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IELTS Reading: read better, not faster

Many students worry that they read too slowly, and they ask me for advice about reading faster. These students are surprised when I tell them that it might be better to slow down and read "better" rather than faster.

If you read too quickly, or if you try to find the answers by skimming and scanning, you probably won't fully understand what you're reading, and you might miss the answers that you're searching for. On the other hand, if you read at normal speed, you're more likely to understand what you're reading, and you'll have plenty of time to find the answers.

If you struggle to finish all 40 questions in one hour, it's probably because you didn't understand the passage well enough, not because you didn't read it fast enough. So, you need to analyse your mistakes and look up the words and phrases that you didn't understand. In other words, work on becoming a better reader, not a faster reader.

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