Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"

Should you learn to speed read for the IELTS Exam? Good question!

What is speed reading? The most common definition is the technique of reading a passage very quickly, using one’s finger to move over each line.

However, this is not for IELTS!

Firstly, you shouldn’t read every word of a passage. This is too much information, and will not help you find specific answers. It may even lead to guessing the wrong answers.

Plus, studies have shown that reading in this way has a very low comprehension rate!

There are two aspects of speed reading which will help you- skimming and scanning.



Skimming is when you read the beginning of every paragraph to get the main idea.

Scanning, however, is not reading. This is when your eyes drift over each line, looking for specific information.


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The main thing to take away from speed reading is the part that encourages you to be an active reader– always using your pen/pencil/finger to help your eyes focus.

This helps you to pay more attention to what you are reading, leading to increased comprehension.

The only time you will read every word carefully and slowly is when you find the key words from the question. Then, you will read the 1 or 2 sentences containing the key words to get the answer. This must be done slowly, not speedily, in order to make sure you have the right answer.

So, what should you do every day to increase confidence and comprehension for your IELTS Reading Exam? Find interesting, motivating things to read for pleasure- such as novels, comic books, magazines and/or newspapers.

This must be balanced with learning and practicing the time-saving strategies that will help you on the IELTS Exam.

Do you have any questions about the IELTS Reading Exam?

Leave us your thoughts in the comments section below!

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