How is IELTS Reading (Academic) similar to IELTS Listening, IELTS Writing, and IELTS Speaking? Well, the four macro skills, also tested in IELTS, share a common attribute. Apart from the anxiety they cause, they are also learned by IELTS candidates in the same way. They are all mastered by doing.
In this post, I will tell you exactly how effective IELTS Reading preparation is done. A boost in your Reading band score will be one of the most useful outcomes, but the bonus of acquiring a habit of reading and a passion for unlimited learning depends on how you understand and accept the challenge.
The key word is “do”. What exactly then should we do to prepare for the IELTS Reading Academic test? Well, let us start off with the division of such action into two: one is traditional reading; another is virtual reading.
The three passages in the IELTS Reading (Academic) test are of an academic theme: from medicine to the arts. IELTS candidates are supposed to be well-read, if not widely-read. To be relatively well-read, one must be able to read a variety of texts.
For traditional reading, magazines, newspapers, journals, and books written in English (usually international in scope) are helpful. Below are some suggestions for you:
- Read the table of contents first – if you can obtain copies of Time Magazine or Reader’s Digest. Then, start reading those articles that really interest you. Since magazines contain a variety of topics, just read those that are less interesting for you at a later time.
- Underline phrases or expressions that are unfamiliar to you. This is a good way to begin your linguistic immersion. You do not enrich your vocabulary by memorizing individual words alone. You will remember better by learning chunks of words by heart .
- Own good dictionary. This is a must! Don’t forget to have a dictionary all the time. As an English and IELTS student, you need a good dictionary (Oxford or Merriam Webster). Your vocabulary will never be rich without one.
- Read newspapers in English. These are also a great source of interesting and insightful articles. Apart from being timely and relevant to daily living, these articles contain a lot of good expressions and phrases.
- Read Shakespeare. Think like Shakespeare. As you read, extract those lines that you can use in writing and speaking. The constant use of his language and ideas is the only way to improve. It is said that if you read the works of great men, and you will become one. For academic journals and books (both fiction and non-fiction), you can do the same thing as with newspapers and magazines. The only difference is that these tend to be more expensive.
Through time, you will discover which kinds of books really make you want to keep burning the midnight oil.
I suggest that IELTS candidates make use of what is available, whatever is around. Courtesy of technology and the Internet, materials from journals and books can now be accessed online. Some you pay for, while many are already free.
It only takes some time and a little effort to find what you want. For instance, www.scribd.com is an amazing website which allows you to download anything as long as you upload something in return. So, anything good you have written can be traded for anything you want to obtain.
The important thing to do – is something!
The more widely and well-read you, the closer you will be to achieving your goal of taking the IELTS Reading (Academic) and all the other IELTS skills and gaining the desired IELTS band score . Here in PIH, we help you take the last step effectively and successfully – with the help of our IELTS Reading Academic course.
[color-box]Don Enricuso is a fervent aficionado of the English language. A teacher by heart, he holds an AB English degree and a TESOL certificate (School of TEFL, Canada). Currently, he is pursuing an MA in applied linguistics at a top university in the Philippines. He coaches candidates from all over the world in IELTS skills and English proficiency.[/color-box]