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How to Improve IELTS Reading Speed

You will read three passages and answer 40 questions in the IELTS reading test. Some candidates have trouble in completing all of them in 60 minutes. Therefore, it is essential to improve reading speed to get through the texts and questions faster. Here are five useful ways to improve IELTS reading speed for you!

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#1 Stop sub-vocalization

Sub-vocalization means to say words silently in your mind while reading. It is a common habit for many people, especially language learners because they think it helps their brain to process the information. However, this habit largely slows down your reading speed and causes trouble in the IELTS reading test. If you need read faster, you should try to get rid of or at least to minimize sub-vocalization. Therefore, try to hold your tongue and lips when you are practicing with any reading material.

#2 Stop reading backwards

Sometimes students like to re-read the words or sentences that they have already read to make sure they get the correct information. Actually, this reading habit doesn’t improve your understanding in most cases. Moreover, it affects your reading speed a lot. Therefore, you should stop reading backwards for the IELTS reading test. To solve this problem, you can use a card to cover what you have read so that you cannot see the previous texts. Also, you can use a pen along the line as you read to help you stop reading backwards.

#3 Expand your vocabulary

The more words you know, the faster you will read. If there are a lot of unknown words in a passage, your reading speed will certainly slow down. Therefore, expanding your vocabulary is crucial for improving the IELTS reading speed. Check out our post on five useful ways to learn and remember English vocabulary to learn more tips!

If you meet an unfamiliar word when reading a passage, just skip it first and look it up later. If the word is a key word, try to guess the meaning by the word structure or the content. Check out our post on how to deal with unknown words to get more useful information!

#4 Practice

Practice always helps you a lot when learning a language or taking a language test. As your reading speed depends not only on your English level but also on the content of the reading material, your practice should cover a range of topics. Practice with these useful reading resources and practice tests. Choose easy materials at the beginning and then move on to the harder ones.

#5 Focus

You should eliminate all the distractions while reading. You need a silent reading environment because noises largely distract your attention. Also, do not think about other issues when reading. Try to clear your mind before reading and focus on the passage!

It is not hard to improve IELTS reading speed if you avoid inefficient reading habits and get enough practice!


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