STRATEGIES FOR IELTS READING: FILL IN THE BLANK QUESTIONS



One of the most challenging part of IELTS is the Reading Section. 


There are several challenges in reading, and from what I usually hear from some folks out there, it is pretty hard to get rid of the problems related to Reading. The most common challenges in Reading are described as follows:

a. Too long passage is time consuming, leave alone finding the answers 

b. The topic is too difficult to understand I find it even more difficult to deal with the highly technical terms.


c. It doesn't feel like I can handle the vast vocabulary in Reading.


d. I'm having problem distinguishing False and Not Given.


e. I'm still trying to do effective reading and do the skimming and scanning.


.............and here are some of my solutions for those issues..............



First, you do not (in fact, you should not) read the whole passage. Just concentrate on what you need. Say, you need an Adjective as an answer, then why would y'all bother reading the Nouns, Verbs, Adverbs, Preposition, Conjunction, and any other irrelevant members of English Word Classes? The time allocation for Reading is 60 minutes and you have 40 questions, hence
60 minutes /40 questions equals to spending one and a half minute for each question
and hence,
You probably need half a minute to understand the question and one minute to look for the answer in the passage.


Second, don't you ever ever read the passage back and forth only for answering one question. I, personally, do not want to spend my time and energy reading back and forth, since I still have Writing and Speaking after the Reading section. Of course, I'm going to need considerable amount of energy for the next two sections (especially the writing, agree?) and thus, I have to do Reading far more effectively.
So, are you sure you want read the whole passage? Or even worse, reading it back and forth back and forth? Well, I don't think so.


Third, I don't think we have to master all topics appearing in IELTS Reading. I am not omniscience, I am not omnipotent, but I want to pass the test. So what I'm supposed to do is becoming more strategic. List of strategies for Reading is listed below. I hope you'll enjoy reading it. A little background knowledge is necessary, and you can get it by rigorous reading covering various topics.


Fourth, I don't think you have to master all vocabulary in English just to pass IELTS test. You may be interested in several fun facts below:

a. Any living language (especially English) is forever evolving. There are hundreds, or thousands, or even millions words coined everyday (sadly, this is made worst by the technological advancement and rapid growth of internet).


b. It is also believed that no one (or may be, not yet) can possibly memorize all the words in English listed even only in dictionary. You may ask yourself "but why some people are really good at structuring sentences using fancy words in English?" and the answer is because .... these folks use the most effectively-used, commonly-chosen words in English. I remember somebody saying it was around 10k words out of the total number of words (correct me if I'm wrong). These words belong to the most essential words in English. Let me give you another example.
If I were to say:

- My computer is susceptible to virus and malware

- My computer is vulnerable to virus and malware
Which one is more likely being used?
The second one, right? Then this kind of words are what you particularly need to master.




Passage 1

Not So Beautiful: Teens, Anxiety, and The False Standard of Beauty


Teenagers are the members of society ranging from the age of 13 to 19 years old. The definition of teenagers varies in different societies. There are several criteria used to define teenagers. One of them is the puberty. In this phase, there is a great deal of transformation in terms of physical and mental aspects of individuals. The onset of male and female puberty characterized with physical aspects is generally more apparent, although mental aspects are also quite prominent.

Teenagers are also said to be in a period of needing special attention. The tendency to be an attention seeker is probably caused by their need for social acceptance, the search for identity, and the desire for recognition from peers. This particularly happens since young generations are in the middle of shifting process, usually marked with teens separated from the shelter of childhood. The lack of, or even the absence of parents often motivate teenagers to look for acknowledgement from outside world.

At this stage, an individual becomes more psychologically unstable. The instability of their psychological state often makes them have trouble with their self-esteem. Change in terms of physical aspects, interest in other individuals of opposite sex, and the increase in hormonal activities make teenagers become more aware of their appearance. In some cases, teenagers even become cautious of how they look like, and this finally results in several problems regarding anxiety. On a more extreme level, this can even lead them to unhealthy practices such strict diet, or eating disorder like anorexia or bulimia.

This phenomenon is somehow enhanced by the exposure of youth to the false definition of beauty promoted by the mainstream media, in which boys are depicted with assertive and manly nature while girls are depicted in slim, feminine and flawless figure. Media dictates that having obesity or being normally bodied is a serious issue, that unrealistic representative appearing in advertisement eventually becomes a norm nowadays. This is not particularly happening to girls. The increase in the sale of supplement for height growth becomes a clear indication that boys are also having the same anxiety, although it is not on the same level as that of girls.

Teenagers' consciousness of their body image is often related to stress level. Those who do not qualify as ideal girls or ideal boys will tend to be alienated from the social life. Some teenagers end up having a tendency to completely withdraw themselves from the world and become a loner, some end up having a tendency for self harm. In the case of more unfortunate youngsters, their personal anxiety and the social alienation can even result in a suicidal tendency.








Answer the questions below (maximum two words)

1. Initial change in _____________ of teenagers is usually more visible

2. Acknowledgement from __________ along with personal and social factor are needed in transitional stage

3. Teenagers are becoming more unsettled since physical appearance makes them more ____________

4. The growth in demand for height _____________ explains that men also become more anxious

5. Teenagers' psychological pressure is closely related to the awareness of _____________

6. Excessive unease and withdrawal from society may lead to ___________


Strategies for IELTS Reading

1. Read and understand the instruction

2. Read the questions and find the keywords

3. Make several predictions

a. Grammatical prediction (what kind of words that you need)
b. Contextual prediction (what is being discussed)

4. Find the paragraph that contains the information. Remember that IELTS passage is always well-structured. It means that, when you do question number 1, the answer is likely to be found in paragraph one or two, but not the others. The same way when you do question number 2, then the answer is likely to found in paragraph 2 or 3. The exception is in List of Heading and Matching features, in which the questions are randomly arranged.

5. Find the sentence that contains the information. Remember that you will most likely find the answer in the main idea of the paragraphs, either in the first sentence or the last one. However, it is also possible that you will find the answer in middle of the paragraph, although it is quite unlikely.

6. Find the paraphrased keywords in the passage.

7. Test your answer by making an equation



Answers and Explanation on Reading Strategy



1. Initial change in _____________ of teenagers is usually more visible

Keywords: Initial, change, visible

Grammatical Prediction: in is a Preposition, so it will logically be followed by a Noun or a Noun Phrase

Contextual Prediction: What kind change is more visible in teenagers?

Paragraph: 1

Sentence: Last Sentence

Paraphrased Keywords: Onset, transformation, apparent

Answer: Physical aspects

Equation: Initial change in physical aspects of teenagers is usually more visible = The onset of puberty characterized by transformation in terms of physical aspects is more apparent






2. Acknowledgement from __________ along with personal and social factor are needed in transitional stage

Keywords: Acknowledgement, personal and social factor, transitional stage

Grammatical Prediction: From is a Preposition, so it is logically followed by a Noun or a Noun Phrase

Contextual Prediction: The Noun has to be specifically a person or a group of people

Paragraph: 2

Sentence: In the middle of the paragraph

Paraphrased Keywords: Recognition, the search for identity and social acceptance, shifting process

Answer: Peers

Equation: Acknowledgement from peers along with personal and social factor are needed in transitional stage=need for social acceptance, the search for identity, and the desire for recognition from peers...in the middle of shifting process





3. Teenagers are becoming more unsettled since physical appearance makes them more ____________

Keywords: Unsettled, physical appearance

Grammatical Prediction: More (degree of comparison) is logically followed by an Adjective or an Adverb

Contextual Prediction: What is the consequence of teenagers' physical appearance

Paragraph: 3

Sentence: In the middle of the paragraph

Paraphrased Keywords: Anxiety, how they look like

Answer:  Cautious

Equation: Teenagers are becoming more unsettled since physical appearance makes them more cautious=In some cases, teenagers even become cautious of how they look like, and this finally results in several problems regarding anxiety




4. The growth in demand for height _____________ explains that men also become more anxious

Keywords: growth in demand, height, men, anxious

Grammatical Prediction: The sentence needs a Noun as a Subject

Contextual Prediction: What kind of thing men need to deal with their anxiety?

Paragraph: 4

Sentence: The last sentence

Paraphrased Keywords: The increase in the sale, boys, having the same anxiety

Answer: Supplement

Equation: The growth in demand for height supplement explains that men also become more anxious=The increase in the sale of supplement for height growth becomes a clear indication that boys are also having the same anxiety




5. Teenagers' psychological pressure is closely related to the awareness of _____________

Keywords: Psychological pressure, awarenes

Grammatical Prediction: Of is a preposition, so it is logically followed by a Noun or Noun phrase

Contextual Prediction: What is related to teenagers' psychological pressure

Paragraph: 5

Sentence: First sentence

Paraphrased Keywords: Stress level, consciousness

Answer: Body image

Equation: Teenagers' psychological pressure is closely related to the awareness of body image=Teenagers' consciousness of their body image is often related to stress level




6. Excessive unease and withdrawal from society may lead to ___________

Keywords: Unease,withdrawal from society

Grammatical Prediction: To is a Preposition, so it is logically followed by a Noun or a Noun Phrase

Contextual Prediction: Impact of unease and social withdrawal

Paragraph: 5

Sentence: Last sentence

Paraphrased Keywords: Personal anxiety, social alienation can

Answer: Suicidal tendency

Equation: Excessive unease and withdrawal from society may lead to suicidal tendency=...their personal anxiety and the social alienation can even result in a suicidal tendency


Best luck,
Ross

Click link below for Strategies on IELTS Listening


Strategies for IELTS Listening

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