis at the same time!
Here are a few tips and tricks shared by Cafe Converse, Delhi’s top English institute for IELTS exam preparation classes.
Know the test format: Perhaps the most crucial aspect of doing well in any exam is knowing the paper pattern. This helps the examinee to prepare better.
Word chunking: Try reading 4 or 5 words together, also called word chunking, instead of reading one word at a time which slows down your reading pace and is not ideal during a test when you have to work by the clock. Word-chunking helps students to extract information faster by paraphrasing and identifying keywords and ideas.
Practice daily: Practise solving questions from IELTS reading resources and make it a habit to read daily. To improve your reading speed, it is imperative to familiarise yourself with the IELTS reading test so that you get a better understanding of the different types of questions. Read different kinds of books and magazines, newspapers, and topics that interest you, and stay up-to-date with current affairs. The more you read, the faster you will read.
Stop re-reading: Don’t go back and forth while reading a sentence. When you do that, you lose track of the meaning of the words and waste time which is crucial in any test. The easiest thing to do is run your finger across a sentence as you read along or you may use a bookmark too. This way you will be able to grasp the meaning of the sentences better and your reading speed will improve.
Improve your vocabulary: IELTS tests have a lot of synonyms for which knowing the meaning of words is essential. So, make sure to write the meaning of every new word you come across and refer to a thesaurus for its synonym. The more words you learn, the better your score will be in IELTS.
Manage your time: Learn the art of time management as time is of the essence in the IELTS exam. Remember that you will get only 90 seconds per question. So, start timing yourself while taking your practice tests.
Ms Sonu Goel is a professionally acclaimed certified ESL trainer from British Council having 15 years of strong background for teaching English language in both online and physical classes. She is dedicated to the teaching of English in an interactive and practical way, whereby learners feel enriched with knowledge and experience the language hands-on. She uses creative ideas and aids to let the learning happen as organically and efficiently as possible. Ms Goel has travelled various European countries and experienced an array of cultures and linguistic skills for the English language.