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IELTS Strategic Analysis: Reading

IELTS Strategic Analysis: Reading

IELTS Strategic Analysis: Reading

Hello Readers, we meet again.

In my last article, I tried to explain the basics of IELTS. I also mentioned how important it is to prioritize the sound preparation of IELTS. Today I am going to discuss about some facts about the reading part of IELTS.

Just like any other tests such as TOEFL, TOEIC, PTE or even GRE or GMAT – reading part of any test is a matter of perseverance and sometimes it may turn critical. Because reading or reasoning things out of reading a passage is a matter of interpretation, and this interpretation is NEVER OBJECTIVE, it is very much subjective, no matter how well trained a group of individuals may be. This subjectivity can sometimes become a bad news for many candidates. Because the question-maker’s mentality is highly reflected in the passage questions, and the examiner wants to judge the answer according to the mentality of the question-maker, which will definitely vary from the candidate. This may result into a low or unexpectedly low score for many potential candidates. Therefore the main strategy of reading comprehension should be divided into several steps such as:

  • Read thoroughly the whole comprehension
  • Try to grab the meaning (both literal and implied) of the passage at hand
  • Read the questions very carefully
  • Try to understand the mentality of the question-makers (the most important part of all)
  • Answer them correctly

I will discuss more about the reading comprehension part with detailed strategies about how to score higher in this part in my later articles regarding IELTS. Now I am going to focus on some of the primal knowledge that everyone desires to know but no one finds the source of it. I will today discuss some basic knowledge of reading part, what kind of questions should we expect in the exam hall and how to increase reading skills altogether.


For Reading part of  IELTS, there are usually 3 comprehensions with 40 MCQ questions in total. Now the score of both modules: Academic and General; varies as per module. Let us watch the table below:

Academic Reading
Band scoreRaw score out of 40
General Training Reading
Band scoreRaw score out of 10

As we can see from the above that the score pattern varies from one module to another; so does the question pattern. Definitely the questions of the Academic module is a bit more difficult; for obvious reasons. The scores of Academic Module is a basis for admission (if not scholarships) for many internationally renowned educational institutions all over the world. So, the test-takers definitely have the right to judge the candidate a bit harshly. Now, the general module is also no joke at all. Getting a band score of 8.00 is not an easy task in either academic and general module. If we notice at the score pattern and compare them, we will see that where it takes 35 correct answer to score band 8.00 in Academic module, the same band score requires 38 correct answers in the general module; only because the questions of the general module is a bit easier.


According to many reputed online sources of IELTS, the usual sources of the reading part of IELTS happens to be from various magazines and online news sources. For some reason the favorite sources of IELTS comes from various educational sources.Sometimes they even comes from the “Life-Style” sections of the New-Yorker or The Guardian or The Smithsonian Magazine or anything as such. Therefore, strategically analyzing the paradigm of reading part, if we can grab it by the sources, it will be much easier for us to score the expected band.

Reading habit is very much important to grow for not only IELTS but also all other test as such. For more details about growing a reading habit and increasing reading skill, I would refer you to several of my articles which are solely based on reading skill development. They are:

Develop functional vocabulary (Part – 1)

Develop functional vocabulary (Part – 2)

Even though they are written based on the reading and vocabulary development part of the GRE (also GMAT and SAT), they can also be very much effective for IELTS as well. The level of intensity of the activities spoken here may be reduced due to the level of intensity diversity of IELTS and GRE. Nevertheless, at the end of the day, it’s all about reading skills and who is good at it. Therefore, keeping practicing that way would serve in multiple ways.

That’s it for today. In my next article I will provide another nugget of strategic sourcing of another skill; writing. The details of all these skills will be exposed more in my many upcoming articles in the future. But for now, I will only discuss about how to grow some basic reading or writing skills. The “content based analysis” is a story for another day.

Therefore, till my next article comes, happy reading!!!

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