IELTS Reading – Keyword Techniques – How to use
Test-takers often find the IELTS Reading module tests challenging and difficult as the time limit is very short. In just 60 minutes, you need to go through a combination of long and short texts of both a general and work-specific text in IELTS General and In Academic, you need to interact with three long texts of an academic nature and then answer 40 questions. Thus, reading the questions, understanding them, and answering them correctly under the pressure of time is definitely a challenging task. Vocabulary in the IELTS Reading module is of utmost importance. Some words are hidden as keywords in the reading passages.
What are Keywords?
Keywords are the words that contain specific information. It can be in the form of nouns and verbs, names (places, scientists, people and more included in the passage), locations (towns, cities, states, countries), dates and years, numbers or figures, and capitalized or italicized words/phrases. Usually, these keywords help in locating the answers in the IELTS Reading passages. Keywords can be found when you scan the passage. As you go through the questions, think of synonyms for the keywords.
What are Keyword synonyms?
The words with the same or nearly a similar meaning as the word are known as synonyms. They are also called parallel expressions. These keyword synonyms are used to test if the aspirants really understand what the text means, rather than just identifying the words. Check out the listed words, which are not exactly the same in meaning, but they have a very similar meaning.
IELTS Reading: How to find the right keywords?
IELTS Reading tests are often perceived as a challenge. But if the right strategies of skimming and scanning are adopted, aspirants can overcome this challenge. One of the vital factors during skimming is to find out keywords in the passages and underlining them. This important strategy of underlining the keyword is to help in understanding the given passage and focus better.
Keyword Table: IELTS Reading
|Keywords in Question||Similar keywords in the passage|
|Focus on||Deals only with|
|Creative writing||Writing good fiction|
What is a Keyword technique?
Keyword technique is finding words in the passage with a similar or close meaning to the words in questions. These keywords help in locating the answers in the given passage. It is very crucial that aspirants develop the ‘Keyword technique’ to ace their IELTS Reading module with a high band score. For that, they need to practise regularly.
Consider following these simple steps while preparing for the IELTS Reading tests:
- Read the question carefully.
- Make a mental note of keyword synonyms from the question
- Skim and scan the given passage
- Underline the keywords (nouns, verbs and adjectives)
- Locate the keywords or keyword synonyms in the passage (look for synonyms and paraphrasing).
- Read the sentences next to the keywords several times.
- Go back to the question, and compare it with the relevant part of the passage.
- You will not find any identical words easily in the question and the passage. So, do not waste time finding the same words. Instead, look for synonyms.
- Decide on the answer and write it on the answer sheet.
Keywords are essential to finding the answers. But be careful as some keywords may be paraphrased. Always remember that matching keywords or keywords technique would help you to locate the answers in the passage. But in the end, it’s all about understanding what you’re reading and comparing without which the answers may go wrong. Thus, you will definitely improve your IELTS Reading score if you have a good vocabulary.
Check the example below to know the use of keywords.
|B. In discussing whether we are alone, most SETI scientists adopt two ground rules. First. UFOs [Unidentified Flying objects] are generally ignored since most scientists don`t consider the evidence for them to be strong enough to bear serious consideration (although it is also important to keep an open mind in case any really convincing evidence emerges in the future). Second, we make a very conservative assumption that we are looking for a life form that is pretty well like us, since if it differs radically from us we may well not recognize it as e life form, quite apart from whatever we are able to communicate with it. In other words, the life form we are looking for may well have two green heads and seven fingers, but it will nevertheless resemble us in that it should communicate with its fellows. Be interested in the Universe, Live on a planet orbiting a star like our Sun, and perhaps most restrictively have chemistry, like us, based on carbon and water.
C. Even when we make these assumptions. our understanding of other life forms is still severely limited. We do not even know. for example, how many stars have planets, and we certainly do not know how likely it is that life will arise naturally, given the right conditions. However, when we look at the 100 billion stars in our galaxy [the Milky Way], and 100 billion galaxies. In the observable Universe, It seems inconceivable that at least one of these planets does not have a life form on it; in fact, the best educated guess we can make using the little that we do know about the conditions for carbon-based life, leads us to estimate that perhaps one in 100,000 stars might have a life-bearing planet orbiting it. That means that our nearest neighbors are perhaps 1000 light years away. which is almost next door in astronomical terms.
D. An alien civilization could choose many different ways of sending information across the galaxy, but many of these either require too much energy. or else are severely attenuated while traversing the vast distances across the galaxy. lt bums out that. for a given amount of transmitted power: radio waves in the frequency range 1000 to 3000 MHz travel the greatest distance. and so all searches to date have concentrated on looking for radio waves in this frequency range. So far there have been a number of searches by various groups around the world, including Australian searches using the radio telescope at Parkes, New South Wales. Until now there have not been any detections from the few hundred stars which have been searched. The scale of the searches has been increased dramatically since 1992, when the US Congress voted NASA $10 million per year for ten years to conduct a thorough search for extra-terrestrial life. Much of the money in this project is being spent on developing the special hardware needed to search many frequencies et once. The project has two parts. One part is a targeted search using the world’s largest radio telescopes. The American-operated telescope in Arecibo. Puerto Rico and the French telescope in Nancy in France. This part of the project is searching the nearest 1000 likely stars with high sensibility for signals in the frequency range 1000 to 3000 MHz. The other part of the project is an undirected search which is monitoring all of space with a lower using the smaller antennas of NASA`s Deep Space Network
Reading Passage 2 has ﬁve paragraphs, A-E. Choose the correct heading for paragraphs B-E from the headings below.
Write the correct number: i-vii, in boxes 14—17 on your answer sheet.
List of Headings
|i. Seeking the transmission of radio signals from planets
ii. Appropriate responses to signals from other civilizations
iii. Vast distances to Earth’s closest neighbors
iv. Assumptions underlying the search for extra-terrestrial intelligence
v. Reasons for the search for extra-terrestrial intelligence
vi. Knowledge of extra-terrestrial life forms
vii. Likelihood of life on other planets
|Example: Paragraph A Answer: v|
- Paragraph B
- Paragraph C
- Paragraph D
|Question Number||Answer||Keywords||Keyword Location|
|14.||iv||Distances, Earth’s neighbours||Paragraph B|
|15.||vii||Likelihood, life on other planets||Paragraph C|
|16.||i||Seeking the transmission, radio signals from planets||Paragraph D|