IELTS General Reading skills requires prediction, finding specific information, identifying opinion etc. In IELTS General Reading test paper, you will be given a mixture of long and short texts of a much more general nature and some related to work or social situations. The readings are taken from notices, flyers, timetables, documents, newspapers, instructions and manuals.

IELTS General Reading - Skills tested

Listening is one of the most important skills you can have. How well you listen has a major impact on your job effectiveness, and on the quality of your relationships with others.

For instance:

  • We listen to obtain information.
  • We listen to understand.
  • We listen for enjoyment.
  • We listen to learn.

IELTS General Listening - High Scores

IELTS General Listening

The number of correct answers needed to get a band 8 will vary slightly from test to test. All tests have, in theory, the same level of difficulty but the score required to achieve a certain band changes depending on how everyone who took that test did on that particular day.

For a Band 8, you should be aiming to get around 36 out of 40, but this might be slightly more or slightly less depending on the test.

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IELTS General Reading

8 tips to improve your IELTS Reading skills

      Tip-1) Don’t expect to understand every word

      Tip-2) Practice your reading skills NOT your IELTS skills

      Tip-3) Read the instructions VERY carefully

      Tip-4) It is really a vocabulary test

      Tip-5) Timing is crucial

      Tip-7) Do not assume

      Tip-8) Leave no blanks

Tip-1: Don't expect to understand every word

Many of our students have been taught to look up every word in a dictionary they don’t understand in a dictionary. The theory behind this is good, a wide vocabulary is key to getting a good score in the IELTS test, but worrying about all the words you don’t understand in the reading exam is one of the worst things you can do.

If you don’t understand a word you can either look at the words and sentences around it for clues as to its meaning or you can move on and forget about it.

Tip-2: Practice your reading skills not your IELTS skills


It is important to familiarise yourself with the IELTS reading test, IELTS reading tips and gain an understanding of the various questions. It is also important to learn from your mistakes. However, students who just practice IELTS exams are missing out on a good opportunity to improve their general reading skills.

IELTS reading texts can be a little boring and you are more likely to read regularly if you read about something you are interested in. Reading for pleasure a little every day will not only improve your English skills but also improve your vocabulary. Practice makes perfect

Tip-3: Read the instructions VERY carefully

So many easy marks are lost by good IELTS candidates because they fail to read the instructions properly. This is especially true in the reading test because they give very specific instructions. If you don’t follow these instructions exactly, you will get the question wrong. For example, the instructions might state ‘write two words and/or a number’. This could mean:
One word
One word and a number
Two words
Two words and a number

If the answer asks for two words only and the answer is red and yellow, you should write ‘red, yellow’, not ‘red and yellow’.

Tip-4: It is really a vocabulary test

In many ways, the reading test is more of a vocabulary test than a reading test. They will use
synonyms and paraphrase Enrol for IELTS Course to improve your score in IELTS test. Easy enrolment and instant access here
sentences to test how wide your vocabulary is. To prepare for this we advise our students to do three things: read, note, and review.

As mentioned in tip number 2, reading is the best way to improve your vocabulary. Memorising lists of words is not as effective as seeing words in context. When you see a new word you don’t understand, try to guess the meaning from context.

Tip-5: Timing is crucial

If you spend too much time on one question you will leave less time for the other questions, however, if you try to do the test too quickly you will miss information and may get confused.

Some teachers advise students to spend a set or fixed amount of time on each question but this is bad advice for one main reason- some questions are more difficult than others and will, therefore, take you more time. What you should do is pay attention to your timing when practicing. You will notice which questions take you longer and which questions take you less time. This will give you the confidence to spend a little longer on certain questions and stop panicking in the exam.

Tip-6: Do not assume

Even if you are familiar with the text in your IELTS General Reading paper, do not assume.

The text in the exam is carefully chosen to flip the meaning in the second portion of the sentence using linking words. Also, by assuming, students always attempt a word match and it is a trap the test-designers would want the students to walk into.

Tip-7: Leave no blanks

This might seem one of the most obvious IELTS General Reading tips but you would be surprised how many people leave blanks. Even if you don’t know the answer, make sure you attempt every question. You might get lucky and you have nothing to lose.

There are no negative makrs for wrong answer. So every student answering all the questions should be an important approach
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