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April 28, 2014


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good advice ;)

Yea that's true. That's exactly what I always think abt. Sometimes I try to skim and scan but never ever find out the answer then I read again a bit carefully and...yea the answer comes up

I did the exam on the 26th of April, The reading part was very difficult and too long. I think it was much harder of the samples given in the Cambridge books. Anyway, I would like to thank you for the great website that helped me a lot.

Jamal, I totally agree with you.

There were yes/no/ng questions in each passage and no specific names or figures were mentioned.

It was really difficult to find the answers without reading at normal speed.

Good Luck to everyone!

Academic Reading Skills and Strategies in IELTS
What reading skills are tested in IELTS Academic Reading?
This is a test of reading comprehension in a general academic context. The texts used and the skills tested are intended to reflect the target language needs of undergraduate and postgraduate students, without bias for or against students of any particular discipline. Candidates may have to:
• Identify the writer’s overall purpose, target audience, sources etc.
• identify and follow key arguments in a text
• identify opinions and attitudes as opposed to facts
• locate specific information
• read for detailed information
• extract relevant information
• distinguish the main idea from supporting detail
• recognise key points for a summary
• group pieces of information in a text in accordance with salient criteria
• extract information from a prose text to put into a diagrammatic representation
• make inferences
• use correct spelling and correct grammar in their answers
How do we read text?
In everyday life we use different strategies or approaches to read different texts. Sometimes we read quickly, skimming for general ideas or scanning for a specific point. Sometimes we read slowly, trying to gain a detailed understanding. How we read depends on the text – its length, its type – and our purpose in reading it.
What is skimming?
When we skim a text we read very quickly. We just look at the headings and subheadings and the first lines of each section or paragraph. We also notice the key words that are repeated throughout the text. Our purpose is to understand the gist – the general idea of the text. Skimming is a useful strategy to use throughout IELTS Academic Reading.
What is scanning?
When we scan a text we are looking for a specific piece of information or specific words. We ignore information that is not relevant to our purpose. Scanning is a useful strategy to apply when the questions ask for specific factual information. It is also a useful strategy to use to find the section of a text about which a question is asked.
What is reading for detail?
When we read for detail we read every word in a text and think carefully about the meaning of every sentence. It is often necessary in IELTS Academic Reading to read a certain section of a text in detail in order to answer a question correctly. Usually a candidate must skim or scan the text first to find the right section and then, having found the relevant section, read for detail.

Dear Simon
I'd like to thank you very much for priceless help my last result is :
Listening 5
Reading 5
Speaking 6
Writing 6.5
Overall 5.5

I need 6 to continue my PhD study may you help me to access good strategy to gain my goal.

thank you

Describe a person who makes u laugh or cry.
Does he know how to make you laugh.
Does he make other people laugh or is it just you.. questions like that.
Does he have a good sense of humor.

totally agree with this idea.
i used to first skim the whole passage then read the questions and scan,and my performance was really bad.now i try to skim and scan the question section and then go to passage and read at normal pace.
now my performance is almost 70% but im trying to improve it for 100% and for me time managment is major problem now .
suggest some way so i can be able to manage time properly

every 1 iz facing time management problem. Thing is that we are not very much familiar from readng. If we done 1 test daily, then we will find improvement in ourself. A single readng passage takes atleast 30 min to complete. I recommend to all of u people who r facing t.mgt problem to be expert in 1st 2 passages in readng. If u correct m0re than 20 answers fr0m 2 passages then u will easily get the req band. Passage 3 iz much difcult then 1 n 2. So find the qustns from passage 3 whch iz eze to attempt in less time.

Hey, is there have anybody took exam on 26th april?
Can we check our listening

The better approach is to read questions first and then going to passage. Read first question and start reading passage, stop when you find the answer. Then again go back to questions so on and so forth. It saves time and accuracy is almost perfect.

Hi Simon

I took the exam on 5th April.
I got my desirable score.
listening 7
Reading 7.5
Speaking 8 AND
Writing 6.5
Overall 7.5

Although I gave significant effort in writing still I got 6.5 but my other scores have improved significantly. So I am so happy, even I bought your e book but it couldn't help me, probably I couldn't follow your advise properly. My mission for IELTS has finished, but I will always keep an eye on your website to keep improving my English.

Thank you so much.

Hi Simon,
I have come across the use of "Have had" in a couple of reading and writing paragraphs. Could you please tell me what does it mean? Its baffling me a lot!!!
Thank you so much in advance.

Just want to share few tips: 1- try to practise each para with the time limit of 18 minutes.
2- when reading the passage, first try to read the whole passage within 5 to 6 or maximum 7 minutes.
3. Then of course read a question or two n try to find the answers...until all r done.
4. Do not let your brain wander around, or indulge yourself in overthinking. Try to be careful with your minutes- "Every Single Minute."

P.S . I find matching paragraphs headings bit difficult ,tricky n time consuming- can anyone please suggest some tips for that ??

Hi Sukhpal

"Have had" is an example of the present perfect tense which can be used in a number of ways.

I'm new to this site so don't know the rules on linking elsewhere but this site gives a good explanation of how to use the present perfect tense:


Hi M.
for matching headings with paragraphs question.
1.try to do this que first
2.read the example para and its heading(if there is )
3.then read first para and underline repeated words ,mostly repeated words make para heading,and after go through all headings and find the related one after that cut it.
4. repeat the process with other paras.

First que will take some time but next time u will have some idea about all headings when u will have first gone through all headings
Example(this is from test 6, reading passage 1 in ielts for academic purposes.you can find this course on internet)
and i found these related words

Heading was(transportation of convicts)

related words= transportation (those convicted of crimes)
convicts had been transported
this (transportation) practice
convicts ...were sent.

4.by attempting this question first, u will have also the idea of other answers of questions too.
after some practice you will find easy to underline related words,hope this will help you.

Hi Syeede,

Wow! I wasn't really aware of any tips for the headings bit. I just read the para try to work out / guess its main talking point and choose the heading accordingly and thats it.
Thank you soooooooooooooo much for sharing your tips and quoting a reference as well !!!! I will definitely look at it.( i haven't done any practice for the reading for a long time )

reading is the most difficult skill for me could you please help me with it, I think I don't know the technic

Hi Pearl:
Great you got your score. This is good enough. can you share you exp with me at [email protected].

Hello Simon and other subscribers

Can anyone please help me to get few reading practise tests. Is any book provides more reading tests to practice?

Any help would be appreciated

Many thanks


I can share some tips


When you practice try to understand every word, if you learn new collocation, make a note of it will help you in your writing and speaking. You can listen to TED videos, documentaries ( the narrator tends to speak clearly). For names , address listen carefully again and again for the alphabets like A ,E ,M, N and numbers like 15 , 50 etc.


Read articles, even you can use Cambridge IELTS books. Make keyword tables like Simon, make notes of new words, make sentences with those , use them speaking and writing so you will not forget them. Another approach would be that you can reverse the test, first look at the answers then try to find why they are correct, what strategies you need to follow to find the correct answers. I think in order to finish the exam in time, you need to have the ability to read and understand the topic quickly. So read any article in English, take your time to read and understand them, your reading ability will improve soon.

Writing task 1

Review grammar ( use of articles, tense, subject verb agreement etc)

Never write the full essay, try to write comparing sentences using Simon's model sentences,

Paraphrase the question for introduction and look at Simon's overview
( You should also look at the model answers prepared by the examiners given at the end of Cambridge books.)

Task 2

Review grammar ( conditional sentence like if + present+ future) or to + gerund ( example includes there are many advantages to learning foreign languages, I am looking forward to seeing you, I am used to driving etc) . Just write gerund followed by to in your google browser and you will find plenty of examples. Look at Simon's sample essay analyze them. There is a website called Dominic Coles IELTS you ca also look at his model answers I think in order to improve from 6.5 to 7 you should be able to improve your Coherence and cohesion.

For Speaking

Part 1

Keep it short and simple. If examiner says like you can reply I prefer , I admire etc.

Part 2

Speak naturally, answer all bullet points . If examiner stops you before you can touch all your points, don't panic.it won't affect your score. Apart from Simon's sample answer you should also check sample answer shared by Martin.

Part 3

Simon's technique. Why, alternative and example. Another thing you can do is that you can collect all recent speaking questions shared by candidates ( actually I only solved those). If you are too lucky you can get the same topic.

Finally, there is no substitute for Simon's website. There is no shortcut recipe to get a high score in IELTS. So instead of taking the exam again and again try to improve your general English . It will take time because it is a skill based exam. It also needs a bit of luck, so keep praying for your test.

Sorry for my lengthy writing.

thanks for your tips. Reading is so difficult for me. My tutorial taught me scan and skim but they are not useful for me.

thank you teacher,simon
today is the first time to visit your website. ^^

Sometimes I realized that to get a decent score in Reading and Listening needs even more luck than in Writing and Speaking. I've taken three IELTS test and the Reading score for my second test was the highest, while the last one in which I had far more confidence was the lowest. It really hurts!

Hi Pearl,

It is certainly good to know that there are still students like you following the sample answers/descriptions I share on Simon's website.

I like your attitude towards learning English. It looks like you are aware that there is always room for improvement when it comes to language learning, so it is definitely good idea to keep checking out Simon's lessons although you have already accomplished your "IELTS mission"!

Congratulations on your achievement and I wish you the best on the next stage of your career!


Hi Martin,

Thank you so much

Hi Simon,

I have a big problems with yes, no, not given and choose the topic list. Are you have any technique or any suggestion to practice?


Hi Simon,

I have taken the IELTS for three times , the first time my reading score was 7.0, the second time 6.5,and the third time 6.0. The first I read the whole passage first and then read the questions, the last two times I scan the questions first and then turn back to read the information in the article so I do not have enough time to finish the reading , and at least 5 questions are to be guessed. The reading skills tell us read questions first but whether it is right? Could you please give some advice for us? Thank you very much.

And with the help of the website and ebook, my writing score is 6.0 now, the first time the number was 4.5. I would practice as you suggest, for I need four 7.0 to get my full scholarship.

Thank you very much. And also thanks all the friends on this website ,you provide so much useful information and suggestions.

hi simon,
I m facing problems in reading,can you plz tell me how to improve good banb in ielts reading.i m facing much problems in fill in the blanks and yes,no,not given and most importantly in time management.i appeared in exam last week 16 august however I coul not finish section 3.plz tell me how I can overcome of my problems and u must tell me any website where I can find articles to read.

hi everyone,i have appeared in ielts exam 16th of August.i am facing problems in reading I did not finish section 3,all of the section 3 answers I guessed.i am really disappointed,my result did not yet come however I booked the date of 6th sep.can anybody tell me the good tipd to improve reading such as(Fill in the blanks,True,False,Not given and choose the heading.and if anyboday have reading materials so plz send me on my Email address which is [email protected]
thanx for everybodys cooperatin who will help me

Hi simon
I face a lot of uneasy feeling when i get reading because sometimes i do not find information location in passage .How i can improve my reading skills

Great advice !!! Thank u so much.

Hi everybody.
How can I improve my writing skills.
I can come up with new ideas but dont know how to put in a good order.
Please give me a hand.

Did not scan and skim but i lose out on time while answering Reading Module ad lose marks. What do you suggest to improve reading scores for slow readers like me?

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