Hi there, I have a problem that is haunting me. I am a nursing sister at my local hospital, where I have worked for 20 years, I have only been registerd as a qualified nurse for 3, of those twenty years. I am currently looking in to migration to Australia. Although I am born and bread in the United Kingdom, studied my school life in the UK and completed my nursing Diploma in the Uk University; I still have to prove that I am competent at speaking English for the skills assessment process of the visa. The exam I need to pass; with a band 7 in all areas is IELTS Academic. I have taken this exam twice now, and sadly failed on the reading part by scoring 6.5 (instead of 7), I have however passed the listening part, the writing and speaking with no problems. I have bought cd's for the computer with books to practice and paid for a months subscrition to a company for practice material - however sadly I can't seem to master that last .5 that is required. I was wondering if you might be of any assistance in this matter? I am willing to try anything, as this is the only part left for me to be grtanted a visa for Oz.
Thank you for your time in reading this
Vicky (the disheartened) x
I have taken the test and got a 7.5 in the reading subtest. Here are some tips that worked for me which you might find helpful.
The reading subtest is not really about comprehension. It is about finding as many of the right answers as possible. When you do IELTS reading exercises, always go for the easier passages and the easier questions first. Reading everything in the passage is usually not necessary. Practice "spotting" the answers instead.
Take a short course on increasing your reading speed, and apply it. The faster you read the higher the likelihood of your finding the right answer. I believe there are many of these that you can do on your own at home.
Copy professionally written essays. While you are copying it, try to spot the topic sentence and its supporting ideas. According to some medical research, if we use two different neural pathways it is easier to retain that bit of data or skill. It also sharpens analysis.
Enrolling in a good review center might be something you should think about. Two successive 6.5s indicate that you need about three to six months of serious preparation before you can reasonably say that you have a good shot at getting the 7.0.
I hope this helped. If you can point out which particular question type you find difficult, I could give you pointers on those too.
Last edited by my.man.xviii; 03-Oct-2010 at 20:06. Reason: Grammar
To be brutally frank, for a born and bred (not "bread") native speaker, your written speech contains many errors. And even though you've passed the listening portion of your test, the reading/comprehension portion is doubly critical in your chosen profession. I know that, were I a patient in a hospital, I would want the nurse who was attending me to be able to read and comprehend written instructions without question. I've reviewed a few IELTS reading sample test questions, and it seems to be a matter of reading the material very carefully. There are no "trick" or complex questions. Are you reading the material too quickly, or just skimming over it?
Again, I'm not trying to be mean or hurtful, but a native speaker who has read and written English from the very beginning should be able to answer the IELTS questions without to much difficulty. All the answers are contained in the text provided. Just take your time and read the material for comprehension.
If you have any specific examples of text passages/questions that you've answered incorrectly, please post them so that we can be of further assistance.
Hi thanks for your reply, I will read material that has come from the newspaper, journal etc then answer questions set. They are written in a different context to the passage and I need to either find the appropriate heading or answer true of false questions. There are a number of different questions and different ways of answering i.e. finding specific words within the text that will clarify a meaning - which I find confusing. Matching paragraphs to quotations written etc. I find the passage boring as it is mainly discussing things like wind turbines..... I think I must lose my concentration. If you answer more than three words u will fail, obviously spelling and punctuation is important (I don't think I am too bad in that area), its just my understanding I think. x
Hi thanks for your reply and helpful tips, I appreciate your help. Congratulations on passing your IELTS. I will practice what you have suggested and search for the appropriate material. Thanks again x
In word searches, they often use synonyms. Yes, the reading part can get boring. I shake my hands briskly to increase blood flow to the brain. Keep in mind that the number of correct answers you get determines your bandscore. Always do the easy passages and the questions first. I'm glad my post helped you.