Tips to Achieve a High Score in Reading in IELTS Examination

How to Achieve a High Reading Score in IELTS

The IELTS is an English test required by UK universities, and others, that evaluates English skills of potential international students like you. The exam is intended especially for people who do not have English as a native language. It contains 4 elements: Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening, which are scored with a score on a scale of 9 (Band scale).

Normally, it is expected to obtain a minimum score of 5.5 points in each section and 6 points in general for those applying for undergraduate (BA) courses. On the other hand, for people who apply for a Master's Degree (MA), they must obtain a minimum score of 6 in each section and 6.5 points in total or higher. Of course, in some top universities the expected results must be greater than the normal results.

So, it is important to obtain a high level in the result of your IELTS test.

This article suggests aspects that will help you achieve a high score in the Reading section of the IELTS exam.

In the Reading section the IELTS, your skimming, scanning and close reading skills are evaluated. Especially, this test proves your strength in vocabulary. In the test, you will see different paragraphs and questions about the texts that are shown in this section. It is important that you enrich your reading ability.


It is the ability to read in a fast way to obtain a definition in general. In addition, it is very important to understand the type of question and to which part of the text it may be related.


The ability to identify the keywords in the text or paragraph. If you identify the main words, you will know where you can find the answer and you will be able to answer the questions quickly.

Close Reading:

It is the detailed reading that you can do to solve the questions. You must read the text carefully and in this way obtain the most relevant answers.

Through the process of improving your skills, you will have greater understanding of the paragraphs and texts that have been used to evaluate you in this element. Likewise, you will have the ability to answer different types of questions such as:
  • short questions,
  • multiple selection,
  • final summary (completion),
  • relationship between headings tips and strategies,
  • label diagrams
  • and complete sentences, among other types of questions.

In order to obtain a complete understanding of the texts that are provided, you should have a broad vocabulary in aspects such as synonyms. It is of great importance that you improve your vocabulary during the preparation for the IELTS reading test.
Useful tips for the IELTS Reading test

Time management

The management of time is the key to obtain good results, the exam usually has 40 questions based on 3 sections that must be done in 60 minutes. It is recommended that you do not spend more than 1 minute on each question. However, in some cases you can use longer depending on the level of difficulty.

Improve skills such as skimming, scanning and close reading

It is important that you can manage your time while reading during the test. You must make sure you read very well in each section and take note of the sections that you consider relevant. Additionally, you must identify the key words, remembering what you read, being focused, not rushing and avoiding stress. It will help you understand what you read and answer the questions effectively.

First read the questions

Some students first scan the questions to preview the areas on which they will be based. This can be used as a technique to answer them easily.
Answer the questions

If you feel you cannot adequately answer a question, choose the answer that you think is the correct one and continue with the test to avoid wasting time.

Use of keywords

At the time of reading the questions, you must first highlight the key words based on these while reading a section. It is always important that you read the question before identifying your answer. Most of the time the students make the mistake of reading very fast so as not to waste time, the consequence is that they do not understand correctly the question. It is very important that you avoid these types of mistakes.

How to be ready for the test?

The most effective way to be ready for this test is to practice the questions from IELTS past papers that will help you become familiar with the types of questions.

Always try and IELTS past papers and the test questions for 60 minutes and imagine as if you were really presenting the exam. Once you finish the IELTS past papers, take the time to analyze the questions you had wrong.

Do not expect the test IELTS past paper questions to be exactly the same as the real test. The IELTS tests are not repeated but if you do them, the simulation of the exam will help you practice and feel better when you take the test.

Build your own vocabulary This is the most effective way to be ready for tests. Read as many articles as you can, learn new words you find there, turn to the dictionary and learn the synonyms of these.

Learn compound verbs: understanding compound verbs is of great importance, if you do not speak in English frequently.
Start practicing for the test approximately 2 or 3 months before. You need to be ready for all the IELTS exam components since the Reading test is not the only one that you should have good grade in.

Good luck with your international English language test!