The Best Ways to Improve Your IELTS Reading Band Score

Reading unlike the other three modules plays a crucial role in the overall score so do not take the risk of ignoring it. If you are preparing or planning to go for IELTS Reading preparation, then you are at the right place. 

IELTS Reading – Overview

The IELTS Reading section is the second section of the IELTS test and is conducted immediately after the Listening section. The test takers get 60 minutes to read multiple passages and answer 40 questions. This exam is slightly different for academic and general taking test takers in multiple aspects like difficulty level, marking scheme, number of passages and sources of passages.

How is the IELTS Reading Test Evaluated?

In the IELTS Reading test, the candidates have to answer 40 questions. Different kinds of questions are asked in the exam including multiple choices, True/False/Not Mentioned, matching, & sentence completion. The candidates are supposed to either correct/ incorrect, so the marking is a little different from the Speaking and Writing tests. One mark will be given for every correct answer, with the total number of marks telling the overall IELTS reading band score.

The data below mention the average marks needed to get a particular band score, both in Academic & General Training Reading.

Academic Reading

  • Band score 5 = 15 out of a total raw score of 40
  • Band score 6 = 23 out of a total raw score of 40
  • Band score 7 = 30 out of a total raw score of 40
  • Band score 8 = 35 out of a total raw score of 40

General Training Reading

  • Band score 4 = 15 out of a total raw mark of 40
  • Band score 5 = 23 out of a total raw mark of 40
  • Band score 6 = 30/ 40
  • Band score 7 = 34/40
  • Band score 8 = 38/ 40

The reading skills based on which candidates are assessed in their IELTS exam are:

  • Candidate’s ability to identify constructive arguments
  • Ability to find information
  • How smartly candidates can predict based on the provided information
  • How smartly they can summarize

Some Ways to Improve IELTS Reading Band Score

Considering effective IELTS reading tips are ideal ways to develop good habits and improve the overall score. 

Some of the tips to improve your IELTS reading score include:

  • Read different English texts

One of the best ways to improve overall IELTS reading comprehension scores is to read as much as possible. Improve your reading skills by referring to different English materials like books, newspaper articles, academic materials, online publications, etc. Get exposed to different variety of written content which eventually helps boost your reading skills and broaden your vocabulary.

  • Boost your grammar skills

Learning grammar is among the most crucial aspects of learning any language and the same applies to English. While taking the IELTS exam, the candidates must ensure that they have a good hold of English grammar and are able to quickly and effectively identify the right usage of grammar. Some particular questions like reading a passage are included to improve the level of knowledge about English grammar among the test takers.

By having a stronghold of grammar, you can easily do questions requiring sentence completion and summarizing.

  • Closely analyze what you read

Reading more books will not solve the purpose nor will help you get a good IELTS reading score. Since the reading section is designed to test the candidates’ ability to identify crucial information, so make sure you understand what’s written. Closely analyze each and everything you read to fully prepare for the IELTS Reading section.

Start creating more questions for yourself by reading an article that interests you a lot. This is an ideal way to boost your IELTS reading band score.

  • Learn new words

By reading different kinds of texts, you become familiar with new words or phrases. Make sure you completely understand the meaning of new words. It helps avoid stumbling across a word that you don’t recognize during the actual test.

  • Read the Questions First

Before going through the reading passages in the IELTS Reading section, carefully review all the questions first. Since the questions are directly related to the passages, make sure you know the questions well in advance and look out for what you read. After going through the passage for the first time, check the questions. Reading the questions twice or thrice will help focus on the sections of the passage from where the questions are taken.

  • Look for the keywords

Each question asked in the IELTS exam has keywords that assist help locate the information in the passage. Learning new ways to identify the keywords and find them in the passage can help get the answers fast. Try to paraphrase the keyword and review all the answers in practice reading lessons to identify keywords correctly. Some of the common keywords used in the passage include places, names, numbers, dates, etc.

  • Labeling of Diagram is Important

In the IELTS Reading test, candidates might be asked to label a diagram. The words that can be used to describe a diagram will be mentioned in the text only. Spelling counts are important, so make sure you accurately use them.

  • Divide Time Evenly among all Passages

In the Reading section, the candidates are supposed to answer questions on three different passages. It is suggested to spend almost 20 minutes on every passage. Since the candidates get only an hour to complete the IELTS Reading section, so divide the time accordingly. By dividing the time evenly among all three passages, you can have a higher chance of success.

Key Highlights

  • Since there is no negative marking, so don’t leave a blank space
  • Since you will be writing in pencil, so carry an eraser as well
  • Preparing for all language skills tests before the exam can actually help boost the overall confidence level.
  • Since the questions aren’t always linear, so you don’t have to necessarily follow the given format.


There are plenty of other informative tips provided by experts that help improve the overall IELTS reading band score. Take the help of the experts at Study Smart. The institute provides a safe and healthy learning environment. With timely feedback, one can overcome the challenges faced while preparing for the IELTS test.

Hope the above-discussed tips and information help you improve your IELTS reading score. With a wide range of courses, from beginner to advanced levels, we provide an opportunity to learn and improve your English language skills. Our IELTS trainers are highly qualified and experienced. If you also want to score high in your IELTS reading section, then Study Smart Overseas Education is the right platform for your IELTS preparation.

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