Critical reading is the careful examination of the claims and supporting details presented in an article. In critically reading a text, consider asking these questions: How did the author develop the argument? How were the supporting details or pieces of evidence presented and used? Were they sufficient or lacking? What were the author’s biases?
If you are planning to take the International English Language Testing (IELTS) exam but are not much of a reader, then taking this English proficiency test may prove to be challenging for you as it covers four language skills: Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking. The IELTS Academic exam requires test takers to read three passages from books and periodicals. Meanwhile, the IELTS General Training exam has three sections (Section 1: two or three texts; Section 2: two texts; Section 3: one long text). After reading each passage or text, test takers must accomplish various question types.
Considering the tasks that await you, honing your critical reading skills can give you a better chance of receiving a high band score in the IELTS Reading exam. These skills can help you closely and carefully examine a text. Moreover, one of the convenient options to improve your reading comprehension is to join IELTS review centers.
Here are five critical reading strategies that you may learn from IELTS review centers:
- Previewing – When you preview a text, you gather sufficient information about it before actually reading it. You research about its author, publisher, date of publication, edition, among others.
- Contextualizing – In reading a text, consider the context it was written: historical, biographical, philosophical or literary movement, etc. Contextualizing can also help explain the author’s biases. When you read based on a text’s context, especially if it is written a long time ago, it gives you an idea on how different the norms or values then than the contemporary period.
- Querying – Ask relevant questions about the content. For example: What is the purpose of the text? What are its arguments? Are they well-supported?
- Annotating – Develop a system or legend in marking the text. You can highlight the argument and its supporting details, encircle unfamiliar words and underline terms for emphasis.
- Summarizing – Consolidate important points found in the text. This strategy validates how well you understand the text. In an IELTS review center inMakati, instructors provide practice tests to students. These tests include interpreting charts and tables and summarizing diagrams.
- Evaluating – Analyze whether supporting details or evidence are sufficient to justify claims presented.
- Re-reading – It is suggested to read a text more than once. There are some points that you may not be able to grasp or understand during the first reading.
- Responding – After engaging the text, decide whether you agree or disagree with its claims. Express your standpoint based on the issue discussed.