Some students who are new to IELTS (…but have perhaps heard that it’s a challenging exam… with strict time limits too…) will treat it like a MEMORY TEST. 

Short-term memory plays a role, yes, but often differently than how these learners approach the task.

With them our job is to start by clarifying what the process of EVIDENCE-BASED reading (…and answering!) entails on IELTS.

What distinguishes a READING exercise from a mere memory test is the skillful, CYCLICAL process of reading the text first, reading the questions (usually after this); THEN, based on memory, going back to re-read ONLY the part or parts of the text that will be necessary to answer the questions. 

Only those candidates who are able to repeat this process (…about 40 or more times… :D) in the exam AS QUICKLY AND EFFICIENTLY AS POSSIBLE will be able to achieve a high reading score.

Have YOU taught students who were answering reading questions merely on their first hunch? 

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Hi. I’m Fatime. I’m an IELTS Teacher Trainer, helping CELTA-qualified English language teachers become better at teaching SKILLS, as opposed to just testing them. 

Check out my courses here:

How to Teach IELTS Listening:

How to Teach IELTS Reading:

How to Teach IELTS Writing:

How to Teach IELTS Speaking: