Understanding the reading section will go a long way towards getting those extra marks that you need to increase your band. Here are some tips that can help you to do just that.
Practice the skills of skimming and scanning
The questions do not test your ability to comprehend large chunks of text. They focus on these two skills.
Scanning: This is where you search the text for particular information. Just as you would look for your stop on a bus timetable or search for your name on a register. You know the information you are looking for.
Skimming: This is where you quickly read through a passage to get the gist of what it is about, just as you would when you read through articles in newspapers, magazines and websites.
The answers to the questions will generally appear in order in the text. So, you should find the answer to number 4 after the answer to number 3. This means that you can do the following:
First, read the questions to get an idea of what you are looking for.
Then, scan the passage to find information. Underline any dates, numbers, reasons, names etc.
Now read question 1 again, scan to find the answer, then question 2, scan to find the answer.
If you cannot find the answer to question 4, read question 5 and start scanning from where you found the answer to question 3. When you find the answer to question 5, you can narrow down your hunt for answer 4.
Do not spend too long looking for an answer; you can always come back to it later.
Finally, I cannot stress the importance of reading the instructions enough. Don’t lose marks because you wrote 4 words instead of 3 or because you wrote true instead of yes.
Best of luck!