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Reading for IELTS: A review

Is the book Reading for IELTS suitable for you?

If you find the IELTS Academic Reading test difficult and need to improve your reading band score to a 6.0 or above, then read my review of the book Reading for IELTS below.

What I like about Reading for IELTS:

Reading for IELTS

  1. I think the best feature of this book is that it includes a unit on each of the 11 types of IELTS Reading question, including questions that ask if statements are TRUE, FALSE or NOT GIVEN.
  2. The book includes exercises and suggestions to help you understand how to answer each type of IELTS Reading question.
  3. Another feature I like is that (unlike most IELTS books) this book includes explanations at the back about why particular answers are correct or incorrect.
  4. The book also contains a complete IELTS Reading practice test at the end.

What I don’t like about Reading for IELTS:

Unfortunately, I think there are a number of features of this book that could give you problems.

  1. In each unit, most of the exam practice texts don’t have a title, and I think this makes the texts more difficult to understand. Texts in the IELTS Academic Reading test have a title unless there’s a question asking you to choose the most appropriate title from a list.
  2. Some of the vocabulary exercises in each unit ask you to underline certain words in a text even though you may not know what these words mean or have any idea what the text is about.
  3. In many of the IELTS Reading practice exercises, including those in the test at the end of the book, there are several questions that I think are unfair and that would not be used in a real IELTS test.

An example of a question that I think is unfair is number 13 below about the information in a text on art.

Do the following statements agree with the information in the text?

Write:

TRUE if the statement agrees with the information
FALSE if the statement contradicts the information
NOT GIVEN if there is no information given

11. It is possible to buy a painting by Picasso for less than £5000.
12. Greeting cards can sell for up to £10,000 each.
13. It is not worth investing in new artists or markets because there is a great risk of losing all your money.

In real IELTS tests, TRUE, FALSE or NOT GIVEN questions focus on factual information in the text (like questions 11 and 12 above), not on the writer’s views or claims (like question 13).

Who Reading for IELTS is suitable for:

If you need to improve your IELTS Academic Reading band score from a 5.0 to a 6.0 and you have someone who you can ask for help, then I think Reading for IELTS could be a useful book for you to use.

If you don’t have anyone who you can ask for help, then you may get confused by some of the problems I mentioned above.

If you’ve already used the book yourself or if you have any questions about the book, it would be great to hear from you in the comments section below.

Pete

PS Reading for IELTS is part a series of books on preparing for the IELTS Academic test that includes Listening for IELTS, Writing for IELTS and Speaking for IELTS.

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