What are some of the Basic rules and procedures to be followed while attempting the IELTS reading test?

ielts reading

What are some of the Basic rules and procedures to be followed while attempting the IELTS reading test?

IELTS stands for the International English Language Testing System.  It is a test of assessing one’s proficiency in being able to use the English language accurately and confidently when a person is planning to migrate to an English speaking country for the purpose of education or for global migration.


While taking this test, it is very important for a the test takers to know the basic information about the test, such as its format and the basic rules and procedures to be followed. In this article,  we shall understand some of the essential points that you should remember while taking the IELTS reading test.


First of all,  let us know what the reading test is,  and how it differs from the academic to the general training test. There are four divisions in the IELTS test,  namely listening,  reading,  writing,  and the speaking tests. All the candidates,  irrespective of whether they are taking the IELTS academic test or the IELTS general training test have to attempt all these parts in order to get a score.


As a rule,  if you are planning to take the IELTS paper based test,  then the listening,  reading and writing tests are conducted on the same day,  while the speaking test is held on a different date.  In the IELTS computer delivered test, however, all the parts of the test are completed within a single day.


The reading test consists of three sections in which you will see that there are three comprehension passages for you to read and answer the questions that follow.  In the case of general training reading, the candidates have to read five passages, out of which four are smaller ones and the last passage is longer.


Before you start your preparation for the reading test,  it is very important to understand some of the basic rules and procedures.


1. Let us begin by understanding the various columns which you need to fill in the IELTS reading answer sheet. You will see that there is a space in the answer sheet to write your name.  You should write your name in block letters only.  In addition to this,  the name should match as it is mentioned in the IELTS test registration form.


Remember that of there is a mismatch of the name,  then there might be some confusion in viewing your result. Sometimes, the results might be placed on hold for this reason. So,  be very careful when filling up the answer sheet.


2. The second important point is that you have to fill the language code. This language code is a three digit number specifying the language chosen at the time of filling the IELTS application form.  This number will be alloted during the document verification stage on the main test day. You should write the number as well as shade it appropriately.


3. The next column is the space to write the candidate number.  This is a very important and unique six digit code which the test takers are given on the test day.  You have to shade this candidate number on the IELTS listening answer sheet,  whereas this number has to be written in the IELTS reading answer sheet.


4. Then there are two columns which show two options to choose from.  The first column is where all the test takers have to shade the box specifying their gender (male or female).  The second column is to specify whether you are taking the IELTS academic test or the IELTS general training test. Remember not to shade both the boxes.  Just shade the one that is appropriate. These are the various specifications pertaining to the points to note before you begin the reading test.


5. There are a total of forty questions in the test.  All these questions are of objective type , and you should attempt all the questions. Ideally, there is no problem in taking a guess if you are not sure what the answer could be.  In the IELTS test, there is no negative marking.  Hence, even if the answer for that question is incorrect,  you will not lose any marks which you have scored for the right answers. So,  do attempt all the questions.


6. Use a pencil to write the answers. The total test time for both the IELTS academic reading and the IELTS general training reading tests is 60 minutes.  No extra time is given to transfer the answers. So, keep transferring the answers parallelly as and when you finish writing one section. This is a recommended practice, as there will be no reason for you to feel tensed at the last moment.


7. While writing the answers,  make sure that the spelling is written correctly.  The IELTS is an English proficiency test, and spellings are very important.  Also,  if the answer has to be a singular noun, you should not change the form of it and write it as a plural. This, if done,  is considered to be an error.


8. Time management is the key to get a better score in the IELTS test.  As mentioned earlier,  there is no extra time to transfer the answers. So, when you start preparing for the IELTS test, practice by setting an alarm and ensure that you are able to complete all the forty questions within this time.


9. Practice as many tests as possible before you go for your main test.  This is particularly essential,  as there are various types of questions that you should prepare for the reading test.


 Moreover,  not all the questions are easy. Some of the question types such as matching the list of headings,  multiple choice questions,  etc are going to be time taking,  as they require you to read the context fully before confirming the answer. So, you should be aware of these factors and prepare accordingly.


10. Finally,  on the test date,  ensure that you transfer the answers in an order.  Sometimes,  it so happens that the test takers are very much nervous while writing the test, and as such under pressure,  they do not write the answers in a sequence. Do not make this mistake. Follow all these basic rules and get your dream score in the IELTS reading test.


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