IELTS Reading Strategies

Is your exam getting close and you’ve realised that you need some IELTS Reading Strategies for improving your reading quickly?

To be good at reading takes a long time and a lot of practice. You need to lay a foundation of vocabulary and grammar. For vocabulary you need to memorise words and understand how they are used in context. For grammar you need to understand tenses, nouns, pronouns, adjectives and a lot of other things.

All this takes time; there is no quick fix. However, there are some IELTS Reading Strategies which you can use to help you prepare for the reading exam in a short space of time.

Here are some suggested IELTS Reading Strategies:

  1. Find a list of words that are commonly use in the IELTS exam. You can buy books of such lists and you can also find online lists. It is quite feasible to plan to learn 10 new words each day. That adds up to 300 new words in one month. That could make a huge difference to your band score.


  1. Use an app such as Anki, which is a fast way to learn vocabulary. You can download a shared deck of IELTS for Anki, which enables you to learn the words quickly and in context. Another good app is memrise.


  1. Test yourself with online vocabulary exercises.


  1. Read newspaper and magazine articles about the topics which usually appear in an IELTS Reading test. For the Academic module this could include articles about the environment, health, communication, welfare, leisure, science and education. A good source of news articles is The Big Project where you can find articles from around the world. It is easy to find articles similar to those found in the IELTS reading test. They will help you to become accustomed to the style of grammar found in the test.
  2. IELTS General Training is more varied in scope. Texts are taken from magazines and newspapers, advertisements, books, notices and official documents. If you are live in an English-speaking country, it should be relatively easy to find such material at libraries. If not then you should be able to find examples online.


To become really good at reading requires dedication and hard work. Create a plan which includes reading at least one text every day and learning at least ten words.

Be discipline and stick to your plan, then these IELTS Reading Strategies to help you prepare for the reading exam quickly.


Paul Andreas

Paul Andreas is a Certified Speaking Coach and qualified TEFL Teacher Online English Lessons delivered by Skype for IELTS exam preparation and conversational English. Get a free trial lesson.

This Post Has 7 Comments

  1. Pearl Tom

    I find myself always going wrong with vocabulary, especially when it comes to using different words in a different context to mean entirely something different from what you know them to be in one context. And I keep thinking that it was my poor performance in vocabulary that slashed my band score in my first IELTS exams. Well, I am glad I passed all the sections in my second try.

  2. Lilian snow

    When it comes to the various sections of test for both the IELTS and TOEFL exam, there is news that some sections, typically the writing and speaking sections carry more marks than the listening section. How true is this or is it mere speculations?

    1. Paul Andreas

      Lilian, try to do well in each section of the exam. We can help you to achieve a high band score.

  3. Francisca Seth

    A good app to use for reading and learning new words is to memorize. This app was really amazing in helping me to pronounce English words fluently despite my native Spanish accent. I will strongly recommend it for anyone who wishes to learn other languages with ease in the right way.

  4. Robertstoxy

    Thanks for this post. I found it very useful for helping me with my IELTS reading strategy.

  5. Laine Husayko

    I found this article really useful! Thanks for posting it.

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