Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The Three Sections of the IELTS Reading Exam for General Training/Academic Module

Reading is fun. Do you agree with this? For sure, there will be a lot of negative reactions from those who find reading a tedious task. In fact, reading is something most people find boring to do. However, for English competency tests like the IELTS or the International English Language Testing System examination, practicing reading long passages can be a good advantage for its candidates. The reading section of the IELTS exam is one of the tedious tasks in the test. In both General Training and Academic Modules, the reading section is composed of three different sections. Let us find out more on what to expect on these three sections of the reading section. 

In the Academic Module and the General Training Module, candidates are asked to read three reading passages with a total of 1,500 to 2,500 words. There will be about 38 to 42 questions that the candidate has to answer in 60 minutes. 

The types of materials used in the Academic Module are magazines, journals textbooks and newspapers. The topics are all appropriate and accessible to candidates entering a postgraduate and undergraduate course. On the other hand, the General Training Module, the materials are from notices, advertisements, booklets, leaflets, timetables, books and magazine articles. 

The first section of the reading is “social survival.” It contains text relevant to basic linguistic survival in English with tasks about retrieving and providing factual information and sources from notices, advertisements and timetables. The second section is “workplace survival” that focuses on the workplace content like job descriptions, contacts and training materials. Finally, the third section is a “general reading” which involves extended prose with more complex structure but with emphasis on descriptive and instructive texts. 

Generally, candidates need to follow the instructions written on every task. If a question is a little difficult to answer, it is best to move on to the next question and just return to the unanswered question later. It is better to answer items on the test than stay on them for too long. Pay attention to the word limit indicated. If it asks you to write in a maximum of eight words, write within the limit. There will be deductions on your score. The greatest tip here in the IELTS reading is that to answer all the questions on the reading section. For one, there will be no penalties for incorrect responses so there is literally nothing to lose in answering all the questions even if it is just a guess.


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