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Time management is the key to a high band score in IELTS Reading


We often hear candidates complaining about the lack of time in the Reading test: the articles are long and difficult, and it seems impossible to complete all the questions in an hour.

So before you start, try to imagine that you only have 50 minutes to complete all the questions once. If you are aiming for a high band score (i.e. allowing only one to two incorrect answers), leave 10 minutes in the end to check all your answers.

Not all sections are equal. The first section contains a text and a set of questions which will be easier than the other two. You should aim to read the topic sentences only, go straight into the questions and get a sense of where the answers can be found in the text. The first section should take you roughly seven to ten minutes to complete. Try to aim for that the next time you work on a practice test.

The second and third sections will likely to contain trickier questions and require more detailed reading. The sentences in the reading will become longer and more complex, and if you are careless, may get thrown off by distractors and infer information incorrectly. In these two sections you should spend about fifteen minutes to read each article and five on answering each set of the questions. Find it difficult? Practise reading 1200-word long news articles until you can comfortably finish them in 15 minutes. Remember: a good test result always requires hard work.

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