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IELTS Reading: some suggestions (SIMON Tip)


People often ask me for advice about how to improve their reading. Here are some suggestions:

1. If you want to improve your reading, the first thing to do is read a lot. There are no shortcuts or secret techniques; you will only improve with time and practice.

2. Anything you read in English is good practice, so read about subjects that interest you. Try to enjoy reading in English.

3. English is the most used language on the web. Whenever you search for information on the Internet, try searching in English first.

4. Remember that “understanding is not the same as using”. Keep a notebook with useful words and phrases that you find when you’re reading, and try using them in your own sentences.

5. Apart from reading things that interest you, you also need to read lots of IELTS passages. If you’ve done all of the tests in the Cambridge books, read the passages again without doing the questions. Use a dictionary, take notes, and try to fully understand each passage.

6. Another way to use the Cambridge tests is to look at the correct answers to each question first. Your task is to find out why those answers are correct by analysing the passage carefully and finding the ‘keywords’.

I’m sure you can think of other suggestions. Be creative with your reading practice, try to enjoy the learning process, and trust that you will improve if you persist.

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