IELTS Reading Exam: How to Pass in Thailand

IELTS reading exam how to pass it in thailand

‘Why is the IELTS reading exam so difficult?’

A student asked me this question sixteen years ago, and it got me thinking.

Millions of people just like you around the globe right now are panicking.

Maybe you need to pass the IELTS for a visa; maybe for work. 

Whatever the reason, it’s clear why you feel this way.

The IELTS Reading exam is arguably the hardest test for second language English learners in the world.

But please don’t worry too much.

This post will show you how to increase your IELTS Reading score today!

 How well do you know the IELTS Reading exam?

I’m not talking about simply knowing how many sections their are on the test.


  • Do you know what type of questions you will find in the IELTS Reading section?

  • Also, do you know how to approach these questions come IELTS exam day to maximize your band score?
  • This post will offer you a number of approaches to the IELTS Reading exam.

I don’t claim to have the definitive guide to IELTS or the secret sauce to spice up your band score, but if you follow my instructions you will raise your IELTS reading exam game.

The internet is full of IELTS gurus offering you tips and tricks on how to crush the IELTS reading exam, but those of us who have been teaching the IELTS reading exam for a long time know that technique only gets you so far.

IELTS Reading Exam Question Types

If you play high-level sports you will know going into a game without analysing the opposition is asking for trouble. 

The same is true for tackling the IELTS reading exam.

You must be aware of the different IELTS Reading exam question types and know how to deal with them.

IELTS reading exam has around 12 question types. You need to know each one and the most efficient way to deal with it.

  1. Multiple Choice Questions

Both IELTS Academic and General modules have a number of multiple choice questions.

All you have to do is choose the correct answer from a list.

Sounds simple?

Multiple choice questions come in three flavors:

  1. One answer from four
  2. Two answers from five
  3. Three answers from six

These can take the form of answering a questions or completing a sentence.

Click here for how you can improve on IELTS Reading Multiple Choice questions

2. True, False, Not Given Questions

This question gives you numerous statements and you have to decide if they are true or false after reading the passage. If the passage doesn’t provide enough information to make a decision, then the answer is not given.

Click here for how you can improve on IELTS Reading True, False, Not Given questions

3. Matching Paragraph Headings

These questions require you to understand the aim of a section and be able to tell the difference between main/supporting ideas.

You must also think about the aims of paragraphs.

Click for how you can improve on IELTS Reading paragraph heading questions

4. Summary Completion Questions

These questions ask you to complete a summary by filling in the gaps using words from a box or the passage.

You need to scan, understand main ideas and supporting point as well as select the correct words.

Click here for how you can improve IELTS Reading summary completion questions

5. Sentence Completion Questions

These questions ask you to scan, understand information from the passage and select the correct vocabulary.

You need to scan, understand main ideas and supporting point as well as select the correct words.

Click for how you can improve on IELTS Reading sentence completion questions

6. Choosing a Title Questions

This task requires you to pick an appropriate title from a list. You must understand the difference between main ideas and supporting points in the passage before making your selection.

Click for how you can improve on IELTS Reading choosing a title questions

7. Table Completion Questions

You have to complete a table using words from the passage.

You need to be able to scan, locate and pick appropriate words from the passage.

Click for how you can improve on IELTS Reading Table Completion Questions

8. Flow Chart Questions

These questions require you to complete a flow chart with information from the passage. You need to scan, locate and understand the order and details of the information.

Click for how you can improve on IELTS Reading flow chart questions

9. Diagram Questions

These questions ask you to scan the passage for specific information relating to a diagram and choose the relevant words.

Click for how you can improve on IELTS Reading Diagram questions

10. Selecting Factors Questions

These questions require you to select from a list of information. The questions all relate to the list. You have to find what the writer says or doesn’t say in the text.

You need to scan and identify information. Also, preparing paraphrases is useful for this task.

Click for how you can use paraphrasing to improve your IELTS Reading selecting factors questions

11. Matching Sentence Endings Questions

These questions requre you to match the start of a sentence with the end given in a list.

You must be able to scan and find information in the passage and understand the test.

Click for how you can improve on IELTS Reading matching sentence ending questions

What Reading Skills will help me improve on IELTS Reading Multiple Choice Questions?

  1. Locate the main idea in the text
  2. Reading closely for specific detail

Be careful when reading for specific detail as often more than one answer appears correct. If this happens, go back to the relevant part of the passage again and read again.

Warning: Make a note beside the test of the number of the question and move on to the next question. Then at the end of the IELTS reading exam, you can go back and try again. Often when you read again, the answer will be more obvious.

Improve your IELTS Reading Speed

Click here for how you can increase your IELTS reading speed

Common ielts reading test mistakes

1.  Falling down the key word trap

You will quickly notice that keywords from the question link to different parts of the text. You need to be careful here. Just because you find the keywords, doesn’t mean they will help you answer the question.

Locate your keywords in the article and read closely. Look back at the question multiple times until you are sure you’re reading in the correct place.

Often students find the wrong keywords in the text and answer the question incorrectly. As a rule, if you find the text confusing in relation to the question, give up, and locate new keys words from the question.

You don’t have time to wait, accept defeat and start a new keyword search.

2. Reading carelessly

Focus and use your reading time well. Because of time pressure, IELTS students often panic scan a section of the text when they should be reading closely for detail.

Make your IELTS Reading exam easier. Refuse to panic and read carefully. You’ll save time, energy and get more answers correct.

3. Reading the text before looking at the questions

The IELTS reading exam is only 60 minutes, so you have to use your time wisely. Each passage contains about 900 words, so you must read the questions first, underline key words and get an idea of what the task demands. Then you can find the parts of the passage that correspond.

Reading the test before looking at the questions is suicide.

Think about it…

Why read the exam, then the questions and then go back to text?

4. Failing to answer all the questions

Give yourself a chance. Answer all questions and make guesses if necessary. You never know it might be your lucky day.

5. Failing to eliminate properly

In most multiple choice questions you can eliminate two out of the four answers. Faced with only two possible answers to compare makes your job much easier.

6. Panicking when faced with a difficult passage topic:

‘Intercity Sleeper between London and Scotland’

‘How Children acquire a Sense of Identity’

Imagine opening your IELTS Reading exam and reading one of these two article titles.

How would you feel?

How would you react?

If your answers are ‘scared’ and ‘panic’ think again.

IELTS Reading is not a test of your knowledge.

It’s a reading test, so take a deep breath and focus on your technique and comprehension.

Don’t let the topic break your concentration.

Click here to find out more about IELTS Reading mistakes – and how to avoid them

IELTS Reading Exam Strategies for Success

Let’s be honest: the IELTS Reading test is tough. The texts and questions are tricky. So, what can you do to scale this mountain?

I recommend following my set routine every time you write a past paper.

The steps must become natural and fluid. 9

>>Read the question quickly and underline key words

 >>Skim read the article to get a gist.

>>Underline keywords in the choices and make predictions.

>>Make note of keyword synonyms.

>>Your keywords, locate the correct place in the text

>>Read the relevant place in the test closely and think about the correct answer.

>>If you’re not sure, decide which answers are wrong and eliminate.

>>Make your choice. If you are not 100% sure, make a mark beside the question and revisit later.

>>Make your choice

Final thoughts

Make these 9 steps part of your daily practice. Repeat them until these become automatic, and you will use your time more efficiently and get a higher score.

Click here to find out the IELTS Reading Strategies for Success

I hope this post helped you in some way approach the IELTS Reading exam with more clarity and confidence. 

Now it’s time for you to practice, practice and practice some more.

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