Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"

Today you’ll learn what keywords are, how to find them, and how to use these keywords to find answers.

If you’ve been studying IELTS, you have come across the term keywords.

IELTS teachers and textbooks assume that you know what these are. However, it is not immediately obvious sometimes!

Keywords are usually nouns and verbs. This is because these words carry information.

Key words are never small words like conjunctions and prepositions.

If you see a name or number in the question, that is definitely a keyword. Why? Because these are words that are easy to scan for. After all, there are no parallel expressions for a name!



Remember that underlining the key words is only the first step! You must also think of possible parallel expressions before you scan.

This is not easy, and it is a skill you have to isolate and practice specifically.

Therefore, you should look at an IELTS practice Reading passage, and underline keywords in each question. Then, write down 2-4 possible parallel expressions for the keywords.


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That is only to practice coming up with paraphrases- you will not write notes on the real IELTS Reading Exam.

After identifying the keywords and thinking of parallel expressions, you can scan the passage.

In this video, I use some sample questions from Cambridge IELTS 7 to show you the process of finding keywords and thinking of parallel expressions.

What do you think of today’s advice?

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