The 10 types of IELTS reading questions

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In this tutorial we cover:

The 10 types of IELTS reading task questions
How to tackle  “features matching” questions.
Why you shouldn’t read every word of the text...
A handful of test busting tips for solid exam preparation.
An important tip to help you avoid sneaky examiner tricks (negative sentences).

Question Types

1) Multiple choice questions

These are types of questions that requires you to pick the correct answer from the given choices which are in capital letters of ABC and D. This type of questions tests your ability to understand detailed and specific information.

2) Information identification questions

These are types of questions that requires you to identify whether the given information is either true false or it’s not given. This type of question tests your ability to clearly understand what the text is talking about.

3) Information matching

These types of questions requires you to find a specific information and placing them where they fit to be. You need to have clearly understood the text and be able to understand every paragraph and what information it contains.

4) Head Matching

These questions requires you to pick a heading from the given headings and place each of them to the paragraphs. Mainly, if you have clearly understood the given text, you’ll be able to make a heading out of every paragraph.

5) Sentence completion

In this type of question, you will find an incomplete sentence. You are supposed to complete it with words taken from the text. You therefore need to quickly map the incomplete text to a particular location in the text for you to find the correct answer.

6) Summary completion

A summary part of the text will be given to you. You are required to complete it by picking words from the text with a given maximum number of words to complete it.

7) Features matching

These are types of questions that that requires you to find a specific information about given features and match it. For example you can be given different people who discovered different things at different times. You are now required to match who discovered what at what time. You therefore need to be very keen when matching.

8) Matching sentence endings

This is a very simple question. Part of a sentence is picked from a line in the text. What you need to do here is to just locate where it has been taken from and complete the sentence and there you have your have your correct answer!

9) Short answer questions

You have to be extra careful here! This is a question that expects you to answer the question from the given facts in the text. Moreover you need to check the number of words because you are limited. A maximum number of words is always given.

10) Matching information

You just need not to get this question wrong. All that is required of you here is to find some given information and place them where they fit.

Having highlighted the kind of questions you would expect in an IELTS reading task exam,try these few tips and expect exemplary performance!

Your preparation

i) Read many articles

A week or two prior to the exam, ensure that you read as many articles as you can. This will give a certain kind of experience and confidence for that matter. This is the most important tip here. You can’t just wake up someday and go hit a band score of 8.0 in IELTS reading task module without reading practice.

ii) Skimming

This is a IELTS reading task technique that allows you to read through a given text very fast and within the shortest time possible while identifying main ideas of the given text. This technique will help you save on time and will also allow you to have an idea of what the text is all about within the first reading.

iii) Scanning

This is a technique where you read through every line very quickly looking for a specific word or phrase.

It comes in handy when you are looking for a one word answer. It’s quite different from scanning because the latter doesn’t require you to find any specific word or phrase.

iv) Use Keywords

This is self‐explanatory. Reading a text without identifying the keywords is a suicide mission! Don’t try it.

Ensure that you mark some of the keywords as they will be helpful when time for answering questions come .You wouldn’t need more time to scan through the text again.

v) Title

The title of the text that you are reading will tell you what the text is all about. First read the title. It will give you an idea of the content of the text so you’ll have an ample time comprehending since you already have an idea of what you are reading.

vi) Time management

This is very key! The IELTS reading task module is 60 minutes long and there are three questions for you to answer.

Do NOT share time equally so that you allocate each question twenty minutes. The IELTS standard works with an increasing difficulty that means the last question difficulty level will be higher than the last two so make sure that you’ll have close to thirty minutes for the last question.

vii) Check grammar

Be extra careful with the grammar at the beginning of the questions. More so the negatives because they totally change the question and if you are not careful enough you may end up answering oppositely with all your gathered confidence. Every beginning of a sentence is very important.

viii) Do not read the whole text.

Yes! You heard me right. Time is of essence here. There will never be enough time to read through all the text. There are parts of that text that you will never find any question rising from so no need to read. Just remember that your job is to look for the right answers not reading everything.

ix) If you can’t find an answer of the current question, leave it pending and proceed.

The trick here is moving from the known to the unknown so just mark it maybe with a big star and move on to answer another question but always remember that you have unanswered question. Once you have finished writing your answers then go back for it.

x) It is very tragic to answer all the questions in the question paper and get caught up by time before transferring it to the answer sheet.

I would strongly recommend that after answering every question, just flip over to your answer sheet and write your answer.

xi) There are those questions that dictate the number of words.

Ensure that you abide by the rules. Count your words one by one and remember that a vowel in a sentence e.g. “a” is also counted as a word.

xii) Spelling mistakes will always count.

Try as much as possible to check on your spelling when you are writing short answers and if you get time after answering all the questions then check once again in case you made any spelling error.

xiii) There are those questions that you are required to complete the sentence.

Make sure that you put all your attention on the meaning of the sentence not just throwing any word to fit in. You need to do well in this exam remember.

xiv) There is something called intelligent guessing.

At times you’ll be given difficult words in the passage that you may have no clue at all. What should help you make a correct guess is the context in which the word has been used. Certainly this difficult word will always be related to the topic of the given text.

xv) At times the unfortunate happens.

I am talking of elapsed time and you haven’t finished up. If you have a multiple choice question left guess! There is always a 25% chance that you’ll get a correct answer in a question of ABC and D multiple choice answer.

Have a listen below, then let me know your thoughts.


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