Necessary skills of IELTS (READING)

Necessary skills of IELTS (READING)


7 min read


Not like CET-4 or CET-6, IELTS reading required efficiency. So you needn't read the full text. Another feature is that the difficulty of IELTS reading is not increasing, which means you can't finish the task in order. Look at the title first, then look at the question, and choose the easy one to finish.


Before starting the exercise, we should know two keys in IELTS reading: positing words and pointing words. (定位词和考点词)

positioning words

the posting words can determine the location of the answer. So we should do the questions according to the test site, rather than guess.

Common positioning words

  1. Numbers (temperature, time, percentage) Capital letters (places, names, proper names)

    Find words occurrence in text only once (70%)

    Do not use digits to position in True or False and Heading

  2. Special names(90%) > special verbs(10%) > special adjectives or adverbs

    adjective closest to the noun

    adjective positional will occasionally use in Heading and Matching

  3. Common words, topic words and repeated words in the question are not suitable

pointing words

the pointing words only appear in True or False, which is the examing point.


  1. the part after be, can

  2. Degree

    only, all, est

  3. Compare

    A B both words

  4. Consistency

    numbers, time, place

Tick the number first, then a noun, and read the text at the same time. If don't find any pointing words, choose the verb and the information behind it.

The relationship between positing and pointing words

  • the positioning gives the answer location

  • the pointing decides the answer

options note

True / Yes

The questions stem consistent with the text

The subject words are consistent with the test point words

False / No

The question is contrary to the text

the subject words are consistent, but the points are contrary

False classification

  • The "absolutely" statement may be wrong (80%) 绝对陈述词

    must/absolutely/definitely/invariably/inevitably/unarguably/assuredly/indisputably/certainly/without question = out of the question


    both can use in Choice

    On the contrary, the "possible" statement may be correct (70%)

  • Antisense 反义

    In the text, the positioning words around is the negative word.

    not/no longer/not anymore/by not means(never)

    In the text, the positioning words around the implying negation

    used to do sth/until recently/as was once the case

  • Single qualification 单一限定

    In the text, "x and y are...".

    In the choice, "Only x is..." (False), "xxx is ..." (True)

    In the text, "xxx is ..."

    In the choice, "only xxx is ..." (NOT GIVEN)

  • The probability of selecting No among the numbers, but the age and time can't be used. 题干有数字选错概率大


  • Not mentioned 没提及

  • Pointing words not repeated 考点没出现

  • Not have not a comparison 没有对比

    than NG(70%)

  • Authority effect, public effect 将观点当成事实

    The text is a person's opinion, the topic stem is an objective statement of fact

  • Best 最高级

    text is "one of", the choice is "est" (NG)

    text is "est", the choice is "one of" (True)


  1. Check the question require 看题目要求

  2. Find Positing and pointing words 找定位词和考点词

  3. Read the text in groups of two questions, and look for the positioning and pointing points 每两个进行查找

  4. Judgment the answer 判断答案

2 Fill-in-the-Blank

2.1 No options summary

  • order 90% 不全是顺序题

  • the original words (90%) 不全是直接摘抄

  • Find the positioning words near whitespace 找空格附近定位词


  1. Review the subject requirements 看题目要求(字数限制,看全文还是某一段)

    word count

    which paragraph(whole or part)

  2. Read the summary 通读summary

  3. Find positioning and relationship words 找定位词和关系词

  4. Predict the nature of the answer 预测答案性质

    singular and plural for nouns

    Verb's tense


  5. Adjust the answer according to the word count 调整答案性质

    A of B = B A = A (if A int text, write B)

    A by B = B

Positioning words

  • proper noun 专业名词

  • time 时间

  • Location 地点

  • Names 名字

  • Figures and percentages 数字和百分数

  • Money symbol 金钱

  • Special print 特别印刷体

  • Verb, preposition 动词或介词

relationship words

maintain or change the meaning between sentences, always indicate where the test site is.

  • Paralleling 并列

    and, as well as, or, too, also, neither...nor, first...second

  • Progressive 递进

    moreover, not only, but also, in addition

  • Causality 因果

    because, as, since, in that + clause, due to, as a result of, because of

    so, therefore, thus, consequently, as a result.

  • Citing 举例

    for example, for instance, such as

  • analogy 类比

    like similarly, be similar to,

  • adversative 转折

    but, however, yet

    although, despite, while

2.2 sentence completion

skill like not options summary

2.3 options summary

  • unordered (30%) 乱序概率大


  1. Review the topic 审题

  2. Read the options and organize them 看选项词汇并分类

  3. Read the summary 通读

  4. Mark the position and relation words to locate the answer 标记定位词和关系词

  5. Positioning lookup versus options (30% out of order) 进行比对

2.4 table completion

  • Most in consecutive paragraphs 出自连续的段落

  • Order 有序

  • Simplest 最简单


  1. Read the title 看标题

  2. Find logical relationships 找逻辑关系

  3. Mark positioning words, relation words, predict the answer. 标记定位词,关系词,预测答案

  4. Adjust answer 调整答案

2.5 Write answer

  • like sentence completion 类似完成句子,但是是简答题

  • order 有序


  1. Start with a clear line of questioning 明确提问的内容

    Where/what place

    When/what time?


    How by/with/through

  2. Predicting the nature of the answer 预测答案

  3. Locate words and search 定位和查找

  4. Adjust answer 调整答案

the first problem may be difficult to locate 第一个问题可能比较难定位

3 List of Heading

  • The question is before the text 题目在文章前面

  • Difficult 困难

  • No Repeated choice 不会重复选


  1. Reading questions 读题干

    1. Read the example and remove it 读例子并去掉

    2. Filter the similar choice, which at least one of the antonyms to be true 过滤相似选项,至少一个是会被选

    3. Exclude details such as points in time, money, percentages 排出一下细节

    4. Prediction 预测

      Prompts words of forward paragraph 首段提示词

      Definition, concept, overview, introduction, initiation

      Prompts words of back paragraph 末段提示词

      Consequence, effect, conclusion, future, impact, prospects

      Special prompts words 特殊提示词





    5. Circle positing word 圈定位词

      reference True & False 参考判断题

  2. Find Purport 找主旨

    • the first sentence (70%) 首句

    • the second sentece (10%) 第二句

    • the last second sentence (10%) 末句

    • unobvious (10%) 中间

      use the repeated words 使用重复出现的词

  3. Write answer 写答案

    • logical consistency, but note the synonymous substitutions 逻辑一致,注意同义替换

    • Use the exclusion 使用排除法

4 Matching

4.1 Name and option Matching

  • use the name as a choice or question 人名为选项或者题目

  • unorder 无序

  • name is the positing word 人名就是定位词

  • sometimes a name with two options 有时人会对应多个观点


  1. Simplify names 简化人名

  2. Read the options and find keywords 看选项找关键词

  3. Compare options between choice and text 在原文和选项中比较

    believe, argue, suggest, claim, conclude, think

4.2 Affiliation matching

  • unorder 无序


  1. Find logical relationship 找逻辑关系

  2. Circle the positing words 圈定位词

  3. Find points and compare them with the text 找到观点和原文比较

    if the choice is shorter than the question, find the number of times a choice appears in the text

4.3 Which paragraph contains the following information

  • unorder 无序

  • small skill 没有特点技巧

  • complex synonymous substitution 复杂的替换

I suggest this type of task at last. 建议最后写


  1. Read through the information and cricle the keywords 熟读并圈关键词

    If don't understand the question, give up on it. 如果题目看不懂,果断跳过

  2. Find positing words 找定位词

    Read the first and last sentences carefully 通常在第一句和最后一句

  3. Identify the attribution 确定归属

5 Single & Multiple Choice

  • order 有序


  1. Description of the questions (quantity, directionality) 问题描述(数量,方向性)

  2. Check the position words (both stem and choice) 找定位词

  3. Locate the text and find the points 定位原文找考点


The order of tasks needs to be judged according to the type of question. Here are all the questions from hard to easy. (The ones in bold are sequential)


  • Which paragraph contains the following information

  • List of Heading

  • Options Summary, Long Sentence Matching

  • Names and Options, Affiliation matching

  • No Options Summary

  • Single Choice, Multiple Choice

  • Short Sentence Matching

  • Sentence completion, write the answer

  • True & False, Table Completion, notes