Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"
Jessica Beck
"Director of IELTS Training"

A student in our course asked a great question recently:

“IDP sent me their free online test techniques and practice. There are some slight differences between the 3 Keys and theirs. Do you think I’ll be distracted if I go for the two pieces of training?”

Immediate answer:


What are the differences?

  • IDP recommends writing notes next to each paragraph while skimming/scanning.
  • The also say you should skim for 3-4 minutes.


  • Do not write notes while reading.
    • This is a big time waster. The reading strategies are all about saving time on the test and finding all 40 answers within the 60 minutes.
    • If you are writing notes, you are eating up precious time. Plus, this is not helping you find any answers.
  • The skimming for 3-4 minutes is also inefficient and unnecessary.


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The only thing we can think of is that the person writing and emailing this advice for IDP is an administration person that does not actually teach IELTS, or know any real time-saving strategies.

It’s hard to believe, as these strategies are coming from IDP. However, these strategies are not based on a system. They are not from a course.

So, should you take any notes?


How long should you skim for?

1 minute! This is enough to read the beginning of every paragraph and get the gist, or the main idea, before you look at the questions.

How do I know the our strategies work?

Because our students in 3 Keys IELTS, who trust the system and practice a lot, are getting 9’s in reading.

What do you think of today’s information?

Leave us a message in the comments section below!

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