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Everything IELTS Academic - A Comprehensive Guide to IELTS Academic

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  1. Paraphrasing Technique

    Paraphrasing Technique - Two Methods to Paraphrase a Sentence
    1 Quiz
  2. Reading
    Part 1: Everything IELTS Academic Reading
    3 Topics
  3. Part 2: Text Types in IELTS Academic Reading
    3 Topics
  4. Part 2: Questions Forms and Reading Rules
    2 Topics
  5. Part 4: Types of questions and Strategies
    9 Topics
  6. Part 5: Common Mistakes
    2 Topics
  7. Part 6: IELTS Academic Reading Practice Tests
  8. Listening
    Part 1: Everything IELTS Listening
    4 Topics
    1 Quiz
  9. Part 2: Detailing Questions
    3 Topics
    5 Quizzes
  10. Part 3: Summary Questions
    4 Topics
    4 Quizzes
  11. Part 4: Common Mistakes
    4 Topics
  12. Part 5: IELTS Listening Practice Tests
    10 Quizzes
  13. Writing
    Part 1: IELTS Academic Writing Task 1 - Reports
    15 Topics
  14. Part 2: IELTS Writing Task 2 - Essay
    16 Topics
    18 Quizzes
  15. Part 3: Two-task Practice Tests
    6 Quizzes
  16. Speaking
    Part 1: Introduction to IELTS Speaking
    3 Topics
  17. Part 2: A good IELTS Speaking Performance
    2 Topics
  18. Part 3: Common Mistakes in IELTS Speaking
  19. Part 4: IELTS Speaking Practice Tests
    7 Quizzes
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The trick and the mistakes

This is a situation in which the same words appear in both the question and the text, yet the information provided in that text section is either untrue or irrelevant. This trick may be found in all types of questions and is widely used to redirect your attention to the wrong area of the text. It will waste your reading time and confuse you, negatively impacting your time management. 

People who rely solely on the ‘skim and scan’ technique, in which they only seek for the exact words, are prone to making mistakes.

Example: Idli: Steamed rice cakes with lentils, 2023.

Step 1

Wash the urad dal thoroughly till the water runs clear. Soak in 2 cups of water for 2-3 hours, until the dal can easily be crushed between your thumb and finger.

Step 2

Drain the soaked dal, transfer to a blender or food processor and grind with 2-3 tbsp of water to make a smooth paste. If it sticks, add a little more water, spoon by spoon. Transfer to a large bowl, cover, and leave in a warm place to ferment for at least 8 hours or overnight so that the paste doubles in volume.

Step 3

Wash the idli rava thoroughly until the water runs clear. Soak it in 4 cups of water in a large bowl for at least 8 hours over overnight. In the morning (or after 8 hours), drain the idli rava completely, making sure to squeeze out as much water as possible. Add the drained idli rava to the fermented dal paste. Add the salt and mix thoroughly with a whisk to form a thick batter; ideally it should be thicker than pancake batter. 

Step 4

Fill the idli steamer with about 4cm (1 ½ inches) of water and bring to a simmer. Grease the idli moulds, preferably with a neutral oil. Stir the fermented batter briskly and ladle it into the moulds till just below the brim. Repeat for each idli steamer plate, then slide the plates onto the stand and place the stand in the steamer. Close the lid and steam the idli for 12-15 minutes, depending on size. The idlis are done when a knife inserted into the centre comes out clean.

Alternatively, if you are using a pressure cooker, fill the cooker with 4-5 cm (2 in) of water. Grease thick, heatproof cups (about 125ml or ½ cup), preferably with a neutral oil. Stir the batter briskly and ladle into the cups about ¾ full. Place in the pressure cooker, close the lid and steam 12-15 minutes, until a knife inserted in the centre of an idli comes out clean.

Step 5

Remove the stand from the steamer (or remove the cups from the pressure cooker) and wait for two minutes before scooping out the idlis with an idli spoon or a flat spoon. Serve with coconut chutney and sambar.

Question True/False/Not Given

The dal must be crushed by hands.

Answer: Not given.

The word “crush” is mentioned in the first paragraph, but it is a distraction. There is no information in the entire text that says, “the dal MUST be crushed by hands”. However, if you focus on looking for the same word (“crush”), you will come across the part “the dal can easily be crushed between your thumb and finger”, and it may either confuse you or lead to a wrong answer (‘True’). 

Avoid the mistakes

The root of these mistakes is the “obsession” with the same words and complete dependence on “skimming and scanning”. “Skimming and scanning” is useful in some cases and not very useful in other cases. It depends on the type of questions you are dealing with.

To avoid the mistakes, you should:

  • Get used to understanding the meaning instead of focusing on words.
  • Pay more attention to the step-by-step strategies.