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How to Improve IELTS Reading

Reading in a second language causes more difficulties than in your native language because they have different structures and ways of thinking. If you take the IELTS as a proof of your language qualification, you have to read three passages and answer 40 questions in just one hour. Many students find themselves struggle with this part even though they have done tons of reading tasks. That’s because they don’t practice in the right way. Here are some effective tips for you to improve IELTS reading!

Expand Your Vocabulary

To understand a passage, you need to know most of the words in that passage. Most of the students feel boring with remembering the new words because learning English words takes time and efforts. Though there are countless IELTS vocabulary books in the market, you are likely to give up after one week or two. The best way of expanding your vocabulary is to have a meaningful content such as a story, a piece of news and a conversation. Check the five fun ways of learning and remembering English words, set goals everyday and try your best to achieve them!

Understand the Passage Structure

Even though the topic and the content of IELTS reading passages are always different, they share similar passage structure which is used in many English articles. Knowing the passage structure will help you to understand the logical relationship between sentences and paragraphs. Besides, it is especially useful for identifying main ideas.

Generally, a passage will have an introduction paragraph, several body paragraphs and a conclusion paragraph. In the introduction paragraph, there will be an introduction of the topic and a thesis statement. Each body paragraph supports the thesis statement with topic sentences and supporting evidence. The conclusion paragraph usually includes a summary of what have mentioned and a restatement of the thesis. If the passage is an excerpt from a long article or a book, it may lack the introduction or the conclusion paragraph.

You can identify the structure by taking notes while reading. Here is an example:

paragraph structure-magoosh


Extensive Reading

Extensive reading is good for practicing speed reading and picking up new words. If you take IELTS Academic,  I recommend reading columns in news websites, academic reports and textbooks because they share similar genre with IELTS Academic reading passages. Pay attention to the main ideas and supporting details while reading them. You can also read some novels such as romance and detective stories to gain interest and learn more expressions.

Improve IELTS Reading Strategies

Developing effective reading strategies is helpful for increasing your reading speed and locating information precisely so that you can accurately answer different question types in limited time. Let’s find out how to allocate your time, skim and scan a passage, paraphrase and take notes in IELTS reading strategies post.

You can get high scores on IELTS reading if you have developed good reading skills with the tips above. Also, don’t forget to do some practice tests to get familiar with question types and estimate your score!


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