Number one for English language teachers

IELTS reading 1: methodology

Type: Teaching notes

Help students to prepare for the academic reading component of the IELTS exam.

Exercise 1: Version 1 and Version 2

You can do the first true / false / not given exercise in a number of ways depending on the level of your class.

  • Give the students the Reading Passage and Exercise 1 Version 1 and go through the example. You may want to refresh the students’ memories about the distinction between True/ False/ Not Given. Or wait until they have done the exercises.
  • Explain to the students that the sentences 1-14 are True as regards the Reading Passage. Ask them as per the example to decide what happens to the sentences when you add the alternatives (a - d). You can see that in the example, when you add (a) twofold, the sentence is still True, because in the text it says double and so on.
  • Put the students into pairs or groups of three. Ask the students not to read the text, but to locate the information relating to each sentence in the text. Then ask them to decide what happens to the sentence when each alternative is added.
  • How many sentences you ask the students to do will depend on the level of the class. The exercise should generate a lot of discussion and you may find that doing 1-7/10 is enough even for advanced students, but let them see how far they can go.
  • When the students have finished, check their answers.
  • Rather than rushing through the exercise give the students time to absorb the mechanism involved in analyzing.
  • Version 2 of the Exercise has fewer alternatives and may be used for a quicker or lower level.
  • After the above, in order to check that the students have understood, give them Exercise 1 Version 3 with the sentences and the blank spaces.
  • Ask them as a whole class to add words and phrases and keep the statements True as regards the text. Then ask them to do the same for False and then Not Given.
  • You may choose only some of the statements.
  • You may also do this as a pair group exercise with one group working on True and another on False and so on.


  • You can give the students the exercise as above with the answers for the first 5 sentences and have them decide why the answers are correct. You can do a simple role-play where the students become the teacher [after they have prepared their explanations] and you become a student!
  • Then ask them to do the rest of the exercise in pairs/ groups and then check their answers.

Exercise 2

Give the student the summary and the text and have them do the exercise one stage at a time.

  • After each stage, check the answers with the students.
  • You may of course wish to do any of the stages in isolation.

Exercise 3

  • This exercise has been described as post reading vocabulary. One feature of the reading in IELTS that many students find difficult is over-focusing on individual words. IELTS reading exercises generally require a superficial rather than a deep grasp of the text. So focusing on one or two words that are often not necessary for the understanding of the passage, slows students down considerably. There will be more on this in the next reading exercise at a later date.
  • Encourage the students to do Exercises 1 and 2 without looking up the meaning of unknown words. Obviously, there is a point with lower level students when this is not practical, but encourage them to go as far as they can.
  • Give the students the exercise and ask them to decide which meanings are correct according to the passage. What is wrong with the other meanings given?  

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Readers' comments (4)

  • Hi Cormac,

    Thanks for your feedback. The worksheets and teacher's notes for most of the exercises on onestopenglish can always be found under the related resources section of each page.

    Hope that helps.
    Best wishes,
    The onestopenglish team

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  • The resouces should be marked more clearly. I notice this a lot with - appears muddled.

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  • Hi Simon,
    Thanks for your comment. We've now tidied up this page to make it easier for you to find the reading text. These can now be accessed via the links above under 'Related resources'.
    We hope this helps!
    Best wishes,
    The onestopenglish team

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  • Where are the resources for this activity?

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