All you need is
- Stop watch
- Cambridge books
- A blank piece of paper with numbers 1-40 marked on it. Just like real exam answer sheet.
How to Practice:
Set the watch to exct 60 minutes, and have the Reading Test(Academic) from Cambridge book ready. Start time and pretend you are under examination condition, so much so that when the alarm sounds you stop right there. Now mark your paper and you will know where you stand. This practice will help you manage time during real exam and give you the confidence to attempt Reading section just as you would at home.
How to Approach the Passages:
- Always start with passage 1, as it is usually the easiest and gives you the confidence that you are on track.
- Always write your answers on the answer sheet. It saves time and gives you those extra minutes you might need for the tougher passages.
- Write your answers in UPPER CASE letters. Saves you the hassle of Capital and Small letters. For instance, Instead of Agricultural Insdustry, write AGRICULTURAL INDUSTRY.
- Quickly go through questions of the respective passage first. For MCQs, only read main question and not the options. Read all the True/False questions and where you have to fill in the blanks, just quickly read the paragraph to get an idea so that you can spot that paragraph in the passage. Do not read the ‘list of headings’ for different paragraphs in the passage.
- After reading the questions, start the passage. Make sure you keep going back to questions to get an idea what you are looking for in the passage.
- It is usually hard to find the right heading for different paragraphs. The trick is to read each paragraph and at the end of it go through the list of headings, and choose the one which best fits.
- When you’d only read the question and not the options in MCQs, you simply have to find the answer and look for it in the options.
- If you are stuck somewhere, move to next question.
- Learn how to scan and skim for the answers.
These tips will help you save time. You can easly score Band 8 or higher following these simple tips. Finally, Practice, practice and practice. You will only know what is your weakness, if you practice under exam conditions.
There is only one source I can recommend and that is Ielts Simon. Brilliant Blog. He has explained everything so well. My tips are:
- Don’t show off. If you think fancy words can help you get high score then you are wrong. Keep it simple and to the point.
- Focus on the four criteria your writing score depends on. This information is available on British council site. I will upload that in the files section as well(for my lazy friends
- Recent xam questions are posted on Ieltsnetwork. Try to write essay on these. Get someone to check your essays if that’s possible, otherwise compare yours with Simon’s essay and see what you can improve in your essay. Practice writing 250 words essay, as writing less would cause you to lose score.
- Make your essays coherent and keep your introduction and conclusion as simple as possible.
- Google how to compose/write different sentences. This helps you with writing different ypes of sentences, which makes your essay look more academic. Also, learn where and when to use punctuation etc. Very helpful if you are aiming for higher band.
- Again, go through every post of SIMON in both WT1 and WT2 sections.