Friday, December 30, 2016

Time Management Tips for the IELTS Reading Exam

IELTS examinees often start to feel overwhelmed upon finishing the first component of the test.  After taking the 40-minute listening assessment, officially 30 minutes for the test and 10 minutes for the transfer of answers to the answer sheet, they will face 60 grueling minutes of the IELTS Reading exam. Test takers must manage their time wisely to read all the given materials and accomplish all 40 questions within an hour.

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The test is available in Academic and General Training formats. The former includes three long passages while the latter involves various texts lifted from sources that examinees most likely encounter every day in an English-speaking community.

As a test taker, you can prepare for the exam either by self-studying or attending an IELTS review center. The former is cheaper and more flexible (time-wise); however, the latter often produces better results. Instructors of IELTS review center in Makati, for instance, can provide you with extensive details about the exam and guide you through your study processes.

Efficient time management is crucial given the text-heavy nature of the Reading exam. To help you conquer this test, here are five techniques that you can do to maximize your 60 minutes:

1.    Set maximum amount of time spent for each text.
It is highly recommended to evenly divide the 60 minutes to the three given passages in the Academic exam. Make sure that you spend no more than 20 minutes with each passage.

For the General Training test, allot no more than 20 minutes per section. The exam has three sections: the first includes several short texts, the second contains two texts and the third has one long text.

As soon as you are confident with your answers, do not forget to transfer them to the answer sheet. There is no extra 10 minutes allotted for this task unlike in the Listening exam.
2.    Skim and scan.  
Go over the questions first before proceeding to the passages; draft a tentative outline of the topic. Avoid reading the whole text word-for-word especially in the Academic exam. 
Utilize skimming and scanning efficiently and keep your eyes on key terms and numbers. Write key points on the margins of the page or underline significant phrases. Bear in mind that most of the answers appear in the text in the same order as the questions.
3.    Start on the easy texts.
You do not need to read the texts in the order that they appear, so start with the material that is easiest for you. Though the exam usually gets harder with each passage, go over all of them and start with whichever section looks easiest to you. If you start with the first text and you find it challenging, you risk losing your momentum.
4.    Skip difficult questions.
All the questions in the Reading exam are of the same value regardless of their level of difficulty.  So do not waste your time with the more challenging questions. Just mark or underline them and continue. If you have minutes to spare after the test, go back and answer the item.
5.    Focus on familiar vocabulary.
Some test takers tend to stop reading when they encounter an unfamiliar passage. This may lead them to lose their momentum examining the vague word or phrase. 

Never falter. Do not let unfamiliar words and confusing statements faze you. Just take note of them and continue reading. In most cases, understanding these terms may not even be necessary to answer the questions. And if that you do need to understand the obscure word for the sake of an item, skip that number. Remember that all questions are worth the same.
Most of the strategies mentioned above are textbook tips on time management. Specialists of the IELTS review center in Makati can give you more pointers on this exam component. They can give you tips that specifically focus on the Academic and General Training tests. Moreover, IELTS review centers can also prepare you for the Listening, Writing and Speaking exams. 

Getting a high band score in the IELTS Reading exam is all about unwavering focus and efficient time management. Stick with the time allotment for each text or section. Skim and scan the passages and begin on the easy ones. All questions are of the same value so do not let difficult questions and unfamiliar statements intimidate you.


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