Filipinos who are applying for an Australian skilled visa are asked to provide evidence of competent English. There are several ways to prove one’s English language proficiency, but most Filipinos prefer to take an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) test. The IELTS examination is divided into four components: speaking, reading, listening, and writing. To be considered competent in the English language, the applicant must at least earn a score of 6 in each component.
What is IELTS?
The International English Language Testing System, also known as IELTS, is an international standardized test that assesses the English language proficiency of non-native English speakers. Its results are officially accepted by numerous organizations worldwide. These include universities, government agencies, immigration departments, and multinational companies.
Reading Assessment Overview
The IELTS Reading Test is generally 60 minutes long. It consists of a variety of questions and can include the following question types: multiple choice, matching information, information identification, sentence completion, table completion, summary completion, and short-answer questions.
Here are a Few Tips to Help You Ace That IELTS Reading Test
1. Practice Efficient Reading
It’s not a secret that the more you read, the faster you get at it. However, when taking IELTS, speed and comprehension go hand in hand. Remember that reading fast is different from reading efficiently. Reading fast means going through much of the material in a small amount of time, whereas reading efficiently is about reading in a manner that allows you to comprehend the material without spending too much time.
Here are a few ways to read more efficiently:
a. Read extensively.
Don’t just focus on IELTS practice material. Read any reading material you can get your hands on (provided that they are written in English). Avoid reading materials written in Filipino or Tagalog.
b. Allot time for both academic reading and leisure reading.
You may opt to read materials that require a higher level of comprehension in the morning and do light reading at night.
c. Enable subtitles while watching movies.
According to a 2010 research study entitled “The Cognitive Effectiveness of Subtitle Processing,” the use of subtitles enhances children’s reading and literacy skills.
d. Master the art of skimming and scanning. Skimming is the manner of quickly moving your eyes over the material to be able to get the general overview of the content. Scanning is going over a great deal of material in order to locate specific data. For more information, click here.
2. Learn to Spot Parallel Phrases
Parallel phrases are phrases that are worded different but basically mean the same thing. A lot of IELTS questions assess your skill in matching up similar phrases.
Examples of parallel phrases are:
“I love to cook.” and “Cooking is my favorite hobby.”
“Jen is a great dancer.” and “Jen dances gracefully.”
“She is very mad.” and “She is enraged.”
3. Learn the Exam
Gain confidence by knowing what to expect—don’t let any part of the exam take you by surprise. Learn the exam format and the types of questions usually given. There are many IELTS practice tests available online. You can also get practice materials from bookstores and review centers.
4. Time Management
Manage your time during the exam. The IELTS Reading Test comprises of three sections. Most test takers run out of time in the third section. Take note that you only have 60 minutes for the entire Reading Test, so each section should only take you 20 minutes to finish.
Before you take the IELTS Test, take practice tests at home. Be strict with yourself. Allow yourself only one hour to finish the reading practice tests.
During the examination, if you feel like you’re running out of time, answer the more difficult questions first. Tackle gap-fill questions first, before proceeding to multiple-choice questions.