IELTS general reading Tips, Tricks & Strategies for band 9

  • By Kanan Team
  • 19-05-2022
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As a non-native English speaker, you may be concerned about clearing the IELTS general reading section. The IELTS general reading tips, tricks and strategies given in this article, will help you in solving the IELTS general reading question types at ease. These tips given by the IELTS experts have helped the students to score band 9 in their IELTS exam. 

Who can take the IELTS general reading test? What are the skills tested in the IELTS general reading test?

The IELTS general reading test, is taken by the individuals, who are 

  • Applying for study courses below degree level.
  • Seeking a job opportunity in English speaking country
  • Planning to migrate to Australia, Canada, Newzealand, UK, etc

The General reading test is used to assess your wide range of reading ability. The skills tested in the general reading test includes, 

  1. Gist reading
  2. Detailed reading
  3. Reading for main idea
  4. Logical argument understanding
  5. Recognition of writer’s opinion, attitude and purpose. 

IELTS general reading format & question types

In the IELTS general reading section, you will be reading the given reading passage and answer the question as per the question type. You have to follow the instructions carefully to answer the questions in the correct format. The IELTS general test reading passages are taken from the books, notices, advertisements, company handbooks and guidelines, etc. 

There are 3 sections in the reading test. Each section will have a passage followed by the questions. In the IELTS general test, the difficulty level of the passages increase with the section. 

  • Section 1 has a passage related to the social survival factual information of an English environment. These passages will be taken from the advertisements, notices, newspapers, etc.
  • Section 2 has a passage based on your work life survival. Passages from the labour laws, official documents, pay schemes, etc. 
  • Section 3 passages are regarding the general interest topics. This section has the longest passage and is said to be the difficult part of the reading section.

The general reading test format is given below for your reference.

S no Particulars Reading test format
1 Number of sections 3
2 Number of reading passages 3
3 Number of questions 40
4 Time duration 60 minutes
5 Total marks 40


In the IELTS general reading test, there are 13 question types. To know more about the IELTS general reading question types and the way to solve the question type you can check the following links.

  1. IELTS general reading matching heading 
  2. IELTS general reading locating information
  3. IELTS general reading summary completion
  4. IELTS general reading matching sentence endings
  5. IELTS general reading multiple choice questions
  6. IELTS general reading true false not given
  7. IELTS general reading flow chart completion
  8. IELTS general reading yes no not given questions
  9. IELTS general reading matching features
  10. IELTS general reading sentence completion
  11. IELTS general reading short answer questions
  12. IELTS general reading note completion
  13. IELTS general reading table completion

 Also read: IELTS general reading score 

15 tips for scoring high in IELTS General Reading 

The survey conducted among the IELTS general exam takers, showed that 83% of them were able to achieve a 8 band score in their final exam after following these tips. Following these expert proven tips, 92% of the students were able to improve their score by 2 bands. Below are the 15 IELTS general reading tricks, which will help in your preparation and make you confident in facing the reading section. 

Tip #1: You must start your preparation for the IELTS general reading test, by reading different forms of content in English everyday. It can be a newspaper, advertisement, notice, flyer, book, etc. This reading practice will help you in improving your reading stamina.

Tip #2: Once you start reading, you must try to understand the meaning of the passage, and look for the main idea behind the given content. If you get stuck with any unfamiliar words, you can read the complete sentence to understand the meaning. Never try to understand the meaning of every single word. 

Tip #3: Be clear with the IELTS general reading exam format. You have to answer 40 questions in 60 minutes. The test syllabus and the exam format are structured by the British council, IDP, or Cambridge. Before preparing for the IELTS general test, you must check for the latest syllabus on the official website.

Tip #4: Improve your vocabulary. This can be easily achieved by reading new blogs, articles, publishings, etc. of the native language writers. If you find a new word, look for its meaning and start using the same in your day-to-day conversation and writing.

Tip #5: Read the given passage carefully and mark the keywords as you read. This will help you to locate the answer quickly as per the question type. You must scan the passage first for understanding the context. This will save your time.  

Tip #6: The IELTS general reading test consists of 13 types of questions. You must be familiar with all the question types and the ways to answer them correctly. This can be accomplished by having regular practice. You can also use the reading practice test series available on our website.

Tip #7: Always remember to read the given instructions carefully. In the exam, three to four types of questions will be given for the same passage. Thus you have to follow the instructions to identify the question type and answer them properly as per the requirement.

Tip #8: There are no negative marks in the IELTS general reading section. Thus you must try to fill all the answers. If you find it difficult to identify the answer for any particular question, you can try giving the nearest possible answer which may be correct, rather than skipping the question.

Tip #9: Enhance your scanning, paraphrasing, skimming, locating skills through regular reading practice. These skills will help you in answering the questions at ease. 

Tip #10: Time management is very important, when it comes to answering the reading question. You will be given 60 minutes to answer the 40 questions. Thus you can split the overall time between the sections as 20 minutes per section. 

Tip #11: Ensure that you are using the correct spelling from the passage while answering. Spelling mistakes may reduce your scores. If your answer involves a sentence, you have to check your grammar also. 

Tip #12: If you find it difficult to answer any question, skip the question for time being and answer all other questions. Once you have completed the other questions, you can come back to the skipped question. You have the possibility of moving between the sections in the given time limit. 

Tip #13: Self evaluate your skills to know your weaknesses. This will help you in understanding your reading skill level. Based on the evaluation you can start concentrating on the topics that require extra practice. Your preparation for the section is complete only when you are comfortable in answering all the question types.

Tip #14: The answers must be given as per the requirements. If the answer requires one word answer it must be in one word. If the answer is true or false or not given, the answer must be clearly written as true, no short forms like T, F or NOT can be used. 

Tip #15: You must use the best study materials for your IELTS general test preparation. The preparation materials you choose must cover all the topics mentioned in the official website of the British council, IDP, or Cambridge. You can find the list of best books for IELTS general preparation here.

Summary 

These IELTS general reading tips and strategies, given in this article will help you during your exam preparation. You can follow these tips to improve your reading scores in the final exam. 

 

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Global Headquarters

Kanan Intl EdTech Inc

Ph-1, 220, George Street, Toronto Ontario, Canada M5A 2N1

India Headquarters

Kanan International Pvt. Ltd.

D-wing, 2nd Floor, Trident Complex, Ellora Park Vadiwadi Road, Vadodara, Gujarat 390007

IT/ Digital Campus

Chennai Office

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About Kanan International

A truly global higher education partner to learners and education institutions. Supports learners at every point in their global education journey with its reliable services, products and solutions.

Copyright © 2022 KANAN INT EDTECH INC. All rights reserved.