IELTS Preparation Unit 9: Self-Study and Answer Sheet Tips

Hello, it’s Jill from Kaplan Manchester again. I hope you are all enjoying your IELTS studies. This time I’m going to give you some tips for improving your reading scores.

 Reading outside the classroom

‘How do I improve my reading ability for the IELTS exam?’ – READ, READ and then READ some more!

Choose publications/websites which have topics/texts you will find in the IELTS exam. For example (there are many more!);

BBC News
The Guardian
The Economist
New Scientist

Self-study tip

Choose a reading passage from an IELTS exam, preferably from a Cambridge Past Papers book. It is useful and interesting to go ‘backwards’, by looking at the answers first and then analyzing why they are correct.

This will help you to understand the types of questions and answers which are common in the IELTS exam.

• Choose a reading passage.
• Go to the back of the book and get the answers.
• Underline the correct answers in the text.
• Analyze the questions and answers. Why are the answers correct?
• Make a keyword table of the synonyms in the questions and answers. (see my previous post on synonym tables)

The Answer Sheet

There are several things to remember which can prevent you from losing precious points in the reading paper.

• SPELLING - Incorrect spelling will not be given points. Leave time to check your work.

• CAPITALIZATION - Writing all of your answers in capitals will eliminate lost marks due to incorrect capitalization.

• DON'T LEAVE BLANK SPACES - If it is possible to guess, then guess! Marks are not subtracted for incorrect answers.

• HOW MANY WORDS CAN YOU WRITE? - Check the instructions carefully for each part of the paper. Can you write 2, 3 or 4 words? Do they fit grammatically? Have you copied unnecessary words onto the question paper?

• HAVE YOU WRITTEN THE CORRECT ANSWER NEXT TO THE CORRECT QUESTION NUMBER? - My students have often made this mistake in the past. Have you written your answer for question 1 next to number 1 on the answer sheet?

•TRUE/FALSE/NOT GIVEN or YES/NO/NOT GIVEN? - Write these out in full on the answer sheet, not T/F/NG and Y/N/NG. Also, be careful not to write 'True' when the question asked for 'Yes' and so on.

Good luck for your IELTS exam, it has been a pleasure writing these entries for you.

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