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How to practice IELTS reading at home? (5 steps)

IELTS Reading
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If you are a self-learner and looking for the best strategy to practice IELTS Reading and improve your skills at home, then you’re at the right place.

Here we have listed 5 IELTS Reading Practice Steps & Tips to help you get started.

The best and easiest way is to find a good study book with full and genuine IELTS reading practice tests. It will give you a clear overview of the test format and different types of reading questions and sections.

To practice and be well prepared for the test, do the following:

  1. Obtain a good practice book
    • For instance, we recommend using one of the Cambridge IELTS practice books.
    • If you have obtained the Cambridge IELTS book, then flick through the book and see what’s there. These books will give you a solid understanding of the exam format and types of tasks.
    • Or why not take a Full IELTS General Reading Test (provided by that we have prepared for you
  2. Use an Answer Sheet
  3. Make yourself familiar with the IELTS reading test format.
    • There are 3 Reading Sections
    • Sections 1 and 2 may have several text blocks.
    • The Sections will get increasingly more difficult.
    • About 40 questions in total.
  4. Take the first practice test.
    • Start practice with the first test without limiting your time to one hour.
    • Understand different types of exercises and questions
    • Determine your weak spots, e.g. the most challenging part of the test is commonly the – True / False / Not Given – type of exercise.
    • Learn some tips (find some below!)
  5. Practice under exam conditions – at least 3 times!
    • Use the printed Answer Sheet.
    • Allow only 1 hour to complete the practice test.
    • Analyse your mistakes.
    • Take at least 3 Reading Practice Tests to feel confident and improve your score.
    • And allow a bit of extra practice to improve your weak areas.

These 5 Steps are enough to get started, and repeating them all over again consolidates your knowledge and improves your skills.


  1. Skim and scan

    Look only for the main ideas and scan the text to locate information quickly. So, you don’t need to read every word or try to understand the passage; you need to answer the questions!

  2. Watch your time

    Don’t forget you have a strict time limit, so only 60 minutes to read three texts and answer 40 questions. Therefore, skimming and scanning help you a lot. Do not get stuck with one missing answer, just move on and come back when everything else is complete. Remember that you won’t get additional time to fill your answer sheet, so make sure you properly manage your time.

  3. Check your spelling

    Check your spelling before writing your answers on the answer sheet. If your answer is spelt wrong, you will get zero points for it. Remember that your answers have to be grammatically correct.

  4. Fill in all the boxes

    Don’t leave blanks! You will not get minus points for wrong answers. So, even if you are unsure about your answer, try your luck, and maybe your guess is correct!

  5. Practice, practice, practice

    Practice makes perfect. You will improve when you practice regularly. You will only then develop your skills and understand the different types of questions. What is more, reading enriches your vocabulary, so it is also beneficial to your writing and speaking skills!

We are here to help

Whether you have any questions, want to leave feedback or discuss cooperation possibilities, do not hesitate to contact us. We are here to help and will answer as soon as possible.In the meantime, discover our site and let it help you smooth your IELTS journey and make your studies more efficient.

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