IELTS Reading Tips: How to improve IELTS Reading Score

International English Language Testing System 2023 ( Reading Tips for IELTS )

Rahul Singha

Rahul SinghaStudy Abroad Expert

Updated on Feb 28, 2024 19:17 IST

IELTS Reading is one of the trickiest papers to be encountered in the IELTS exam. There is a proper strategy to be followed to solve the IELTS Reading Section and gain your desired IELTS band scores. Candidates can develop their skills using the below-mentioned IELTS reading tips and tricks for a higher score in the reading section.

The IELTS exam pattern comprises four sections; Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking. For the IELTS Reading Section, candidates are required to answer a total of 40 questions in a 60-minute duration. IELTS is a popular English language exam that is required to be taken by Indian students looking to study or work in a country where English is the primary language of communication. Candidates looking to register for the IELTS exam can do so by visiting the official IDP IELTS India website. 

IELTS Reading Tips

IELTS Syllabus: Reading Section

There are several kinds of questions which the candidates would encounter in the Reading Section of the IELTS exam syllabus. They are listed below.

Diagram label questions Identifying a writer's views or claims ( YES/NO/NOT GIVEN ) Identifying information ( TRUE/FALSE/NOT GIVEN )
Matching Headings & Features Matching information & Sentence endings Multiple choice questions
Sentence completion Short-answer questions Summary & Flow Chart
Note & Table Completion n/a n/a
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Top 10 IELTS Reading Tips

Below is a list of useful IELTS reading tips to help IELTS test takers achieve a higher IELTS band score.

1. Skimming and Scanning

Skimming and scanning carry great significance in the IELTS reading practices. Skimming is reading a passage to have a general idea of the content. This should be done before you handle the passage. It is very much recommended to skim the passage before moving on to the questions. You do not have to understand the passage completely, it is just to give you an idea of the topic and layout. And you should be able to do that in 2-3 minutes, and at the same time, you should underline the important information. Scanning is the ability to locate the answers/information and does not require the candidate to read the entire comprehension passage.

2. Develop skills for each type of question in Reading

There are a total of 12 kinds of questions and you should know how to tackle each one of them. Some questions come in the order of the passage but others do not. This information not only saves time but also helps you to locate the answers easily. A few of the trickiest questions in IELTS reading are True/False/Not given and Match the Headings. This strategy can be followed in the IELTS Listening section as well.

3. Develop your speed for reading

This test has a strict time frame in which you have to complete the paper. You must develop your reading speed skills to answer the questions quickly. For this, you would be required to scan your passage well to answer the questions easily.

4. Not everything is mandatory to understand within the passage

You should not focus on understanding everything in the passage. This task only requires you to locate the answers in a given time frame. It is merely a waste of time to read and understand everything in the given passage because you might not require that particular line or phrase as an answer which you just wasted a lot of time to understand. There are only two types of questions which require a more detailed understanding of the whole passage – 'Matching the Headings' and 'Choosing a Title.' All the other questions are based on locating the answers.

5. Vocabulary is a crucial factor

This is one of the factors why students are not able to score higher bands. It is not only about learning the meaning of the word but also about why and why can’t we use the word. It is also about what collocations can be used with words like verbs and match nouns. You should write words that include common paraphrases and also any problems you had finding the answer. You can do this by learning vocabulary from practice reading passages.

6. Finding keywords is the key

Each question will carry a keyword to help you locate the information in the passage and spot the answer. You should learn to spot keywords and use them correctly. Also, check if the word can be paraphrased (Using an alternative word without changing the meaning of the word). Soon you will learn to locate keywords correctly when you review your answers in practice reading lessons. And some keywords are obvious like names, dates, numbers, places etc. Other keywords are subtler.

7. Form grammatically correct phrases and words

A few types of questions like 'Summary' and 'Sentence Completion' require you to fill in the blanks with the correct grammatical phrases and words. This signifies that grammar plays a major role in locating the correct answer. You will encounter this during IELTS Reading Practices.

8. Practice every day for a higher band

Practice makes the man perfect – This goes the same for the IELTS reading as well. Getting used to the syllabus, pattern, and tricks for each question, and understanding the vocabulary and expectations of the examiner takes time, hence being persistent and regular with your practice sessions would improve the score quickly. 

9. Getting used to tough passages

If you think you have time before your IELTS exam date, practice your time management and vocabulary skills and enhance your reading speed and familiarity with complicated topics and a wide range of comprehensions. Make it a habit to read before you go to bed every day or every morning before you start your day.

10. Be realistic

Do not expect to get an IELTS Band 7 and above if you do not have a basic understanding of English or if your English is not strong.

Also Read

IELTS Reading Tips and Tricks Writing Tips for IELTS
IELTS Listening Tips Speaking Tips for IELTS

IELTS Reading Tips: Score Band 7 and Above

How to Improve IELTS Reading Score from 5 to 7: So, if you are on an IELTS Band 5 and you are looking to score an IELTS Band 7 and above, follow these essential IELTS reading practices for a better score.

1. Start with deciding on the format

Choosing the correct format is very important to gain a desired band. The IELTS exam is available in two formats, paper-based format and the IELTS computer-delivered exam. Both have their pros and cons and hence you should decide on which format you are most comfortable taking. There can be some challenges which you might face in a computer-based exam like highlighting notes while reading or typing speed is low, not a tech-savvy, etc. And same goes for the paper-based exam where candidates struggle if they are not used to writing anymore on paper. And so far, as we know time is a crucial factor thus deciding on the correct choice of paper is important. Read: Difference Between IELTS on computer vs IELTS on paper

2. Understanding the IELTS Exam Pattern

The test takers need to know the IELTS exam pattern. The IELTS reading paper is divided into three passages/sections and the time allotted for answering this section is 60 minutes (1 Hour). Candidates need to answer a total of 40 questions.

3. Know how the paper is marked

Marking criteria is another point to be noted. In the IELTS Reading section, candidates are required to answer 40 questions and are awarded 1 mark for every right answer. The scores are later scaled to be mapped to the IELTS Band Score 1 - 9. Below are the band descriptors for IELTS Reading marking criteria:

Below are the scorecards for Academic / General Training Reading:

IELTS Reading marking criteria

4. Develop your study plan

Creating a strict timetable and following it is the key to achieving your desired band. Identify your goal in concrete terms put it in writing and strengthen your resolve. You have to remember that it’s not an academic challenge it’s your job and life right now.

5. Have a positive mindset towards the exam

Being positive throughout the paper is indispensable. If you are one of those who have already taken the test before still keep trying until you achieve your goal. Because persistence is the key. IELTS can be tricky hence stay focused and keep practising.

6. Observe your errors from the previous attempts

If you have attempted the exam before you should focus on the mistakes and also the factors which hindered your desired band. Picking those errors will help you to reflect on your main problem areas and help you achieve a desired band. Notice the kind of errors you are making while practising and why you are getting a low score, for instance, vocabulary, understanding and analyzing comprehension, and time management.

7. Know your weakness

Reflecting on your errors helps you practice effectively for the exam. Take skimming and scanning seriously.

8. Time management is essential

Time is a crucial factor in the IELTS exam. Start timing yourself whenever you sit for practising any IELTS paper. Because many candidates face this problem in the exam and one of the factors why people are unable to finish their exam on time. Don’t try to find the answer to one question for too long. 

9. Checking the information during revision time

When you find the answer to a particular question check the sentence before and after. You might be wrong in guessing the answer hence it’s advisable to cross-check your answer before you put your final answer on the sheet.

Also Read

How IELTS Score is Calculated? When to Start Preparing for IELTS?
Top 10 IELTS Coaching Centres in India How to Prepare for IELTS at Home 2024

IELTS Reading Tips: Types of Reading Passage for IELTS

IELTS reading practices: How to navigate through your literature. Below are the different types of reading passages for the IELTS exam that you might encounter in the IELTS reading section of the IELTS test.

  • Reading Passage for IELTS: Narrative

These are the passages which tell about a story and they usually have a plot, characters and setting. They can be fictional or non-fictional. One way to identify a narrative passage is by looking for elements of storytelling such as dialogue, narration, and description. Another way is to identify its purpose. One important thing to remember about narrative passages is that they are usually chronological. That means the events in the story happen in the order that they are told. This can be tricky to follow if you’re not used to it, so be sure to read slowly and pay attention to the details.

  • Reading Passage for IELTS: Descriptive

Descriptive passages provide details about people, places, things, or events. They are used to help the reader see, feel, and experience what is being described. They can be found in both narrative and expository passages. One way to identify a descriptive passage is by its use of sensory language. Sensory language is a language that describes what something looks, smells, tastes, feels, or sounds like. If a passage is full of this type of language, the author is likely trying to describe something. Another way to identify a descriptive passage is by its purpose. A descriptive passage is usually used to provide more information about a person, place, thing, or event.

  • Reading Passage for IELTS: Expository

Expository passages are used to explain something or provide information. They are often found in nonfiction texts such as textbooks, history books, or biographies. However, they can also be found in fiction texts. One way to identify an expository passage is by its purpose. An expository passage is usually used to provide information or explain something. Another way to identify an expository passage is by its use of facts and figures.  

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IELTS Scholarship for Indian Students IELTS Academic vs General Tests

IELTS Reading Practices: Best Ways to Prepare?

In this section, we are going to be looking at the steps involved in answering your Reading Section of the IELTS exam. 

  1. Usually, there are three passages/sections in the IELTS Reading Section (Both Academic / General Training).
  2. Each of the passages has its own set of vocabulary and understanding of the passage. The first passage in the reading section is usually less tricky and has a less set of difficult vocabulary.
  3. As the passages/sections progress they keep on getting tricky. The words and phrases keep on getting difficult.
  4. Till you reach the last passage, the third section/passage is the trickiest. It’s the most difficult section and needs more time and effort compared to the other two.

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Video: IELTS Reading Tips & Tricks

Candidates can check out our video tutorial on IELTS Reading Tips and Tricks taught by our in-house trainer below. 

Watch Online IELTS tutorials to amplify your score in the IELTS Exam.

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Popular IELTS Books: Reading Section:

Some of the best IELTS books are listed below to help you score a better band in the IELTS Reading section of the exam. Candidates looking for the Best Resources (Books and Apps) for IELTS Preparation can check out our website for more details.

  1. The official Cambridge Guide to IELTS
  2. Barron’s IELTS Superpack
  3. Official IELTS Practice Materials
  4. Road to IELTS

IELTS Reading Practices with Answers: Task 1

Crop-growing skyscrapers

By the year 2050, nearly 80% of the Earth’s population will live in urban centers. Applying the most conservative estimates to current demographic trends, the human population will increase by about three billion people by then. An estimated 109 hectares of new land (about 20% larger than Brazil) will be needed to grow enough food to feed them, if traditional farming methods continue as they are practiced today. At present, throughout the world, over 80% of the land that is suitable for raising crops is in use. Historically, some 15% of that has been laid waste by poor management practices. What can be done to ensure enough food for the world’s population to live on? 

The concept of indoor farming is not new, since hothouse production of tomatoes and other produce has been in vogue for some time. What is new is the urgent need to scale up this technology to accommodate another three billion people. Many believe an entirely new approach to indoor farming is required, employing cutting-edge technologies. One such proposal is for the ‘Vertical Farm’. The concept is of multi-storey buildings in which food crops are grown in environmentally controlled conditions. Situated in the heart of urban centres, they would drastically reduce the amount of transportation required to bring food to consumers. Vertical farms would need to be efficient, cheap to construct and safe to operate. If successfully implemented, proponents claim, vertical farms offer the promise of urban renewal, sustainable production of a safe and varied food supply (through year-round production of all crops), and the eventual repair of ecosystems that have been sacrificed for horizontal farming. 

It took humans 10,000 years to learn how to grow most of the crops we now take for granted. Along the way, we despoiled most of the land we worked, often turning verdant, natural ecozones into semi-arid deserts. Within that same time frame, we evolved into an urban species, in which 60% of the human population now lives vertically in cities. This means that, for the majority, we humans have shelter from the elements, yet we subject our food-bearing plants to the rigours of the great outdoors and can do no more than hope for a good weather year. However, more often than not now, due to a rapidly changing climate, that is not what happens. Massive floods, long droughts, hurricanes and severe monsoons take their toll each year, destroying millions of tons of valuable crops. 

The supporters of vertical farming claim many potential advantages for the system. For instance, crops would be produced all year round, as they would be kept in artificially controlled, optimum growing conditions. There would be no weather-related crop failures due to droughts, floods or pests. All the food could be grown organically, eliminating the need for herbicides, pesticides and fertilisers. The system would greatly reduce the incidence of many infectious diseases that are acquired at the agricultural interface. Although the system would consume energy, it would return energy to the grid via methane generation from composting nonedible parts of plants. It would also dramatically reduce fossil fuel use, by cutting out the need for tractors, ploughs and shipping. 

A major drawback of vertical farming, however, is that the plants would require artificial light. Without it, those plants nearest the windows would be exposed to more sunlight and grow more quickly, reducing the efficiency of the system. Single-storey greenhouses have the benefit of natural overhead light; even so, many still need artificial lighting. 

A multi-storey facility with no natural overhead light would require far more. Generating enough light could be prohibitively expensive, unless cheap, renewable energy is available, and this appears to be rather a future aspiration than a likelihood for the near future. 

 One variation on vertical farming that has been developed is to grow plants in stacked trays that move on rails. Moving the trays allows the plants to get enough sunlight. This system is already in operation, and works well within a single-storey greenhouse with light reaching it from above: it Is not certain, however, that it can be made to work without that overhead natural light. 

 Vertical farming is an attempt to address the undoubted problems that we face in producing enough food for a growing population. At the moment, though, more needs to be done to reduce the detrimental impact it would have on the environment, particularly as regards the use of energy. While it is possible that much of our food will be grown in skyscrapers in future, most experts currently believe it is far more likely that we will simply use the space available on urban rooftops. 

Complete the sentences below. 

Choose NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS from the passage for each answer. 

Write your answers in boxes 1-2 on your answer sheet. 

  1. Humans are one of the reasons that most of the land has been plundered and green unaffected ecological community has turned to ..........
  2. Plants require .........................  , which is the most important disadvantage of vertical farming.

Do the following statements agree with the information given in Reading Passage? 

In boxes 3-4 on your answer sheet, write   

TRUE               if the statement agrees with the information 

FALSE             if the statement contradicts the information 

NOT GIVEN     if there is no information on this 

  1. Currently, around the globe less than 80% of the land is appropriate for planting.
  2. The idea of indoor farming has been used since 1970’s.


Sample IELTS Reading Practice –  Task 1 (Answers)

  1. deserts

(Along the way, we despoiled most of the land we worked, often turning verdant, natural eco zones into semi-arid deserts)

  1. artificial light

(A major drawback of vertical farming, however, is that the plants would require artificial light.)

  1. False

(At present, throughout the world, over 80% of the land that is suitable for raising crops is in use.)

  1. Not Given

IELTS Reading Practices with Answers: Task 2

The Falkirk Wheel

A unique engineering achievement

The Falkirk Wheel in Scotland is the world’s first and only rotating boat lift. Opened in 2002, it is central to the ambitious £84.5m Millennium Link project to restore navigability across Scotland by reconnecting the historic waterways of the Forth & Clyde and Union Canals. 

The major challenge of the project lays in the fact that the Forth & Clyde Canal is situated 35 metres below the level of the Union Canal. Historically, the two canals had been joined near the town of Falkirk by a sequence of 11 locks – enclosed sections of canal in which the water level could be raised or lowered – that stepped down across a distance of 1.5 km. This had been dismantled in 1933, thereby breaking the link. When the project was launched in 1994, the British Waterways authority were keen to create a dramatic twenty-first-century landmark which would not only be a fitting commemoration of the Millennium, but also a lasting symbol of the economic regeneration of the region. 

Numerous ideas were submitted for the project, including concepts ranging from rolling eggs to tilting tanks, from giant seesaws to overhead monorails. The eventual winner was a plan for the huge rotating steel boat lift which was to become The Falkirk Wheel. The unique shape of the structure is claimed to have been inspired by various sources, both manmade and natural, most notably a Celtic double headed axe, but also the vast turning propeller of a ship, the ribcage of a whale or the spine of a fish. 

The various parts of The Falkirk Wheel were all constructed and assembled, like one giant toy building set, at Butterley Engineering’s Steelworks in Derbyshire, some 400 km from Falkirk. A team there carefully assembled the 1,200 tonnes of steel, painstakingly fitting the pieces together to an accuracy of just 10 mm to ensure a perfect final fit. In the summer of 2001, the structure was then dismantled and transported on 35 lorries to Falkirk, before all being bolted back together again on the ground, and finally lifted into position in five large sections by crane. The Wheel would need to withstand immense and constantly changing stresses as it rotated, so to make the structure more robust, the steel sections were bolted rather than welded together. Over 45,000 bolt holes were matched with their bolts, and each bolt was hand-tightened. 

The Wheel consists of two sets of opposing axe-shaped arms, attached about 25 metres apart to a fixed central spine. Two diametrically opposed water-filled ‘gondolas’, each with a capacity of 360,000 litres, are fitted between the ends of the arms. These gondolas always weigh the same, whether or not they are carrying boats. This is because, according to Archimedes’ principle of displacement, floating objects displace their own weight in water. So when a boat enters a gondola, the amount of water leaving the gondola weighs exactly the same as the boat. This keeps the Wheel balanced and so, despite its enormous mass, it rotates through 180° in five and a half minutes while using very little power. It takes just 1.5 kilowatt-hours (5.4 MJ) of energy to rotate the Wheel -roughly the same as boiling eight small domestic kettles of water. 

Boats needing to be lifted up enter the canal basin at the level of the Forth & Clyde Canal and then enter the lower gondola of the Wheel. Two hydraulic steel gates are raised, so as to seal the gondola off from the water in the canal basin. The water between the gates is then pumped out. A hydraulic clamp, which prevents the arms of the Wheel moving while the gondola is docked, is removed, allowing the Wheel to turn. In the central machine room an array of ten hydraulic motors then begins to rotate the central axle. The axle connects to the outer arms of the Wheel, which begin to rotate at a speed of 1/8 of a revolution per minute. As the wheel rotates, the gondolas are kept in the upright position by a simple gearing system. Two eight-metre-wide cogs orbit a fixed inner cog of the same width, connected by two smaller cogs travelling in the opposite direction to the outer cogs – so ensuring that the gondolas always remain level. When the gondola reaches the top, the boat passes straight onto the aqueduct situated 24 metres above the canal basin. 

The remaining 11 metres of lift needed to reach the Union Canal is achieved by means of a pair of locks. The Wheel could not be constructed to elevate boats over the full 35-metre difference between the two canals, owing to the presence of the historically important Antonine Wall, which was built by the Romans in the second century AD. Boats travel under this wall via a tunnel, then through the locks, and finally on to the Union Canal.

Choose NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS from the passage for each answer. 

5. The Falkirk wheel’s distinctive form has been professed to stimulate from several resources, particularly............  

6. More than forty thousand bolt holes were toned with their respective bolts, every bolt being.......... 


Sample IELTS Reading Practice – Task 2 (Answers)

  1. axe

(The Falkirk Wheel. The unique shape of the structure is claimed to have been inspired by various sources, both manmade and natural, most notably a Celtic double headed axe)

  1. hand tightened

 (Over 45,000 bolt holes were matched with their bolts, and each bolt was hand-tightened.)


Sample IELTS Reading Practice - 3

Reducing the Effects of Climate Change

Mark Rowe reports on the increasingly ambitious geo-engineering projects being explored by scientists

A                         Such is our dependence on fossil fuels, and such is the volume of carbon dioxide already released into the atmosphere, that many experts agree that significant global warming is now inevitable. They believe that the best we can do is keep it at a reasonable level, and at present the only serious option for doing this is cutting back on our carbon emissions. But while a few countries are making major strides in this regard, the majority are having great difficulty even stemming the rate of increase, let alone reversing it. Consequently, an increasing number of scientists are beginning to explore the alternative of geo-engineering — a term which generally refers to the intentional large-scale manipulation of the environment. According to its proponents, geo-engineering is the equivalent of a backup generator: if Plan A – reducing our dependency on fossil fuels – fails, we require a Plan B, employing grand schemes to slow down or reverse the process of global warming. 

B                         Geo-engineering; has been shown to work, at least on a small localised scale. For decades, MayDay parades in Moscow have taken place under clear blue skies, aircraft having deposited dry ice, silver iodide and cement powder to disperse clouds. Many of the schemes now suggested look to do the opposite, and reduce the amount of sunlight reaching the planet. The most eye-catching idea of all is suggested by Professor Roger Angel of the University of Arizona. His scheme would employ up to 16 trillion minute spacecraft, each weighing about one gram, to form a transparent, sunlight-refracting sunshade in an orbit 1.5 million km above the Earth. This could, argues Angel, reduce the amount of light reaching the Earth by two per cent. 

C                          The majority of geo-engineering projects so far carried out — which include planting forests in deserts and depositing iron in the ocean to stimulate the growth of algae – have focused on achieving a general cooling of the Earth. But some look specifically at reversing the melting at the poles, particularly the Arctic. The reasoning is that if you replenish the ice sheets and frozen waters of the high latitudes, more light will be reflected back into space, so reducing the warming of the oceans and atmosphere. 

D                         The concept of releasing aerosol sprays into the stratosphere above the Arctic has been proposed by several scientists. This would involve using sulphur or hydrogen sulphide aerosols so that sulphur dioxide would form clouds, which would, in turn, lead to a global dimming. The idea is modelled on historic volcanic explosions, such as that of Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines in 1991, which led to a short-term cooling of global temperatures by 0.5 °C. Scientists have also scrutinised whether it’s possible to preserve the ice sheets of Greenland with reinforced high-tension cables, preventing icebergs from moving into the sea. Meanwhile in the Russian Arctic, geo-engineering plans include the planting of millions of birch trees. Whereas the -regions native evergreen pines shade the snow and absorb radiation, birches would shed their leaves in winter, thus enabling radiation to be reflected by the snow. Re-routing Russian rivers to increase cold water flow to ice-forming areas could also be used to slow down warming, say some climate scientists. 

E                          But will such schemes ever be implemented? Generally speaking, those who are most cautious about geo-engineering are the scientists involved in the research. Angel says that his plan is ‘no substitute for developing renewable energy: the only permanent solution’. And Dr Phil Rasch of the US-based Pacific Northwest National Laboratory is equally guarded about the role of geo-engineering: ‘I think all of us agree that if we were to end geo-engineering on a given day, then the planet would return to its pre-engineered condition very rapidly, and probably within ten to twenty years. That’s certainly something to worry about.’ 

F                          The US National Center for Atmospheric Research has already suggested that the proposal to inject sulphur into the atmosphere might affect rainfall patterns across the tropics and the Southern Ocean. ‘Geo-engineering plans to inject stratospheric aerosols or to seed clouds would act to cool the planet, and act to increase the extent of sea ice,’ says Rasch. ‘But all the models suggest some impact on the distribution of precipitation.’ 

G                         ‘A further risk with geo-engineering projects is that you can “overshoot”,’ says Dr Dan Hunt, from the University of Bristol’s School of Geophysical Sciences, who has studied the likely impacts of the sunshade and aerosol schemes on the climate. ‘You may bring global temperatures back to pre-industrial levels, but the risk is that the poles will still be warmer than they should be and the tropics will be cooler than before industrialisation.’ To avoid such a scenario,” Hunt says, “Angel’s project would have to operate at half strength; all of which reinforces his view that the best option is to avoid the need for geo-engineering altogether.” 

H                         The main reason why geo-engineering is supported by many in the scientific community is that most researchers have little faith in the ability of politicians to agree – and then bring in — the necessary carbon cuts. Even leading conservation organisations see the value of investigating the potential of geo-engineering. According to Dr Martin Sommerkorn, climate change advisor for the World Wildlife Fund’s International Arctic Programme, ‘Human-induced climate change has brought humanity to a position where we shouldn’t exclude thinking thoroughly about this topic and its possibilities.’ 

Question: Reading Practice - 3 has eight paragraphs A-H 

Which paragraph contains the following information? 

Write the correct letter, A-H, in boxes 7-8 on your answer sheet. 

7. This plan of action would diminish the quantity of daylight up to two percent. 

8. Focus on preventing the liquefying of the poles, so as to bring down the blazing of the water bodies and the air. 

Look at the following statements (Questions and the list of scientists below. 

Match each statement with the correct scientist, A-C. 

Write the correct letter, A-C, in boxes 9-11 on your answer sheet. 

List of Scientists 

A    Roger Angel 

B    Phil Rasch 

C    Dan Lunt 

  1. The consequences of Climate engineering may not be lifelong.
  2. Geo engineering can never bring back the testing of non-fossil-based fuels.
  3. It might become obligatory to control the efficacy of Geo engineering programs.


Sample IELTS Reading Practice – Task 3 (Answers)

  1. B

(This could, argues Angel, reduce the amount of light reaching the Earth by two per cent.)

  1. C

(The reasoning is that if you replenish the ice sheets and frozen waters of the high latitudes, more light will be reflected back into space, so reducing the warming of the oceans and atmosphere.)

  1. B

(The effects of geo-engineering may not be long-lasting.)

  1. A

(Research into non-fossil-based fuels cannot be replaced by geo-engineering.)

  1. C

(It may be necessary to limit the effectiveness of geo-engineering projects)

This article gives a detailed idea about the IELTS Reading exam and also about all the crucial IELTS Reading Tips and Strategies to be applied for all the mentioned sub-topics in the IELTS Reading test. Candidates looking for assistance with university admissions can get in touch with our Shiksha Study Abroad Counsellors on our website. 

IELTS Reading Tips: FAQs

What to expect in IELTS reading passages?

The texts in the IELTS - General Training are informative in nature; these are the types of texts you find in a notice, advertisement, newspaper, etc. On the other hand, the IELTS - Academic topics are mostly the academic type, sourced from authentic sources like magazines, journals, etc.    The passages might be of different types and might also involve diagrammatic representation. In case technical terms are used in the passage, you'll be provided with a glossary. No previous knowledge of the topics is required beforehand though. 

Are you allowed to write on your question paper?

Many have this question in mind. Yes, one is allowed to write and make notes on the question paper. You can also underline, mark points or write on any part of the question paper. Know that the only thing which will be marked for evaluation is your answer sheet. It becomes helpful in locating answers.  But many times candidates lack time in, the end, to transfer their answers from the question paper to the answer sheet, hence a fruitful piece of advice is that as soon as you locate the answer in your question paper, directly transfer the answer in your final sheet rather than writing it in your question paper. It saves a lot of time at the end of the exam. 

Is spelling important in the exam?

Well, the test that you're taking is a part of your English language proficiency skills and therefore writing answers in the correct spelling is essential. Even if you know an answer and misspell it, it will be marked wrong. Therefore, pay attention to big words.  Each answer carries one mark, so for every wrong answer, there is a loss of one mark. And spelling mistakes can take your score down. And obviously when you know the right answer you would not want to lose your marks because of such a silly reason. Hence, it’s always advisable to cross-check answers and spelling at the end before you submit the paper. 

What is the ideal time to finish a question?

Usually, the time divided for each section or passage given is 20 minutes per passage. But if you are a beginner then try to time yourself for 20 minutes for each passage, and with time just increase your pace and keep decreasing the time taken to find the answers for the first and second passages.   Because the last passage requires more time and effort to locate the correct answer. Even if you find a question difficult, don't take more than a minute to answer it. Return to the concerned question later. 

What if you are stuck on a question and you do not know the answer?

Do not panic or get away from your focus because time is an important factor in the exam. You have to finish 40 questions in an hour and then transfer them into an answer sheet if you are attempting the Paper-based test. Hence keep the time frame in mind.  There is no negative marking for incorrect answers. Do not miss out on any blank spaces or any question unanswered. Try to recollect what you have understood from the passage. Just because of one question you should not ruin the whole paper and other questions which might be scoring for you. 

How can I get a 7 in IELTS reading?

In order to get a 7 band, you need to answer at least 30-32 questions correctly. Which results in, making no more than 10 mistakes. To assure that you need to work on your reading skills before the exam. As we know time is a crucial factor hence practice reading quickly. Also, follow the essential tricks and strategies for a higher score. Do not forget skimming and scanning are crucial parts of the strategy.   Developing a strict timetable and enhancing your vocabulary with time would result in a desirable band. And learning from the mistakes you have made in your previous practice sessions would result in an increasing score band always. 


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