Tips for Success in the IELTS Reading Short Answer Questions in 2022

Introduction to IELTS Reading Short Answer Questions

The IELTS Reading test assesses your ability to read and comprehend text in general. 

It doesn’t test your reading knowledge (as prior knowledge of the passages is not required, in fact, it’s best that you come in with a clean slate), rather, your vocabulary, grammar, and reading comprehension. 

It measures how well you process information as well as how analytical you are. 

Coming to IELTS Reading Short Answer questions, these are commonly called ‘comprehension’ questions, and are common in the IELTS test. Most students have practiced and answered them in their mock tests before, and therefore they tend to do well on them. 

Despite this, there are some common faults that cause students to fudge their scores and lose points. Read on in this article to know these pitfalls, and get to know tips and step-by-step strategies on approaching these questions in an optimal way.

Common Problems in IELTS Reading Short Answer Questions

  • Students who don’t know about synonyms and paraphrasing frequently try to get points by searching for matching keywords in the questions. This hinders their scores a lot, as If a student searches for keywords in the text without knowing synonyms and paraphrasing, they might waste a lot of time and good time management is critical.
  • Word limits can also lead to people throwing away easy marks. You may get an incorrect answer if you write over the word limit. 
  • To stay under the word limit, your answer must also be grammatically correct.
  • You don’t have to read every word in the text. These questions assess your ability to skim and scan for relevant information. You won’t have time to read every word. 
  • Students frequently panic or spend too much time trying to figure out the meaning of a word when they see it in the question or text.

Tips for IELTS Reading Short Answer Questions

  • The answers appear in the same order as the text. This helps in searching logically for the keywords a lot.
  • Before reading the text, look at and understand the questions. What is the question actually asking?
  • There will be a word limit, for example, ‘NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS AND/OR A NUMBER.’ Don’t go over this limit.
  • Don’t give your opinion; just the answer in the text.
  • When keywords are present in a question, they’re normally nouns or noun phrases.
  • Always think of synonyms and paraphrases for keywords.

Suggested Strategies for IELTS Reading Short Answer Questions

  • Read the directions carefully and note the word count. 
  • Read and comprehend the questions first, so that you can prioritize the data you need to find. 
  • Highlight any keywords in the questions immediately. 
  • Think of synonyms or paraphrases for these keywords, many times your answers will contain those instead of the exact words. 
  • In case you get stuck on any question, scan for parts of the passage that the question refers to. 
  • While revising, read the question again, and check the answer in the area you just studied. 
  • Perform the next question and proceed until completed. If you get stuck too long on a single question, simply move on.

Final Thoughts

With the right strategy and the right amount of practice, you will be able to tackle IELTS Reading Short Answer Questions successfully and move towards a perfect Band 9 Score.

Lastly, Practice is very important to constantly improve, as these questions appear very often in the IELTS exam. And the best place to practice IELTS Reading Short Answer Questions is at the Kandor website or the Kandor app.

You can also read more blog posts and keep learning about IELTS at our Kandor Academy.

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