Imagine, you want to start a car race with your friend. Both of you have to reach the same destination by using two different roads. The one your friend has chosen is a straight line, but your one has many interactions, where you need to pass by a number of roundabouts. Although, the distance is same, nevertheless, your friend will reach the destination much earlier than you. It does easily make sense. Isn’t it?
In the same way, in IELTS reading test, people who used to reeling with the reading passage and questions, they cannot complete the exam in time. In compare to that people who harbor straight forward approaches, even in the same time frame, they complete the task way before the time running out.
Now, I am going to discuss few such approaches, and you should follow them to stand alone against time limitations in IELTS reading test.
1. Apply strategies in the test which you have learned during preparation
Almost all candidates know that different kinds of questions demand different strategies to solve. Interestingly, during preparation time, individuals do so, but in the test, when pressure goes mountain, test takers forget the different strategies and start applying similar technique for all questions. This is very common incident, but it is often unnoticed by the test takers. So, obviously, you should not buckle under the pressure, rather you need to apply appropriate technique for each type of question what you have learned during preparation time.
2. Learn the way to predict answers
It may sound very strange that in IELTS reading test you should know how to predict answers. Many types of questions: sentence completion, diagram level completion, summary completion, flow-chart completion, note completion and table completion all need prediction to answer accurately and quickly. You should predict the grammatical aspects such as whether you need to use noun or verb to complete these types of questions as you read them. And, you also should guess the possible location of answer in the passage. I think, it’s not so difficult to do that as most of the answers in IELTS reading test can be found in order. Prediction may not work much in your other aspects of life, but in IELTS it’s worth to do.
3. Chunk questions
More often than not, IELTS question makers write questions with long sentences to give you rigorous challenge. As a result, candidates often cannot get the main point which is being asked. To overcome this problem, you should read each question chunk by chunk. In other words, you should learn the way to read every question part by part. This will give you huge flexibility to understand the text and questions. As a result you will get less confused and can save your time.
4. Hide options
There are many questions which are asked to choose answer from different alternatives. This task is very confusing for the test takers, but there is a possible solution for it: you should read options one by one, and should hide the remaining others with your hand. This strategy is very effective to reduce conflicting thoughts in your mind. Therefore, you can answer quickly in the test.
5. Skimming and scanning
For reading test, there are no alternatives of speed reading, and to do so nothing is more effective than skimming and scanning. You, of course, should not start reading text intensively rather you need to read topic sentence very carefully and just sense the main idea of each paragraph. This strategy will save your valuable time in the exam.
Conclusion: You should not shudder for extreme time limit in the IELTS reading test. You better learn some effective strategies to complete the test in time. And from my experience, these 5 techniques are actual time savers.
Situation where you may need to use this topic. Or, situations where you may make mistakes (during preparation/during exam) about this topic.