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IELTS Reading: Important Technique is to Think of Keyword Synonyms
Posted on: 09 Mar 2020  |   Category: IELTS ,

IELTS Reading: Important Technique is to Think of Keyword Synonyms

The Problem

Many applicants believe IELTS Reading test is one of the most difficult modules in the IELTS examination- the timing is so short, and understanding the questions perfectly while you are at stress is not a simple task and on top of this, the examiner is continually trying to distract you!

To perform great in the IELTS Reading examination you require to develop different approaches. The most significant technique for resembling the details in the question to the answer in the passage is to study keyword synonyms.


Keywords are the question's focus words. Let’s look at an illustration of a True or False or Not given question: 

Question: “An attachment to the use of the private car led to increased suburban development.”

Text: The expansion of the outer city since the 1960s reflected a continued preference on the part of many people in the western world for private automobiles over public transit.

The keywords in the question are attachment, increased, car, and suburban development. These are the specific words in the question that carries the meaning, and these are the words that you must look for in the passage or text.

However, it is doubtful that you will notice them. This is because to just search for these keywords would make the task too simple. The examiner will consequently examine your knowledge by applying synonyms. The synonyms are separate words with an identical meaning.


Think of the synonyms list for these keywords. Note them on a paper.

  • attachment
  • increased
  • car
  • suburban development

Learning points and Solution

Here are some recommendations:

  • attachment: preference, liking, affinity
  • increased: growing, greater, enhanced
  • car: vehicle, automobile
  • suburban development: neighborhood growth, city growth, expansion of cities

If we now turn to the appropriate sentence in this text itself, you can see how those words in the question related to the synonyms in the passage or text given above.

As you can observe in the text 3 out of the 4 keywords in question are present in the passage or text as synonyms— and the given statement is Correct.

We have seen at this statement in detail, but in the IELTS examination itself, you won’t have that much time to note down 3 or 4 synonyms for each specific keyword. 

So, the learning points are:

  • Be aware that you are doubtful to find similar words in the question and also in passage or text.
  • While reading the question, actively think of synonyms for specific keywords. put them in your mind.
  • Also, note that the details are in a separate order in the question and also in the passage or text. The statement states the car first, but in the text, it is at the conclusion of the sentence. Presume this in the examination itself.


Now you recognize why the IELTS Reading test is often deemed to be the most challenging part of the examination. It’s not too tough to grasp the learning points but under the stress of examination conditions, it is more difficult. So I would advise strongly you to take practice examinations beforehand. 

Stay updated to Teach5 as our following blogs will provide techniques to obtain a good score. Approach Teach5 to overcome all the problems while facing the IELTS test as we have the most qualified staff for all English proficiency tests.

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