7 IELTS Reading Tips & Tricks Academic (PDF)

These IELTS academic reading tips and tricks will be efficient in a week or two if you would be seating for the exam.

The feeling of it lurking about the corner just becoming more palpable than ever.

Maybe yours may not be a week or two away, but you already got a date and the red circle on your calendar is not smiling.

Constantly reminding you to put in the work and burn the candle. 

Let’s be truthful, the last thing you want to hear right now is that you are not fully prepared for a crucial exam like this one.

The international English language testing system academic has been adopted worldwide as the accepted method to test the English proficiency of any student hoping to migrate.

Most probably in pursuit of academic goals in another country where English is the native language.

It is also highlighted as one of the most possible steps to take after your degree. 

Jointly owned by IDP: Cambridge English, IELTS Australia, and British council; IELTS academic is a conglomeration of four modules.

Reading forms an integral part and statistically reading is the second hardest part of the test after writing.

With student attributing their failure in this part to the intricacies and complexities involved in reading;

you would need more than a background knowledge of what your stepping into and a few journals and books.

To get at least a band 8 in your IELTS academic reading paper;

you would need to understand there are tricks to help you manoeuvre your way through the maze of questions.

No need to go further, this blog got you covered on the tricks you would need to fortify yourself in the crucial war front of your IELTS academic reading paper.


Understanding True, False and Not Given Tasks in IELTS
Understanding True, False and Not Given Tasks in IELTS


1. Develop reading skills

7 IELTS Reading Tips & Tricks Academic (PDF)

Let’s get this straightened out, this is not like the bedtime stories mom used to read to you when you were little.

Or the ones you read aloud to your younger ones, magazine content, or a website’s blog on the opening page.

This is IELTS reading. Therefore, you can’t adopt your everyday casual reading method here.

Studies have shown the reading section of the academic IELTS is designed in more complex structures than the reading sections of the general IELTS.

This stands to emphasize how important it is for you to develop your reading skills past your naturally familiarized mood of interpreting written language.

In developing your reading skills, you will need to understand that the circumstance interwoven with the question asked ;

and the location of the answer in the text would determine the kind of reading you would adopt.

For example, in situations where the questions play tactical, you will need to carefully read the text again to capture the logically organized opinion of the writer;

the writer’s controversial take on an argument, and the main message and purpose of the text as a whole.

In situations where you are faced with questions that need you to track a key point or word, you would have to be well equipped with the skill of search reading;

and where you need to skim for a specific part in a text you must have mastered speed reading.

Don’t forget reading on its own got part to it you never believed existed.

So get your heads down and develop your different reading skills before taking your IELTS reading paper. 

Also Read : 6 IELTS Reading Tips For True False Not Given (Plus Resources). 

  2. Understand the diverse question types

Ironically, you would need more than just reading to pass your IELTS academic reading paper.

The need for you to be grounded in the techniques of tackling questions remains very prominent in your success.

And so does understanding that they are different types of questions.

They are over 14 different types of questions. Each comes with separate strategies to tackle them.

They are questions that would require you to match certain parts of sentences together, complete a sentence, and prove whether a statement reads true or false or if an atom of its trace even exists in the text.

Some have answers that come in order some don’t and some would simply need you to crack your brain harder than others as you backtrack the given text in search of answers.

An understanding of this sort would prevent you from approaching every question in the same light and that would save you potential errors and failure as a whole.

 3. Understand question order 

Pheeeeew! At least you have the assurance you won’t necessarily roam the jungles of a plethora of sentences to find a single answer;

if only you take your time to understand these IELTS academic reading tips and tricks.

Yes! You just heard that last part and the impact of conditionality it arrived with.

Thanks to the rare generosity of the IELTS exam body, questions are really organized. 

In such a way that their answers can be found in the order of the given text from the first question to the last.

The questions are also geared to provide you with top verbal reasoning tips and tricks.

For example, the answer to the first question would be found in the first paragraph, the answer to the second question in the second paragraph, and the third most likely in the third paragraph, and so on.

Ensure you don’t go searching for the answer to the first question in the last paragraph unless you plan to fail that question.

The same applies to the many other questions you would be bombarded with.

Be mindful that even if the question number does not exactly go with the paragraph number, it’s set chronologically and don’t hesitate to check the paragraph that comes after.

 4. Have a penchant for noting keywords

Never forget that the absence of keywords in any text can never be present. At least not in your IELTS reading paper.

While reading the given text you must look out for the operative words that sum up the main point in a body of text and paragraph.

This would help you to easily locate the answer to a question and also earn you a background knowledge of what the text is trying to say.

If you will be writing a paper-type IELTS don’t forget to use a pencil to note keywords or maybe a marker.

Anything you have that could paint the keyword distinct from the others as long as your retina could capture the difference it’s made.

And if you would be writing the reading section of your IELTS on a computer, keep it in mind to highlight the keywords.

 5. Build your vocabulary

7 IELTS Reading Tips & Tricks Academic (PDF)

You bet this should come after the sermon of the noting keywords. This is because noting keywords is not just enough.

The need to paraphrase them in your answers would always arise. And a sardine tin-sized vocabulary would not help.

Apart from the fact that you would be provided with a glossary to look up difficult words;

it makes it a whole lot easier and faster when you have developed your vocabulary to the point where you are cognizant of the meaning of several difficult words which you will certainly come across when taking your IELTS reading paper.

Note that building your vocabulary does not end with knowing the meaning of several words.

It also involves understanding when, how and to what amount you can use words to express your thoughts in your answers.

To use this tip effectively you would have to avoid the urge to confuse trying to express your ideas through your answers in alternative and better ways with using it for mere reasons of grandiloquence.

When confused about the latter you are prone to use words haphazardly without background understanding and a full grasp of what you are writing about.

While building your vocabulary, don’t forget to look into the concept of proper word use and collocation.

While doing this just have in mind you are also building your IELTS band score to somewhere between a 7 and 9. 

Also, See 198 Commonly Mispronounced English Words In Nigeria

6. Get familiar with the hard text

Don’t just stop at the biscuit bones of your preparation for the IELTS reading paper.

These IELTS academic reading tips and tricks will really help out. 

Go for the skull and hard bones that would leave lasting marks in the cavity of your tooth.

This exam is not child’s play anyway so why limit yourself to simple familiarized text and passages?

Research has shown that the text in academic IELTS is more scientific and intricate than the text in general IELTS.

The passages in the former are usually scientific and technical while the latter may revolve around everyday work topics and affiliated life matter.

To get familiar with more difficult passages, you could start by reading more blogs by BBC news, world history encyclopedia, new scientist, national geographic, the independent, times, the economist e.tc.

This and many others would give you a sneak peek into the kinds of passage demons you would have to face in your IELTS reading paper. 

7. Practice past IELTS reading questions

7 IELTS Reading Tips & Tricks Academic (PDF)

Why else do we study history as a course?

To become cognizant of past happenings as they are bound to repeat themselves and IELTS is not an exception to this theory.

Every year past IELTS reading questions is published for the years before not excluding the previous.

These past questions are solely created to help give you an insight into what you would be possibly looking at when you sit for your IELT reading paper too.

Apart from IELTS past questions, you have access to a whole lot of online platforms that provide a kind of preparatory exam similar to the IELTS.

These platforms not just present you with past question types but also put you down the exam way.

With a timing system for each reading paper, you take a dashboard to show your scores and ratings after completing an online IELTS paper.

The experience is no way far from the IELT you would be writing soon.

And guess what, experience is the best teacher.

So try out one of these platforms today or better still get a grasp of an IELT past question.

Also, Read 25 Creative Things To Do After Graduation From University.


There you have it. Seven tested tips and tricks that could earn you a band 9 in your IELTS reading paper.

These IELTS academic reading tips and tricks would also give you an edge over your contemporaries.

It would help you to be faster and effectively manage time.

Don’t forget these tricks won’t work by themselves if you don’t apply them.

Always keep them in mind even as you prepare for your IELTS reading paper. Good luck. 

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