How to succeed on IELTS Reading
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Hello. My name is Emma, and in today's lesson, I am going to teach you some very good tips
on how to succeed on the reading module of the IELTS. So this video is for anyone who
is taking the IELTS. This video will really help you learn about some of the question
types and how to do well on them. So let's get started.
My very first tip is very important. When you're practicing doing the IELTS, when you're
preparing for the IELTS, one way to prepare is to start learning synonyms. Now, what's
a "synonym"? A "synonym" is a copy of another word where the meanings are the same, but
the words are different. So an example: "intelligent" and "smart". These are synonyms. They have
the same meaning, but they're different words.
Now, why should you learn different synonyms for the IELTS? Well, one very good reason
is oftentimes, on the IELTS you will have a text or a reading passage, and then, after
that you will have a bunch of questions. Now, sometimes, in the questions, you need to look
for certain information in the reading passage. So you read a question, and you need to find
the answer in the reading passage. Now, one way to do this is looking at keywords. You
might see a keyword in the question. And you're looking for that same word in the reading
passage. But they often don't use the same words in the question and the reading passage.
Oftentimes, they will use synonyms. So for example, maybe in the question the keyword
is "intelligent". In the reading passage, the word that you'll actually need to find
is "smart". So by knowing synonyms, you'll be able to do the questions a lot faster,
and you'll be able to find information faster. And on the IELTS, time is very important,
so you want to be able to do things very quickly.
My second point has to do with a lot of the question types, especially the "not given"
question types. There's a question type called "True, False, or Not Given". There's also
one called "Yes, No, Not Given". This point is for those.
Oftentimes, you need to pay close attention to negative words on the IELTS. So for example
"never", "rarely", "hardly", "seldom". Depending on what the question is, sometimes, if it's
a true or false question, it's very important to look for these words. This is one of the
tricks you might find on the IELTS -- well, it's not exactly a trick, but sometimes, you
might put down "true", but the answer is actually false because of these negative words. So
key point: Notice and pay attention to these types of words in both the "True, False, and
Not Given", and the "Yes, No, Not Given".
Point No. 3: Similar to point No. 2, it's very important to pay attention to frequency
words, especially in the same part, and the "True, False, Not Given". You might see "always",
"often", "sometimes", "never". Why is this important? Well, if you see something that
says, "Sometimes the Pharaoh of Egypt -- or the Pharaohs of Egypt were buried in tombs",
but the actual answer is true or false, and it says, "Pharaohs were always buried in tombs",
you might get confused. You might put down the wrong answer. So it's very important to
pay attention to "always", "often", "sometimes", "never" in true or false questions.
Point No. 4: This is probably one of my favorite points. During tests -- this happens to all
students -- they will pick on answer; and then, they'll think about it; and they'll
see another answer; and they'll want to change their answer; and they don't remember -- they
don't know, "Which one should I pick?" It's good to go with your first instinct. So if
you're doing multiple choice, and right off the bat you think, "Okay, the answer is A";
and then you look, and you think, "Okay, well, maybe the answer is C -- if both of them seem
like good possibilities, and you don't know, choose the one you thought of first. Okay?
Go with your gut feeling. Go with your instinct.
No. 5: Questions often follow passage order. So what does this mean? Well, it means that
Question 1 will probably be somewhere near the top of the reading; Question 2 will be
underneath Question 1 in the reading. So the questions -- one will be at the top, then
two, then three, then four, then five. So it's important because if for example you
find the answer for Question 2, it's very probable that the answer for Question 1 is
above Question 2. So it's very important that questions often -- not always, but often -- follow
passage order. This can help you find answers for other questions.
My next tip for the reading is that it's very important to understand how paragraphs work.
What do I mean by that? I mean understanding specifically topic sentences. There are a
lot of questions in the IELTS -- the reading module -- where if you know what a topic sentence
is, it can help you find things a lot quicker, a lot easier. So what is the topic sentence?
For every paragraph, there's usually one sentence that almost sums up the paragraph. It's the
main idea of the paragraph. Where do you find the topic sentence? Not always, but usually,
it's the first sentence, or it's at the beginning somewhere in the paragraph. So this is a very
good tip, especially for paragraph heading and matching questions. By understanding what
a topic sentence is and where to find it, you will save a lot of time.
My seventh tip is that you should really practice each question type. I've mentioned some different
question types in this video. I just talked about paragraph heading matching, multiple
choice, short answers, True, False, Not Given. There are many different types of questions
on the reading module of the IELTS. So it's very important that you get familiar with
each of these questions, you practice each of these questions, so then, on test day,
you feel more confident, more comfortable, and there are no surprises. So practice a
lot. Practice each question type.
My eighth tip is that -- and this isn't just for the reading modules of the IELTS; it's
for tests in general. If you are doing a test where there are other people around, it's
good not to practice only in your home. On test day, when you're doing the reading module,
there will be other people around you. And if you're not used to taking tests with other
people around you, you might get distracted. You might hear this person over there chewing
their bubble gum. You might see that person over there crying because they have a very
bad answer, and they're having difficulty on the IELTS. You can see all sorts of things
in the room with you. And that could distract you. So it's very, very important to get used
to being distracted while you're taking the test. So what I recommend: Try to do the IELTS
at a library. Get a practice test; go to the library; do it there. Try it on the bus, even.
You can do it on different places so you're used to distractions so on test day, those
distractions won't distract you.
My ninth tip is a warning: Be careful. Be careful of what? A lot of the times, students
will see in both the reading and the questions the same word. So a question will be looking
for some sort of word -- you know, it's in the reading. And so they'll think that because
they see the word in the question and in the reading that that's the word they need or
that's the heading they need. It's not always the case. It's very important to not use this
logic. It's important to know that this is not always a correct method. You know, sometimes,
you will need specific detail, and you might write the wrong thing. So if you see the word
in the question and the reading passage, it's not necessarily the correct answer.
No. 10 -- okay. This is something we're going to practice together, now. It's good to practice
skimming and scanning in general for the reading test. "Scanning" is where you use keywords,
and you just quickly look through the passage looking for a specific word or a specific
piece of information, okay? So one way to get good at skimming -- not skimming; scanning
-- is to scan backwards. Now, how would I do this? Okay, I'm going to ask a question.
How many passages are on the IELTS? Now, before you read, I want you to look for a number,
and look this way. Okay? So you can start scanning. How many passages are on the IELTS?
You're just looking for the keyword. If you read the sentence, like, "Students read three
passages. They get progressively harder", you're wasting too much time reading. It's
a lot better if you just look for the piece of information, in this case, a number. So
I could just go, "Three. There are three passages." Okay.
So what I'd like you to do is come visit us at our website www.engvid.com. You can practice
our test there to see how well you understand these tips. You can also go to www.goodluckielts.com
where there's a lot more information on the IELTS. So good luck. I know you're going to
do a great job on test day. Until text time, take care.