IELTS Reading: The Art of Time Management

The most common complaint we get about the IELTS reading subtest is that the time simply isn't enough. Students panic over the long size of the text and lose their cool when it is actually time to figure out the answers. Some answers in the General training module can be easy to predict with the given context. However, you won't get very far with this.

Find out what can be done about this.

So what can be done?
Before you begin, if you are aiming for a high band, then think of it like this. 
You only have 50 minutes to complete the entire IELTS Reading test. This leaves you with an extra 10 minutes in the end to check all the answers.

Section one contains paragraphs that are relatively easy when compared to the other two. Only similar ideas are discussed at a time and they are also laid in a manner that is quite easy to comprehend.

For this section.
  • Read the topic sentence: The topic sentence of a paragraph is the first 1 or 2 lines of it that tell us what's in store for us as we progress through the paragraph. Have a look at the topic sentence of each of the paragraphs and then jump right into the question and see if you can zero-in on a paragraph that might contain the answer. This saves you time and you might only have to read less.
Sections two and three are a bit more complex. The ideas are intertwined and multiple contexts will be discussed in the same paragraph. In addition, there are more distractors and the sentences are much more complex. You are best allowed 15 minutes on each passage and 5 on each set of questions.
  • Here just reading the topic sentence is not enough as they will have twisted meanings that can easily throw anyone off. The only way here is to speed up the pace at which you read. try reading 1200 word passages and time urself in under 15 minutes.
The final 10 minutes are for rechecking the answers. Anything you are unsure of or you feel that it needs a little more pondering over. You should ask yourself these question on each of the answers you revisit:
  • Is this a trick question?
  • Should I recheck?
  • Is there another possible answer?
These few questions will surely push your score to the las few bands if you do everything right. Good Luck.

Happy scoring!