In this podcast Dominic Cole from the distinguished shares his expert advice for IELTS re-takers and great detailed tips for the reading section. 


  • What to do if you have taken the IELTS exam more than once.
  • The three skills you need for the Reading.
  • The problem with Reading isn’t TIME.
  • Why looking for key words creates problems.
  • How to identify where the answers are.
  • How to understand the whole text… QUICKLY.
  • How to make more intelligent guesses.
  • How to process and understand the text?
  • Why rhythm can help you.


Dominic recommends taking a step back and focussing on general skills.


Find a teacher who can conduct a needs analysis to identify specific skills you needs.


Study the criteria required for your target band score.


The problem with Reading isn’t TIME. It’s efficiency. Texts are long and complex. They have to be read both quickly and effectively.


You need three skills for the IELTS Reading

1. Scanning – to identify WHERE the answer is.

2. Skimming – reading the whole text to understand quickly.

3. Close Reading -when you identify where the answer GO BACK and read the ENTIRE question again, to be certain to answer the WHOLE question.


Skimming helps in two ways:

1. Helps because you know where to look for the answer.

2. At some stage you maybe guessing, so by reading the whole text you will be able to make more intelligent guessing.


Extremely important. Find out what works for you. Test different methods…


Develop your speed reading skills, especially skimming.


While skimming make notes and underline as you progress. This way you process ad understand the text, make it your own.


If you are uncertain of an answer then place a light question mark or signal so you know too go back to it later.


Don’t get stuck on one question, keep moving, keep a rhythm.


Develop your timing.


By the last set of questions you should be more familiar with the text and should be able to find the answers quicker than at the beginning.


One way to increase reading speed is to listen and read at the same time.