Posted by & filed under IELTS Learning, IELTS Reading, IELTS Study, IELTS teaching, IELTS tutors.

Scanning and skimming is NOT enough to get a high score on the academic IELTS. If you need a 5.0 or 5.5, then it can work, but if you need anything higher (which almost all universities require), you need proper IELTS reading technique – you NEED to read and understand the material, and use critical thinking to engage the passage. This is the only way to get 6.5, 7.0, 7.5++.

Very high level ESL speakers may be able to achieve 6.5 using the scan/skim method, but they are still robbing themselves of a higher score. Such a student may be able to get 7.5 or even 8+ on the reading section using proper techniques. For most students, the difference between skim/scan and using proper technique can be a full band, or even 1.5 bands. It is absolutely huge.

There is a very good reason for this: The IELTS test makers are very intelligent, and they know exactly how to construct a test to differentiate between those using good techniques and those using bad techniques. The IELTS test makers design many questions specifically to catch students who employ skimming and scanning techniques. It is for this reason that these students find it very difficult to score above 5.5.

As with many things in life, if it seems to good to be true, it probably is. Skimming and scanning is an easy way to get a mediocre mark, but it is virtually useless if you want a good mark. If you want a good, great, or excellent mark, there is no better way than spending the time to learn proper technique.

32 Responses to “Proper IELTS Reading Technique – Score Higher on IELTS!”

  1. Rimpi Banger

    I want to increase my reading skill.when I read fast I cannot understand proper and I get only 20 out of 40. Thanks

    • aeadmin

      Hi Rimpi,

      In our full course, we teach you some skills such as “power reading” to maximize your speed and comprehension. If you haven’t already, I recommend you take a look at the full IELTS course.

  2. jefoy

    i think if you are good in paraphrasing the whole story or article you will be able to get a higher score in reading test.the way to achieve that is to be familiarize with word meanings their synonyms and antonyms.In short you really have to be walking inside the dictionary.Its achievable though with constant practice.The best way to do that is to have an MP3 audio dictionary install in your car or have an MP3 player with you all the time.

    • aeadmin

      Hi Sunil,

      Practice makes perfect. The best way to improve your reading is to do lots of reading. Check out our newest blog post about studying for IELTS. There are some good tips for studying in there.

      Also, make sure to look at our free IELTS course if you haven’t already, and if you like what you see, check out the full course too!

      Good luck with your studies, and remember that there is no substitute for hard work!

  3. shiva Kandel

    If you make a habit to read any english newspaper daily basis its make you to understand more better and easy to tackle any queation answer in ielts.

    • aeadmin

      Hi Priam,

      28 is a good score! That converts to a 6.5 band score, which is excellent!

    • aeadmin

      Hi Abdullah,

      Joining us at AEHelp is a great start to improving your reading skills. If you have specific questions, please post them in a separate topic in the forum, and we will answer them. We are here to help!

    • aeadmin

      Hi Anup,

      The best way is to join AEHelp’s full course. Once you’ve joined, we suggest following one of our study plans to make sure you find IELTS success.

  4. Jenny Lacdang

    Hi there, I have sent my writing for correction I fact I made a payment already but I haven’t received my writing feedback long do I need to wait for this?thank you.

    • aeadmin

      Hi Jenny,

      Your work was returned in under 18 hours. We look forward to seeing more of your work.

    • aeadmin

      Hi Abdulrahman,
      It is likely that your iPad does not support the flash-plug in to use the video player. However, send us an email at and we can invite you up a private video list on You Tube. Hope you are enjoying the other parts of the course.

    • aeadmin

      Dear Shiwaker Prasai, to get lots of help about how to tackle speaking questions, go through the speaking section in the full course. Practice those skills and you will do well in this section of the IELTS. Thanks for your question.

  5. rashed islam

    No body gives proper technique to improve reading score ….Nothing is free in the world……i am disappointed… last i have to buy full course….although this side says free how far it is true??

    • aeadmin

      Hi Rashed,

      We offer some of our materials for free so users can see the style of learning that our full course offers. Students can try out the materials for free, and if they like them, they can purchase the full versions.

      Please let us know if you have any questions.

  6. rashed islam

    okay. i just want to know if i purchase full course how long i can exercise ….can i get the hard copy of full course….and CD by shipment

    • aeadmin

      Hi Rashed,

      After purchase, you receive online access to all the materials for three months!

      Please note we do not ship any materials. You are free to print out materials from the website for personal use.

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