Take a look at some our latest tips to help you understand how to label a diagram in the IELTS exam.
- Here’s an interesting way to use reading tests from the Cambridge IELTS books:
- Choose a passage from one of the reading tests.
- Get the correct answers from the back of the book.
- Now read the first question, underline keywords, and search for the answer in the passage – you already know the correct answer, so your only aim is to find where it is in the passage.
- Underline words in the passage that have the same meaning as the keywords in the question.
- When you have done this for each question, make a keyword table.
- This technique forces you to stop testing yourself. Instead, it makes you focus on finding key vocabulary and understanding the reason for each answer. You might be surprised at the improvements you make if you regularly practise in this way.
- Only scan quickly if you are searching for a name or a number.
2. When preparing for the reading test at home, try not to worry about time at first. Your first concern should be to get the score you need, even if it takes you 3 hours instead of 1 hour to do a full test.
3. Read better rather than read faster. Work on better reading before working on speed. In short, break it down. Decide which skill you will work on. Rather than trying to complete both at the same time.
4. Labelling a diagram
This question asks you to label the digestive system of an earthworm. You should already know where the paragraph is that has this information. If not, skim through until you find it. We now need to learn about scanning.
5.Skimming and scanning vs finding and understanding
But the danger is that students focus more on these techniques than on the passage that they are reading, with the result that they often miss the answers by skimming or scanning past them!
Here’s some simple advice:
- Skimming basically means ‘reading very quickly’. Only skim if you are looking for a distinctive word that doesn’t have any synonyms e.g. “Manchester”.
- Scanning basically means ‘looking for something without reading’. Only scan if you’re searching for a number e.g. “1999”.
For all other questions, forget about skimming and scanning; just read the passage carefully at normal speed.
6. Instead of skimming too quickly or reading each word slowly, I recommend that you read phrase by phrase. For example, read the first sentence of this lesson as three phrases:
People who read too quickly ….. in the IELTS test ….. often miss the answers.
Try to get into the habit of reading phrase by phrase. You should find that you can go at a reasonable speed and that you’ll understand (almost) everything.
7. Do Topic Research
Psychology, children’s development, family and education are common topics in the IELTS reading test. A good place to read articles about these topics is the “Psychology Today” website.
For example, click here to read a recent article about the benefits of exercise for children. It’s good reading practice, and you’ll find some great vocabulary that you could use in the writing and speaking tests.
IELTS Reading: how questions are made
The people who write the questions for IELTS reading do something like this:
- They take a reading passage.
- They read through the passage and stop when they find something interesting.
- They make a question about that part of the passage, usually by paraphrasing it. For example, if the phrase “staff salaries” is used in the passage, the question writer might create a question with the words “employees’ wages”.
In other words, they use the “keyword technique” to write the questions, which is why you should use it to find the answers.
By limiting food intake, caloric restriction minimizes the amount of glucose entering cells and decreases ATP generation.
One possibility relates to the ATP making machinery’s emission of free radicals, which are thought to contribute to aging and to such age-related diseases as cancer by damaging cells.
Another hypothesis suggests that decreased processing of glucose could indicate to cells that food is scarce (even if it isn’t) and induce them to shift into an anti-aging mode that emphasizes preservation of the organism over such ‘luxuries’ as growth and reproduction.
Did think it was “anti-ageing” because “cells focus on” and “induce them to shift into an anti-aging”, however, the whole article is about anti-ageing so it isn’t going to be the correct answer.
Lots of paragraphs, I need to find the one relevant for this diagram.
D An earthworm has a very intricate digestive system, partitioned into many regions, each with a certain function. The digestive system consists of the pharynx, the esophagus, the crop, the intestine and the gizzard. Food such as soil, tiny stones and bits of grit enters the earthworm’s mouth, a small opening at the top of the earthworm, where it is swallowed by the pharynx. Then the soil passes through the esophagus, which has calciferous glands that release calcium carbonate to rid the earthworm’s body of excess calcium. After it passes through the esophagus, the food moves into the crop where it is stored and then eventually moves into the gizzard. The gizzard uses stones that the earthworm eats to grind the food completely. The food moves into the intestines as gland cells in the intestine release fluids to aid in the digestive process. The intestinal wall contains blood vessels where the digested food is absorbed and transported to the rest of the body. Any discarded waste that leaves the earthworm’s body is called a cast, which the earthworms then distribute by moving about, providing nutrition for the soil.
In my case, it’s all together. Now it’s finding and understanding what is happening. Fortunately the writer has placed the information in a logical order, starting with the mouth and ending with “discarded waste”.
Complete the labels on the diagram below based on the information from the reading passage
Have you tried doing the test samples on the official IELTS website (ielts.org)? Click here to go to the academic reading download page, then here for the general reading samples.
You can download or listen to the audio version here:
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