Tips IELTS Reading for Australian Visa
11 IELTS READING TIPS FOR AUSTRALIAN VISA PURPOSES
When you apply for an Australian visa mainly skilled or working visa you may require to demonstrate a good level of communication skills. IELTS is commonly used as a benchmark to measure a visa applicant level of English.
One of the most important elements in reading. In this section, let’s go over some IELTS reading tips to help you pass the IELTS reading section:
First tip, Get a hold of your fear – READ as much as possible
- This doesn’t mean to do countless practice IELTS tests; it just means to do as much general reading as possible. Find a topic that intrigues you, read short articles or books on that topic. Magazines and newspapers are a great way to go as well.
- This is important because a lot of candidates freeze, thinking the text is too hard for them. The more native English you read the more confident you become, which is a key factor in the IELTS test.
Second tip, Focus on your key skills – skimming, scanning and reading in detail
- In order to read quick enough for the test, you need ALL three skills. Skimming and scanning help you to get general meaning and some specific information but when you read in detail you can come up with the right answer.
Third tip for your IELTS test is a good Time management – Don’t wait till you take the test to practice
- There are many strategies on how to go about time management, my advice to you would be to see what works best for you by deciding how long you look at text before answering questions, how long do you spend on each question, how long it does it take on groups of questions, how long on each text and do you have enough time at the end to back and answer questions you skipped.It was addressed above but each section of the test is different so go over each to really manage your time.
Put your focus on the questions – don’t make careless errors
- The text parts in this section can be quite hard, most spend a lot of time focusing on the text and not the questions, and this can be a costly mistake.It can be so easy when you are in a hurry to miss a word such as “never” or “often”: these oversights can completely change what the question says. You can easily solve this mistake by going back to look at the question before you write in your answer.
Know the different types of questions on the exam
- There are approximately 8 to 9 types of questions in the reading section of the exam. I would strongly advise you look at all the different types and get a feel for them. Do not however, memorize any of the questions or answers, as this is just an example to look at.
- You can go to this website to see some examples: http://www.dcielts.com/tag/reading-questions/. Then you should experiment and see what technique works for each type of question.
Don’t just test yourself — train yourself
- You would think you could never practice too much, but practicing the questions in the exam conditions over and over can really be a mistake. You could always use an open book method, where you have both questions and answers out to look at , so you can get a feel for how examiners set questions and how to answer them.
Seventh IELTS Reading Tips: Please be sure to underline
- I know some believe it to be wrong to write in books, but it’s different with the IELTS. I would recommend you underline parts in the text. There are a couple of reasons for this, if you underline key words in the text it can often help you organise, can save you precious time and if you find an answer in the text it would be reasonable to underline that part.This would be as a check for yourself and you could write the question number next to it in case you find a better answer to that particular question later on.
Look out for key word mishaps — Careful matching words
- Another error candidates make, is to match a word in the question with a word in the text and think they have found their answer.Unfortunately, it is almost never that easy. What you would be looking for would be synonyms (words that have a similar meaning) or paraphrases (short bits in the text that mean the same as in the question).This mistake is often made because teachers tell candidates to look for key words, just make sure you read back over and read the whole question again to make sure you have the right answer.
Normally, the questions will follow the text.
- This is a very logical piece of advise and could save you so much time on your test. Most of the time the answers will come in order of the text. For example, question five will come after question four in the text.So if you have the answers to questions three and five underlined, then you should know where you would find the answer to question four.This can be a lot of help for a quick worker who goes through the questions the first time for the easy questions and then again for the harder questions.Please note that some types of questions have their order mixed up, so pay attention to those as well.
It can be hard to know — which do you read first, the questions or the text?
- There is really no right answer here. Text books most likely will say to read the text first. If you’re a fast reader, this may work for you. However, teachers will say that you should read the questions first and look for your answers in the text. If you don’t read as fast or don’t understand everything in the text this could help you.Or there is always a third option of seeing which type of question you need to use each strategy. For example, in the paragraph matching questions you will have to the read the whole passage, but with short answer questions you may decide to read the questions first, it’s all up to you. See what works best for you.
Last IELTS Reading Tips: Information on the answer sheet
- The last piece of advice for the reading section is to practice filling out the answer sheet before you take the exam. To go a step further, every time you practice reading for the IELTS test, use an answer sheet.You can keep from making so many senseless errors this way. Go over these two points:
- Make sure you have written the answer exactly like it is in the book, anything else will lose you the point.
- You need to fill in your answers in the sixty minutes, they do not give you any more time.