IELTS Reading – 7 Band Jumping IELTS Reading Tips (1 of 3)

Hello, there. My name is Ben Worthington from IELTS Podcast and in this video, we’re going to look at three important exam skills you’ll need to get a high score in the IELTS Reading. The first one, well I’ll give you all three first: Skimming, speed reading and scanning. Let’s go into the first one, skimming. There are two techniques, basically, speed reading and skimming are broadly similar. Now, some say skimming is a type of speed reading. Speed reading is a type of skimming. It doesn’t really matter. What we get, what does matter is our objective and our objective is to find huge amounts of information, general information, getting the feel for the text and finding that information from the passage and doing it very quickly. So get in an overview, get in the feel. Now, to do this, the first technique is you get two lines from text, from the passage and with your index finger, you go from the top one to the end of the second one and you go across like this. Try to capture all that information. You drag your fingers from the two lines straight like that.

And you go back and do it again, all the way through the text. Your eye follows your finger and your mind does the guessing for you. Now, this technique takes a bit of time to fully simulate and to do effectively because what can happen is you can go through it looking at all the words but not really understanding the text. So, you really should do a comprehension check afterwards. This is the preparation. Now, the second technique is called speed reading. It’s also called skimming. Now, what skimming means, what it also means is when you get a stone, circular one and you throw it on the water and it bounces like this. This is skimming the stone. And this is effectively what we’re going to do with the second technique. What we do is instead of doing the diagonal technique what you can do is drop — when you’re focusing when you’re reading what usually happens is we read word by word like this and it’s not very effective.

It’s not very quick. What you can do is train your eyes to look at the group of words, maybe three words to start off with or four words and then go like this, bam, bam, bam. Instead of going singly, one word, one word, one word, this is the normal way of reading. We can just go three words boom, three words boom.

This way, we can get through the text a lot quicker. These techniques take a little bit of practice. To get good at it, I’d recommend that first you start off with your finger or a pen and just do it at a general pace like that and check that you are actually comprehending the information, maybe do a summary afterwards or you can usually just jump online. Go to a search engine, go to Google put online speed reading test or something like that. Now, what that will do is just time your reading and ask you some questions to make sure you fully understood text. This is an important exam skill and I’d strongly recommend that you dedicate some time to getting good at this skill because it would definitely help you in the reading exam.

Now, the third technique, scanning for information. So, scanning is finding the details after we’ve done a skimming. Here, words come into your mind, words that you’ve already seen. Your mind’s quite active and it’s already pretty much immersed into the text. It’s important when you’re reading the questions then you go scanning for the answer you do not look for the exact words that you’d seen in the questions. More than likely, you’re going to have to look for synonyms. I’ll give you an example. If you get the question, what did the inventor invent? Go through the text and look for names, look for proper nouns, look for acronyms and circle them underlining them and look for phrases that cannot be reworded in a different way. Doing it that way, you’re more likely to find the answer. It does take a little bit of time. The best way is to do just to do a lot of them. Now, when you do start your scanning, the best thing to do is try to avoid maybe the first sentence or the second sentence because that’s usually a topic sentence which more or less introduces the content. It doesn’t give — introduces the topic and doesn’t offer that much content.

If you go for the second sentence or the third sentence, doing those and scanning quickly you know, going through it and you’re going to find the answers quicker just by skipping the first one. Now, another tip is that the answer that’s going to appear in the text is in the same order as the questions. That’s true for most of them. So, you’re going to find question 3 before you find question 4, most of the time — not always. So, you can just work through an orderly fashion. You don’t have to jump around all the text. Another point, if you’re getting stuck on one question, just skip it. Skip it and go to the next one.

Just keep your rhythm going, keep working through and then make sure that you’re allocating the right amount of time to each section. You need about 20 minutes to do each section. Keep going through and if you find that at the end of the exam, you have got a few minutes, go back to the questions you�ve missed and have another look. Have another look and hopefully you’ll find it. But if you do finish, and you’ve got five or ten minutes, probably not the case, but if you do, don’t just put your pen down and sit there you know, happy, it’s over and you look around. Don’t do that. I know you probably wont’s but I’ve seen it happen.

What you should do is just go back, review your answers, read the text again, look at the questions and just maximize, maximize the amount of time you’ve been given, use it well and go through, check your answers. Alright. If you want some more advice, some more tips, some more help, if you want some offers to some material, I have material and the rest of it, go to the website. You can sign up, ieltspodcast.com and I’ve lots of good information there. Send to your inbox and also subscribe to the YouTube channel because there are loads more of videos on the way. Okay. Good luck in your exam. All the best..

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