IELTS Preparation Guide - Tips to Excel at Academic IELTS Reading

While there is an abundance of IELTS coaching in Dehradun and, Unifees provides the best IELTS coaching in Dehradun for many reasons. One of these is the comprehensive coverage of reading skills in our Reading classes. Whether you take our IELTS coaching online or in-person, the results and the quality are the same.

Reading is, by large, a low scoring section of the IELTS for the vast majority of test takers in the Academic IELTS but most coaching centres do not pay the requisite amount of attention to it either due to lack of resources or absence of expertise. Unifees, on the other hand provides the best IELTS training in Dehradun because of our detailed coverage of reading.

Making the transition from ‘burden’ to ‘opportunity’

IELTS coaching in Dehradun, or for that matter elsewhere, does not take into account the mental and psychological aspect of excelling at reading. We proudly state that we provide the best IELTS coaching in Dehradun because we delve deeply into this aspect.  It’s all about creating motivation in students to read. Most students are unaware of the importance of reading when they start studying at universities abroad and also in their careers.

Universities abroad place great emphasis on individual learning. Thus, students are regularly given reading assignments of content and material that will not be covered in lecture halls and tutorials. IELTS students must be made to understand that their reading abilities are vital once they commence university study abroad as reading assignments and solo reading contribute to a substantial amount of credit abroad.

Most careers too nowadays require you to be an efficient and proactive reader. The average professional reads 800 to 2000 words every day. In professions like teaching, business, law, finance, environmental sciences, social work etc. professionals are required to do vast amounts of reading. Indeed, there are few professions that do not require reading long, detailed and very complex texts on a daily basis and it is extremely important to help students to realise that they will need reading skills throughout their remaining education and for the entirety of their professional lives. Any good IELTS training in Dehradun, or elsewhere, will help make that transition in students’ minds whereby they stop thinking of reading as a burden and see their IELTS classes as a stepping stone to being a good reader for the rest of their lives. We’re the Best IELTS coaching in Dehradun because we help our students to realise the long-term benefits of seeing their IELTS reading classes as an opportunity to excel at reading all their lives.

The importance of ‘progressive’ reading

As an IELTS coaching centre, we provide the best IELTS coaching in Dehradun because we understand the value of a progressive approach to IELTS reading.  An important part making good readers of students is to create motivation through achievement while participating in IELTS training in Dehradun or elsewhere. Unifees is the best IELTS centre in Dehradun and provides the best IETS training in Dehradun because our reading program is progressive. This means that students develop their reading abilities gradually and in stages. Initially students start off with bite-sized passages that are easier. They then progress on to passages that are a little longer than bite-sized and a little more difficult and the program culminates in students tackling passages that reflect IELTS passage length and the complexity levels. Some of our students also go through a Graded Reader program to ensure that they have an encapsulated reading journey that captures the essence of what native speakers go through in their educations in English-speaking countries.

The Value of Proactive Reading

We are perhaps the only IELTS centre in Dehradun that teaches the student the value of proactive reading.  Proactive reading occurs when a student is actively involved in the reading process. A proactive reader does not wait to comprehension to come to him/her but reaches out for it. Proactive readers follow the progression of a passage and can predict what unread portions will be about when they correlate what they have already read to typical progressions passages follow. Proactive readers understand the purpose and opinions of an author faster and, overall, approach a passage from the point of view of the learner, i. e. they treat reading a passage as an opportunity to learn about the subject.

The following are some strategies that proactive readers use and all readers would be well advised to follow whether they are taking IELTS training in Dehradun or anywhere else.

Read aloud, think aloud

Any great IELTS coaching centre will teach you that thinking aloud is the simultaneous verbalization of thoughts while reading. Good readers incorporate the thinking process into their reading consciously. Teachers at Unifees model vocalizing the internal thought processes that occur while reading for their students and this exposes students to the cognitive processes that advanced readers employ while reading and then, our teachers assist students in replicating the same processes. Students then replicate this in their own reading to increase cognition.

Putting Comprehension on top of the list of priorities

IELTS coaching in Dehradun and elsewhere often completely ignores the important of complete comprehensive when reading. Our IELTS coaching online or in-person makes this a priority. We offer the Best IELTS coaching in Dehradun because of the great emphasis we place on complete comprehension. Comprehension, complete understanding of the text, is often not a priority for a ‘fuzzy’ reader. IELTS students need to put comprehension right on top of their priorities because without comprehension, the entire process is pointless. Paraphrasing effectively is an important part of ensuring comprehension. Guessing meaning from context is another important part. Overall, our students are taught not to go from one thought to another without understanding the first thought completely.

Understanding progression

Another reason that we are the best IELTS centre in Dehradun is that we assist students to recognise the typical progressions that IELTS passages follow. Writers follow a typical progression. Discursive passages follow a different progression from argumentative passages. Students at Unifees understand the thinking and planning that goes into a piece of writing and then use this knowledge to understand progression.

Understanding purpose

Another reason that IELTS coaching in Dehradun and elsewhere is deficient is that the importance of ‘purpose’ is ignored by IELTS coaching centres. Why is a writer writing something? Is the purpose to describe something, or to inform the reader, or is it to convince the reader that the writer’s point of view is the best perspective on the issue at hand? Understanding purpose goes hand in hand with progression because each purpose has a typical progression. Understanding both gives students an advantage because their overall comprehension is aided and they find it easier to solve the questions that accompany a passage.

Understanding transitions

We’re your first choice for an IELTS centre in Dehradun because we also help our students to understand transitions in passages. Good writers use transition words like ‘however’, ‘thus’ and ‘furthermore’ to guide their readers through their sequencing g of ideas and good readers use these transitions to get a greater understanding of the text and to connect ideas. Furthermore, good tests of reading always test students on their understanding of transitions in ideas.

Using Pencils and Highlighters

IELTS training in Dehradun and elsewhere does not impart the best facts on the use of pencils and highlighters during the exam. In the paper-based IELTS and the CDT IELTS you have pencils and highlighters for a reason! Highlighting can lead to better memory of text when re-reading it and better comprehension as students evaluate the importance of individual passages. These effects can translate into better test performance. Yet another reason that we are the premier IELTS centre in Dehradun is that we teach our students to use their tools effectively. 

Using rough paper on the IELTS Reading

Rough paper too is given to you in the IELTS for a reason! The reason is that it must be used judiciously to get the edge in reading. You can take notes about the progression of the passage as you read. The progression can be recorded on rough paper to facilitate overall comprehension and also to correlate the different sections of the passages with the question groups. Any good IELTS coaching centre should teach you this.

Thus, there are many elements to being a proactive reader and the most proactive readers use all these tools to excel at reading. Unifees provides the best IELTS coaching in Dehradun because, overall, we make the most proactive readers of our IELTS students and give them the complete set of skills in IELTS training in Dehradun whether it is through IELTS coaching online or in-person.

The Best IELTS strategies and how to employ them

Skimming the correct way

Another aspect that IELTS coaching in Dehradun and elsewhere is deficient is that the correct way to skim a passage is not shared with students. Most IELTS teachers will tell you that skimming involves reading the first sentence of each paragraph in the passage. This is, however, a waste of time because many writers will not start a paragraph with a topic sentence (a sentence that tells you what the rest of the paragraph will be about) and also because the paragraphs at the beginning and at the end of the passage are the most important paragraphs.

Read the heading and sub-heading first to get a rough idea of the passage. Then read the first paragraph entirely because the introductory paragraph lays out a framework that the rest of the passage progresses within. Thereafter, read the first sentence of the paragraph BUT read one more sentence when you understand that the first sentence of the paragraph points to the fact that an important context follows in the next sentence.

It’s also important to read the last paragraph completely because it often summarizes the passage. Thus, our skimming strategy is to read the first paragraph fully, then read the topic sentence of each subsequent paragraph (and more than just the topic sentence if required) and then the concluding paragraph completely. Skimming is a most important skill and, unfortunately, IELTS training in Dehradun and elsewhere often underestimates the importance of this strategy but the fact is that any IELTS coaching centre should stress on this whether it is through IELTS coaching online or in-person coaching.

Understanding how IELTS Passages progress

IELTS passaged are organized in a particular way. The following are some of the most common patterns of organization seen in IELTS passages:

  1. A topic, idea, person or place that is described and explained (Description/Explanation)
  2. A presentation of ideas or events in chronology or steps to follow (Sequence/Chronology)
  3. Cause of something and effect that follows (Cause and Effect)
  4. Showing how 2 or more things are alike or/and different (Compare and Contrast)
  5. What went wrong and how the problem could be solved (Problem & Solution)

Organisation is one thing but this is how many passages in the IELTS progress.

  1. Introduction to a phenomenon, problems caused by this phenomenon and solutions to the problems.
  2. Introduction to a phenomenon, causes of that phenomenon and effects of the same phenomenon.
  3. Introduction to something, research about the same thing and applications of the research.
  4. Introduction to a situation, analysis of that situation and relevance of the analysis.
  5. Introduction to something or someone, initial narrative and latter narrative.
  6. A central perspective/point of view, reasons to support that point of view, the strongest reasons to support that point of view.

Using common and Grammatical sense

Some questions on the IELTS can be solved simply by using common sense. As an example, consider the matching sentence endings’ question below:

  1. Bridge engineers must take their jobs seriously
  2. A wooden bridge can catch fire
  3. In places where a lot of earthquakes occur,
  1. bridges are not built at all and boats are used to cross rivers
  2. because they are an important part of society
  3. when someone throws a burning cigarette from a moving train
  4. because people die in bridge collapses and valuable property is lost.
  5. when sparks from the wheels cause the wood to ignite
  6. bridges are designed to be resistant to movement

When looking at ‘1.’, it is obvious that the partial sentence ‘Bridge engineers must take their jobs seriously’ can only end with the partial sentence in ‘D.’ (because people die in bridge collapses and valuable property is lost.). No other choice makes any sense at all.

Furthermore, the partial sentence in ‘2.’ (A wooden bridge can catch fire) can only logically end with ‘E.’ (when sparks from the wheels cause the wood to ignite) and no other sentence ending will make any sense at all.

Thus, common sense can be used in solving some of the questions on the IELTS reading.

A good knowledge of grammar is also quite useful in IELTS reading particularly for questions like ‘summary completion’. Look at the summary completion questions below:

Questions 1 — 4 Complete the summary using the list of words, A-G, below. Write the correct letter, A-G, in boxes 1-4 on your answer sheet.

The importance of language

The wheel is one invention that has had a major impact on 1_____  aspects of life, but no impact has been as 2 _____   as that of language. Language is very 3______   , yet composed of just a small number of sounds. Language appears to be 4 ______ to use. However, its sophistication is often overlooked.

A.     difficult                                   B. material       C. complex               D. easy E. original                                    F. admired       G. fundamental

For blank ‘1.’, it is clear that only an adjective can fill this blank. But the only adjective in the words in the box that makes any sense logically in this blank is ‘B.’ (material). In the same way, blank ‘2.’ Is a comparison of impacts and only ‘G.’ fits logically into the blank among all the adjectives in the blank.

Thus, a good understanding of the kind of common sense and grammar you need to solve questions like the above ones is essential for a good score in the IELTS reading section.

Using Order

Most of the questions in the IELTS reading have answers in order in the passages. This means that the answers in the passage to these questions will appear in the same order of the questions. Using order is an extremely important part of any IELTS reading strategy. 

Experimenting with Multiple Strategies

Professional IELTS training in Dehradun should be able to teach you multiple strategies for reading in the IELTS, but that is, unfortunately, not the case.  Any IELTS centre in Dehradun or elsewhere should be able to teach you a variety of strategies.  We conduct the Best IELTS coaching in Dehradun because we teach students multiple strategies to solve IELTS reading passages.  An important reason that IELTS coaching in Dehradun and elsewhere is deficient is that most teachers will teach only one strategy for IELTS reading.  There’s no ‘one size fits all’ as far as strategies for IELTS reading are concerned. Each of us is different and some strategies work for some people but don’t work for others. It is important that you experiment with multiple strategies to find the ones that suit you best whether you take IELTS coaching online or in-person.

That’s all I wanted to share with you in this blog. By now, I hope that you have understood that there is a plethora of things that you must do in order to succeed at IELTS reading. All the best for your future plans with regard to the IELTS and if you want the best coaching for your IELTS plans, remember that we, at Unifees, are ready and willing to help you achieve your every goal in studying abroad.