How to manage your time effectively during the IELTS reading test


If you're preparing for the IELTS exam, you know that time management is essential for success. The reading test, in particular, can be challenging, with only 60 minutes to complete three reading passages and answer 40 questions. In this blog post, we'll discuss some strategies for managing your time effectively during the IELTS reading test.

1. Preview the passages

Before you start reading, preview the passages to get an idea of what to expect. Look at the titles, headings, and any graphics or images. This will give you an idea of the overall structure and purpose of the passages and help you decide which ones to tackle first. You can also look for any bold or italicized words, as these may be important for understanding the overall message of the passage.

2. Prioritize the passages

Once you've previewed the passages, prioritize them based on difficulty and topic. If you're more comfortable with certain types of passages, such as those related to science or current events, start with those. You can also consider the length of the passages and how much time you have left. If you have less time remaining, you may want to focus on shorter passages first.

3. Skim and scan

As you start reading, use skimming and scanning techniques to quickly navigate the text. Skimming involves quickly reading through a text to get a general understanding of its content, while scanning involves searching for specific information. By learning to skim and scan effectively, you can save time and focus your attention on the most important information in the text.

4. Take breaks

It's important to take breaks while reading to give your mind a chance to rest and process the information you've just taken in. Short breaks every 20-30 minutes can help you stay focused and improve your reading comprehension. During your breaks, you can stretch, take a walk, or do something else that helps you relax and refocus. By taking breaks, you'll be better able to absorb and retain the information you've read.

5. Pace yourself

Pacing yourself is important for managing your time effectively during the IELTS reading test. If you try to read too quickly, you may miss important details or make mistakes. On the other hand, if you read too slowly, you may not have enough time to complete all the questions. Try to find a balance and maintain a consistent pace throughout the test.

6. Use the process of elimination

If you're unsure of the answer to a question, use the process of elimination to narrow down your options. Look for clues in the passage and eliminate any answer choices that are clearly incorrect. This can help you save time and increase your chances of selecting the correct answer.


Managing your time effectively during the IELTS reading test is essential for success. By previewing the passages, prioritizing them based on difficulty and topic, skimming and scanning, taking breaks, pacing yourself, and using the process of elimination, you can save time and increase your chances of success on the exam. With proper time management and a little bit of practice, you can develop the skills.