IELTS Reading Module Tips and Guidelines 2020

1. In IELTS Reading your skills of scanning for the information that is important and skimming through the information that is not important are tested. Skim means to get overview /general idea not in-depth reading.

2. Scanning means to look for specific details/information

3. For scanning—start reading questions-pick key words – ideas—pay attention to negative words like – hardly, scarcely, never, seldom and rarely. Also pay attention to frequency words like – always, often and some times.

4 Read the title –to get connected with the passage. Read rapidly. Read first three lines. Try writing subheading of paragraphs. In both academic and general modules, you are given 60 minutes to answer a total of 40 questions and each question carries one mark.

5. Within this 60 minutes’ time you also have to transfer the answers on to an answer sheet.

6. The academic Reading module has 3 reading passages and each of the passage is followed by a set of 13 or 14 questions.

7. Generally the 1st passage is descriptive while the 2nd and 3 rd passage are discursive. (I.e. contain an argument).

8. The questions are of different types namely—1) looking for detailed information in order to complete sentences.2) you may have to identify views within the passage.3) You may have to mention how something works and complete the given chart or diagram.

9. You will have to adopt some strategies to answer each question type to answer the question successfully.

10. There are true /false and not given facts in the passage. Also there are yes /no/not given questions. Treat both of them alike. The difference between them is true/false not given deal with facts while yes/no /not given deal with facts + writer’s opinion. You should write the same words for-- true false not given – and same words for yes no not given.

11. True means the statement in the passage matches the question asked. False means the statement in the passage contradicts the question or has the opposite meaning. Not given means it is not mentioned in the passage. Also not given means writer’s opinion is given or not given.

12. Clues to identify not given answers--- not given means speculation like it is believed that Benz cars are popular. The questions are – Benz cars are owned by many people. The answer is not given because it is only speculated.

13. More clues to find not given answers are - separate fact from speculation. Look for certainty.

14. Do not assume answers on basis of your personal knowledge. Answer on the basis of the information given in the passage.

15. Key ideas— 1) Look for time date place references 2) Look for expressions like quantity-- like many, most. 3) Look for specific details.4) Look for uncertainty. (to answer not given)

16. Look for subtlety in words— Example--- in the passage given information is -- “The pagoda was burnt by the rebels.”

The question true or false--- “The pagoda was destroyed by the rebels.” The answer is -- False because destruction connotes demolishing. It happened in the year 1701. The question is true or false—true because 1701 is 18th century.

How to answer -- Matching headlines.

1. Look for ---How many questions are there—and how many extra answers are there. Cross out the example question and answer.



3. Read the first, second and last sentences looking for synonyms to connect with the headings. Don’t read the whole text.


5. Do not answer from your personal knowledge. Answer only from the passage.


6. It has three sections. Section 1—contains two or more texts social situations. Section 2 contains two texts based on work or course. These are factual and descriptive. Section 3 contains one text that tests general reading comprehension which may contain argument.

7. The strategies are the same for general reading as they are for academic reading.


General training and strategies to answer such questions.

1. True/False/ Not Given. And Yes/ No/ Not Given. Look for specific information—paraphrase the statement. Locate information. or try to find the source. Answers come in order.

2. Matching headings questions. Look for main ideas and supportive ideas.

3. MATCHING INFORMATION WITH THE PASSAGE. --- Scan and identify the specific information paraphrase information the specific information— Answers do not come in passage order.

4. SUMMARY COMPLETION QUESTIONS. —Filling the gaps using words from the passage or in the box. Scan for specific information. Understand ideas and supporting points. Select appropriate words. Locate information. Choose right words. Check the number of words that you have to answer in. SUMMARY MUST BE GRAMMATICALLY CORRECT. Answers come in order.

5. SENTENCE COMPLETION QUESTIONS. Locate the information. Paraphrase questions.


7. List selection—Choose correct option from the list of words. Read through the list. Locate information. Identify key words. Answers come in order. Generally – A—G.

8. Choosing a title—Identify the aims of passage i.e. what is conveyed in the passage.

9. Categorization questions. Or Feature matching questions for which you have match names of persons, places or things with the given clues or information for example names of scientists with their inventions/ discoveries/theories/statements.

10. Matching sentence endings. Look for specific information and complete the given word or words.

11. Table completion—locate specific information in the passage.

12. Flow chart completion Use correct words from the passage.

13. Diagram completion. Locate source of information in the passage.

14. Short Answer type questions. Check how many words you have to answer in. Paraphrase vocabulary. Look for specific details in the passage. Don’t leave any blanks make guesses and fill all the blanks.

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