IETLS HOPECO Reading: Preparation Tips for IELTS Academic Reading

8/25/2015 3:50:26 PM
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To prepare for IELTS Reading module, read articles in English Newspapers, Magazines, travel brochures, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia etc. You should read English story books too. Try to read a variety of topic - History, Science, culture, social and natural sciences.
 
  • Tips 1: Make the habit of reading faster by reading words in groups/chunks rather than word by word. Try to read minimum 2 hours per day. Read whatever interests you but obviously written in English. The three reading passages are on topics of general interest and usually these passages are taken from books, newspapers, journals or magazines. So try to read recent news, Newspapers, Magazines, travel brochures etc. whenever possible.
  • Tips 2: Remember that you are reading for a purpose not for pleasure. While practicing make a habit of looking at the title and headings when you survey the text, as well as ant special print like:  CAPITAL, Bold, italic, "quotation", underlined words. Try to understand exactly what the question wants and always followed the instructions carefully provided with the reading passages.
  • Tips 3: Practice scanning by applying the scanning techniques whenever you read a passage.
  • Tips 4: There is usually a logical place to begin looking for the answer to a reading question. This requires an understanding of the main idea or topic of each paragraph. You can save yourself a great amount of time if you work out the main idea or topic of each paragraph in the early stages of your assessment of the passage.
  • Tips 5: There are generally 10 types of questions available in the reading section. The types are:
           - Multiple Choice
           - Short-answer questions
           - Sentence completion
           - Notes/table/summary flow-chart/diagram completion
           - Yes, no, not given or True, false, not given
           - Classification
           - Matching lists/phrases
           - Choosing headings for paragraphs/sections of a text
           - Scanning and identifying location of information
           - Labeling a diagram
 
1. Multiple choice questions can test both your global understanding of the text or ask you for specific information. This means you will have to make the decision yourself whether to skim or scan the text. To prepare for the Multiple choice questions:
  • Read the instructions carefully and check how many letters you need to circle.
  • Skim all the questions and the answer choices quickly. As you do this :
          ✓ Underline the key words (the words that give you the most information).
          ✓ Try to get an idea of the topic you will be reading about from the vocabulary of the questions.
          ✓ Look at any illustrations or diagrams that go with the text.
  • Go back to the first question. Decide if you are looking for specific information or whether the question requires you to understand the whole text. Then either scan or skim the text, as appropriate, to find the answer.
  • Read the relevant part of the text very carefully.
  • Don’t leave any questions unanswered.
 

2. Short Answer questions will usually tell you to write your answers in NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS. So you can answer with one word, two words or three words but no more. However, this is not always the case. So you should always check what the questions ask you to do.  To prepare for the Short Answer questions:
  • You have to apply both skimming and scanning techniques to be able to answer the questions in time.
  • Skim all the questions quickly. As you do this:
            ✓ Underline the key words.
            ✓ Decide what information you need to find in the text.
            ✓ Look out for question words like ‘where’ and ‘who’ which indicate
            ✓ You should find out for specific things like places and people.
  • Go back to the first question and decide what part of the text you need to read.
  • Read the part carefully to find the answer.
  • You may use your own words. You don’t have to write a complete sentence but it does have to be grammatically correct.
  • If you don’t know the meaning of any of the words in the questions, find it using a dictionary, write it down at your note book and try to reuse it over and over again.
  • The answer could be one word, two words or three words but not four or more.  if you think you need more than three words your answer is probably incorrect.
 
3. Sentence completion requires you to complete the end of a sentence. The questions generally appear in the same order as the information in the text. Type 2 questions are similar to the short answer questions in that they will always tell you to write your answers in NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS. So you can answer with one word, two words or three words but not more. They will also tell you to use words from the reading passage. To prepare for the sentence completion questions:
  • Skim all the questions quickly. As you do this:
          ✓ Underline the key words.
          ✓ Try to work out what information you need.
          ✓ Think about the grammatical form as well as the vocabulary that should follow immediately from the stem.
  • Go back to the first sentence and decide what information you need to complete it.
  • Find the place where the information should be in the text and read it carefully.
  • Look out for synonyms and parallel expressions because the questions are not likely to use the same words as those in the text.
  • Make sure your sentences make sense both logically and grammatically.
  • For type two, the answer could be one word, two words or three words but not four or more.
  • If you think you need more than three words your answer is probably incorrect.
 
4. Notes/table/summary flow-chart/diagram completions ask for specific information. There are two types of these completion questions in the IELTS reading exam.
  1. Type 1. With a selection of possible answers.
  2. Type 2. Without a choice of possible answers.
These questions require you to:
  • insert a word or phrase in the middle of a sentence
  • insert a word in the middle and another word at the end of a sentence
For Type 1 questions the words or phrases provided will be different from the words in the text. There will be more words than gaps.
Type 2 questions are similar to the short answer questions in that they will tell you to write your answers in NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS. So you can answer with one word, two words or three words but no more.
To prepare for the sentence completion questions:
  • Look at the table or form etc carefully:
          ✓ Examine any headings or subheadings.
          ✓ Try to get an idea of the topic.
          ✓ Decide what section of the passage the exercise covers.
          ✓ Anticipate grammatical form as well as vocabulary.
  • If a box of answers is given, see if you can guess any of the matches & eliminate unlikely answers.
  • If the question is in the form of a table, work out which way it is best to read it – horizontally or vertically.
  • If the question is in the form of a summary, read through it first and see if you can guess any of the missing words.
  • Take each gap one by one and search the text for the best word(s) to fill the gap.
  • If there is a box of answers, there will be at least two you don’t need.
  • If there is no box, the answer could be one word, two words or three words but not four or more.
  • If you think you need more than three words your answer is probably incorrect.
  • There may be alternative rubrics for these completion questions e.g. ‘complete the notice’ or ‘complete the explanation’ or ‘complete the news report’.
 
5.  Yes, no, not given or True, false, not given questions tasks either ask you to identify the writer’s views or claims in the text or identify information in the text. You will be given a list of statements which are either opinions or facts and you have to decide for: If they are opinions, whether they are the opinions of the writer or not or not given in the text. If they are facts, whether they are true, false or not given in the text. To prepare for these type of  questions:
  • Read the instructions carefully.
  • Quickly read through all the statements to get an idea about the topic.
  • Read the first statement more carefully. Underline the key words so you understand the main point.
  • Search for the section of the text which deals with the idea or fact.
  • Once you have found the relevant section, read it carefully.
 
6. Classification questions ask you to classify information given in the reading text. Classifications are often according to the writer’s opinion or according to a period of time or place. You will be asked to identify a letter which represents one of the classifications for each item in a list of statements. To prepare for the classification question questions:
  • Read the instructions carefully.
  • Make sure you know how many classifications there are and what letters you have to use. (E.g. US, J, G & UK in the exercise above.)
  • Read the classifications carefully and make sure you don’t confuse the letters which represent each one.
  • Read the statements/phrases or words beside the question numbers and underline key words.
  • Start with the first statement and work your way through them one by one, searching the text to find where the information is mentioned.
  • The questions will not necessarily be in the same order as the text and the wording will probably be different in the text so look out for synonyms and parallel expressions.
  • When you’ve located the reference in the text, read it carefully and select your answer.
  • Don’t leave any statements without a letter.
 
7. Matching questions require you to match a list of opinions to sources mentioned in the text. These questions are used with texts which present a number of different people’s opinions. The sources are usually numbered and the opinions are given a letter each. In the answer booklet you write the letter(s) beside the numbers. There could be more opinions than sources. If so, you will need to write more than one letter beside the question in the answer booklet. If there are more sources than opinions, then one of more or the opinions will be used more than once.
  • Read the instructions carefully.
  • Take the names of the sources one by one and find them in the text and underline them.
  • When you have located a name, read carefully to see what is said about his/her opinions.
  • Look at the list of opinions and see if you can make a match.
  • Remember that the text is not likely to use the same words as the questions, so look for synonyms and parallel expressions.
  • Also, be aware that the sources may be referred to in more than one place in the text.
 
8. Choosing headings questions require you to sum up the meaning of a paragraph in order to match it to a bank of possible headings. You may be asked to match every paragraph or section of the text or just a selection of paragraphs or require you to sum up the whole text.
  • Read the instructions carefully.
  • Make sure you know which paragraphs or sections you have to sum up.
  • Read the first paragraph or section and try to sum up, in your own words, what it is about.
  • Then search through the bank of headings for the best answer.
  • Make sure the heading you have chosen sums up the entire paragraph and not just one idea within it.
  • If you have to sum up the entire text. Read the whole text before looking at the bank of headings. Try to think of your own heading and then look at the options.
 
9. Scanning and identifying location of information questions require you to scan the text to find the location of information. You will be given a set of statements and you need to find the paragraph each one comes from. To prepare for these type of  questions:
  • Read the instructions carefully.
  • Quickly read the statements to get an idea of what the text is about.
  • Take the statements one by one. Underline the key words.
  • Next search the text to find where the information is mentioned.
  • Remember to look for synonyms and parallel expressions because it is likely that the statements express the ideas differently to the way they are expressed in the text.
 
10. Labeling a diagram which has numbered parts questions: You will be given a diagram and asked to label it with words from the text or labels given. To prepare for these type of  questions:
  • The information will be given in the same order as the numbers on the diagram.
  • Scan the text to find the information. If labels are not provided, make sure you use words from the text.
 
IMPORTANT NOTICE:
Other important aspects you should follow to prepare yourself for the IELTS reading preparation:
  • Read as much as possible.
  • Make sure you are familiar with the instructions for the different question types so you can quickly glance at the questions and know what to do.
  • Work on your reading skills such as ‘guessing the meanings of unknown words’, ‘understanding reference words in texts’ and reading quickly.
  • Read newspaper articles and practice the following:
✓ dividing the content into facts and opinions
✓ finding the topic sentences of paragraphs
✓ writing summaries
✓ interpreting any diagrams or tables
✓ thinking of headings you could give to paragraphs
✓ underlining the pronouns and working out what they refer to
✓ underlining unknown words and seeing if you can work out what they mean
✓ reading the first paragraph and seeing if you can predict what will come next
  • Do as many practice tests as you can to get used to the rubric and the task types.

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DU HỌC HOPECO
12 Hoa Phượng, Phường 2, Quận Phú Nhuận, Thành Phố Hồ Chí Minh, Việt Nam
Email: info@hopeco.edu.vn
ĐT: (08) 35 173 345 – 35 173 678
Fax: (08) 35 173 111  

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