Certain tasks in IELTS are more predictable than the others. For example, we know that in the Listening module there is always at least one part related to education and academic knowledge. In Speaking Part 2, we can be quite sure there is no specialist knowledge needed. The same goes for the General Training Reading module. There are topics that are fairly predictable, so this is your chance to do well. In this post, we will go through each section of the GT Reading test, seeing what is predictable and what is not.
Section 1: English for life
Section 1 is almost always based on two to three short texts related to using English for everyday tasks — booking a hotel room, looking for information in an advertisement, reading instructions on applying for a driving license. Are you used to using English in your daily life? If yes, the first section should not be too much of a problem for you.
Section 2: Working life
Section 2 is also predictable, with at least one text about work. For example, I have seen texts about dealing with office politics in the GT module. There are a lot of words and expressions in the workplace that have very specific meanings — understand them and you will answer the questions a lot more confidently.
Try this exercise. Without using a dictionary, do you know what the following words mean? (All of them were found in the GT Reading module.)
cost of entitlement,
If you’re not sure, you probably need to do a bit more reading. There is no shortcut to improving your reading skills, but you can try these five tips to improve your vocabulary.
Section 3: The unpredictable
Section 3 always features a long text that is a lot harder than the previous two. What’s worse, the topic of the text can be about anything, ranging from marine animals to harvesting coffee beans. Do you aim to get a band score of at least 7 in Reading? If you do, you must start reading a wider range of texts, like the topics mentioned above. Media outlets and newspapers will have plenty of articles about lots of different topics. Try looking at these:
It will be useful to learn and practise reading efficiently and effectively. Active Reading provides a variety of text types and stimulating topics that can help improve your reading skills. You can align your learning objectives with various units from the program. If you are looking for more IELTS focused reading preparation, take a look at IELTSPractice.com for tips, exercises and plenty of practice tests.