How Can Keywords Help You Do Well in Reading Module in IELTS Exam?

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IELTS reading is tough and perplexing for many students. If so, this article might help resolve your fears and apprehensions regarding the reading part. Some students believe in this misleading conception-  all it needs is to do wonders in just the writing and speaking modules of the IELTS exam. They believe that working hard in both these sections will be sufficient to get them high band scores. However, this mindset is entirely incorrect. So, every module of the IELTS exam demands consistent efforts.  Also, the overall band score is based on your individual performance in each of the four modules. Therefore, you have to pay equal attention and focus on the reading section.

The reading module of IELTS consists of 40 questions in total. The IELTS reading section contains a variety of question types, including multiple-choice, finding synonyms/antonyms, and True/False questions. When taking the IELTS reading section, students should know that the answers they provide may be correct or incorrect. This blog is a must-read if you want to do well in the IELTS reading section. Consider enrolling yourself for IELTS online coaching for more detailed information on this entire term.

Now let us read some valuable tips to do wonders in the reading section of the IELTS exam

Scanning and skimming the text

Before talking about keywords it is necessary to understand two essential techniques. The IELTS reading exam requires you to be aware of the method to skim and scan the reading passages with efficiency. “Skimming” implies skimming the given passage to find the answers to the question. Start reading the passages by keeping this strategy in mind. You should browse the passage in 4-5 minutes or less. As you know you have got limited time to read the passage and give the answers. So, use your time wisely.  Also, we advise you to prepare notes or just underline the keywords in the passage. These keywords are going to help you in finding the answers. The passage will have many trivial and insignificant details. So, you have to ignore all such information. The basic difference between the method of skimming and scanning is – 

Skimming– Your focus is to get an overall idea about the passage. To skim a passage implies finding the overview of what the passage is trying to convey to the reader.

Scanning- Your focus is to find vital facts which can help you write suitable answers. To scan a passage implies finding the necessary keywords and information associated with the answers you’re looking for. If your full consideration is to study on an international level. Then in that whole scenario, you can connect with the right guiding source. Before that, you should definitely get the answer to the question “how much study abroad consultants charge?

Finding keywords in the question

You need to keep in mind that you might not get the keywords in the exact form stated in the question. Instead, you may find the synonyms of the keywords in the passage. Now in such cases, it is important to have a good understanding of vocabulary, specifically the synonyms/antonyms. So, we will list an example below to help you understand this better. 


She is _____ by her pals for her lavish lifestyle.

Passage statement:

Her friends envy her for her opulent lifestyle and often gossip about her.

Keywords in the question Similar keywords in the passage
pals friends
lavish opulent
She is Her 

So if you are aware of the fact that pals and lavish are synonyms of the words friends and opulent respectively then it will be an easy task to find the keywords and thus the answer. Now, can you answer the above blank? Well, if you think envied is the answer, then you are absolutely correct. Did you notice how the keywords in the question do not match with the ones provided in the passage? Sometimes, the entire sentence can be paraphrased and in such a situation, it would be even harder to find the keywords. But don’t worry! If you have a broad range of vocabulary you can easily decipher these questions and do well in your IELTS exam. Hence, work hard on improving your vocabulary. 

Finding keywords in the passage

So, in the first pointer, we talked about the method of skimming and scanning the passage. Now we will discuss how to look for the correct keywords in the passage while you make use of both these techniques. Make sure to underline the keywords. Usually, the group of nouns, verbs, etc form keywords. Don’t include articles/conjunctions or modal verbs in your keyword search.  So, some of you might be wondering what exactly is a keyword? See, information pertaining to location, year, dates, etc are your keywords. Thus, if you wish to learn this method and do wonders in your IELTS exam then read this article carefully. For example-

  • Names-( name of people, objects, tools, etc mentioned in the passage)
  • Places- ( city, country. Village, or any particular location in the passage)
  • Numerical and statistical information- ( 40 litres, 30 million, 200 pounds, etc)

Importance of keywords

So, there’s a question mentioning the town of Roorkee. Therefore,  if you had underlined the keyword Roorkee in the passage then you can quickly locate it. You wouldn’t have to search the whole passage again to find the word Roorkee. Hence, finding keywords earlier helps you save a considerable amount of time. Now there’s another question talking about an event that occurred in 2002. You can quickly locate the year 2002 in the passage and find the relevant information. Therefore, this is how the underlining of keywords enables you to solve questions of the IELTS reading module rapidly. 

We want to inform you that the keywords aren’t just limited to the above pointers. Actually, it depends on the type of passage and the questions asked. With proper practice, it will be easy for you to search them up. Also, this isn’t just going to help you for your IELTS exam but also for other language tests like PTE, TOEFL, etc. Moreover, reading is a vital component of every language exam. If you are aspiring to clear the PTE exam then we suggest you seek PTE online coaching and prepare in the comfort of your home. 

Practice enough

So, some of you might be feeling a storm of confusion in your minds after reading about keywords. But we want to assure you that it may sound difficult but proper practice can enable you to find keywords very easily. In fact, your reading speed and accuracy will touch new heights once you become an expert in digging out keywords. Additionally, it will ensure a high band score. Locate these keywords according to your convenience. Therefore, try sample reading passages just to find keywords and use them in your answers effectively. 

Summing it up 

Thus, reading has been a  challenging module for several students attempting to clear the IELTS exam. They perform poorly in the reading section. Consequently, many test-takers miss out on the chance of attaining a high band score. There are special techniques to ace the reading module. One of them is to locate and underline keywords. Hence, read the above article carefully to understand the importance, meaning, and usage of keywords. 


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