The IELTS test has two variants on the basis of who is taking the test. These are called the modules of the IELTS test. The first one is called the IELTS academic test, and the second is the IELTS general training test. Here, we are going to understand what must be done to get a high score in the IELTS academic reading test.
What is the IELTS academic test ?
Basically, the IELTS test is written for many purposes. But the main reasons are for immigration and for education. Those individuals who take the test as a part of their immigration process should be writing the IELTS general training test. For students who want to continue their higher education, such as graduation or post graduation in an English speaking country should take the IELTS academic test. Also, some professions require a registration to be able to work. For this purpose, the IELTS academic test has to be written.
What is the IELTS academic test format?
Though there are four parts of the IELTS exam for both the modules ( Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking), there are a few changes when it comes to the reading and the writing tests. Let’s understand what the academic test looks like.
1. Listening : You will see that there are 40 questions in this test. An audio will be played from which you should pick the right answers. If you are taking the paper based IELTS test, then you will get 10 minutes to transfer the answers on to the answer sheet. The test time is approximately 40 minutes.
2. Academic reading test : There are three passages which are usually lengthier. You should read the passages and answer the questions that follow. A total of 40 questions will be there. There is no negative marking in the test. So, you can attempt all the questions. The total time given to complete the reading test is one hour. Unlike the listening test, no additional time is given to transfer the answers.
3. Academic writing test : There are two tasks in this test. The first task is a report based on a graph or a tabular form that you are given. The second task is an essay. Both the tasks should be completed within one hour. Separate answer sheets are given for each task.
4. Speaking : For the computer based exam, the speaking test happens on the same day as the L,R,W test, while it is held on a different date in the case of the IELTS paper based test. The test is divided into three parts, and it takes 11-14 minutes approximately to complete the test.
What should you do to get a high score in the IELTS academic reading test?
There are certain things to be followed to score high in this test.
A. Gather all the information about the question types There are various types of questions in the IELTS academic reading test, and you should gather all the related information about them.
1. Note completion / sentence completion.
2. Matching the list of headings.
3. Matching the list of descriptions.
4. Matching the endings of the sentence.
5. Multiple choice questions with one answer selection.
6. Multiple choice questions with multiple option selection.
7. True/False/Not Given.
8. Yes/No/Not Given.
9. Short answer questions.
10. Table completion.
11. Flow chart completion.
12. Diagram label completion.
13. Summary completion.
B. Understand the difference between each of the question types Not all the question types are the same. Hence, it is a must for you to understand how they differ from each other, and how to get the answers for every question. Since there is no negative marking, you need not worry too much about losing the marks. Attempt every question confidently.Some questions like true/false/not given look a lot similar to yes/no/not given. However, they are very different. In the former, you need to identify the facts whereas in the latter, you need to identify the thoughts and claims of the writer. So, it is very important to see the type of questions and practice accordingly.
C. Work on your strengths Generally, most of the candidates would be having a great deal of confidence when they answer some question types. Those are the strengths. For example, if you notice that you are getting good scores in the note completion section, then that is your strong area. You should see that you are getting the full score in such sections so as to improve your overall score in the reading test.
D. Improve your performance in the weak areas. In contrast to the above mentioned point, there are some question types Where your score is low always. The key is to identify what those questions are. The next step is to work in designing a strategy that can be applicable in the main test so that you don’t lose marks. For example, if the regular strategy of identifying the keywords is not working for true/false/not given, then you need to check why you are failing to perform well. Then, you need to practice as much as possible with the improved strategy.
E. Look for the right websites to get the required materials. IELTS materials are now present everywhere. Both online and offline, downloadable materials are being available now, all thanks to the technological advancements. But, the biggest challenge is to choose a website that gives you all the required materials. There is an advantage that you need not to worry about searching multiple websites to get the information, and it saves time and is convenient too. If you are taking the IELTS computer delivered test, then one such awesome website which provides you the practice materials and test papers is www.ieltscdt.com. Alternatively, if you are planning to take the IELTS paper based test, then the one stop solution for your search is www.ieltsguru.com.
F. Last but not least, the key is time management. Practice with time, and learn to transfer the answers on to the answer sheet, as you will not get any additional time for this.