Should I read the passage first or the questions?

IELTS Reading Query: Which should I read first, Passage or the questions?

Many students struggle to find the correct combination that suits them. How should they go about answering IELTS reading questions?

My response to this question is that it really depends on your skills and your problems with English language.

Should I read the passage first or the questions?

Which should I read first: questions or the passage?


If time is not an issue and if you can read the passage very quickly, then perhaps you should go for the reading passage first. That way you will be more familiar with the passage and after that if you read the question, you will easily locate them in the passage. However, this technique requires some practice and you should be very quick in reading English text. Here, you’re reading the text twice. This is very effective as it better guarantees of your answering the question correctly. On the other hand, it consumes a lot of time so it is suggested only for strong readers.

If reading speed is your problem, then you should first read the questions. That way you will be aware of the questions and as you go through passage, you will be able to find them easily. However, sometimes there is a possibility that you may miss some answers due to lack of understanding and because you’re rushing through the text.

You could try one thing and that would give you an optimum solution. Personally, I feel that students should try every possible method and select the one that suits them. None of the method is perfect. The one that you feel comfortable with is the best method for you.

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