The Different Types of Questions in the IELTS Reading Component
Lectures and exercises in the IELTS review center in Manila equip students with knowledge and skills that they need to surpass the different sections of the aptitude exam: reading, writing, listening and speaking. Meanwhile, some students who have taken IELTS review mock tests find the reading component the most difficult. To help you prepare for the IELTS, here are the different types of questions used in the reading section.
1. Multiple choices
This type measures the student’s detailed understanding of particular and major key points. Problems involve completing a sentence or answering questions by picking the best answer from the options. Some items require two answers, so you need to read the instructions carefully.
2. Identifying information
There are several statements in which you will have to decide if they match the information in the passage. Choices are true, false and not given.
For this task, it is important to know the difference between false and not given. False means the passage states the opposite of the statement, and not given implies that the statement neither confirms nor contradicts the information.
3. Identifying writer’s views/claims
Several statements are presented in this section. You need to determine if these statements agree with the views/claims of the author by stating yes, no or not given.
No means that the statements explicitly disagree with the claims. On the other hand, not given implies that the claims are neither confirmed nor contradicted.
4. Matching information
You will be asked to locate specific information such as an example, a reason or a description in the paragraph/text. The key is to practice skimming and scanning to find the data quickly.
5. Matching headings
For this type, a list of headings that refer to the main idea is given. You need to match the heading to the correct paragraph. Make sure that you clearly identify the main idea because some headings have similar meanings, which can lead to confusion.
6. Matching features
This task tests your ability to categorize information. It requires matching different items with their features (e.g., matching different characteristics to age groups).
7. Matching sentence endings
The first part of the sentence is presented in this task. You need to choose the answer that fully expresses the complete thought. Note that the best ending should be grammatically correct.
8. Sentence completion
You need to fill out sentences using only the given number of words. If you fail to follow the instruction, you will lose a mark. One technique is to identify the word needed to fill each gap (noun/verb/adverb) and locate the information in the passage to select the right answer.
9. Summary, note, table, flowchart completion
You will be asked to complete a summary, note, table or flowchart using the information in the paragraph. Again, you need to read and strictly follow the instruction to avoid losing a mark.
10. Diagram label completion
For this task, you need to complete labels on a diagram that are related to the paragraph description. Failure to meet the word limit is equivalent to a deduction.
11. Short-answer questions
You need to answer questions based on factual details. This type also has word restrictions so make sure that you follow the directions. Note also that numbers can be written in words or figures. Furthermore, hyphenated words count as one.
Understanding the demands of each component is an advantage in taking the IELTS exam. Master these types of questions and read the instructions carefully. Doing so can increase your chances of attaining your desired band score.
- " IELTS Exam Format.” IELTS™. Accessed February 16, 2017. https://www.ielts.org/about-the-test/test-format-in-detail.
- "IELTS Reading Question Types: Information & Tips." IELTS Liz. Accessed February 16, 2017. http://ieltsliz.com/ielts-reading-question-types/.
- "IELTS Simon The 10 Types of Reading Questions." IELTS Podcast. August 03, 2015. Accessed February 16, 2017. http://www.ieltspodcast.com/reading/092-ielts-simon-the-10-types-of-reading-questions/.
- Elias, Maurice J. "The Importance of Asking Questions to Promote Higher-Order Competencies." Edutopia. July 08, 2014. Accessed February 17, 2017. https://www.edutopia.org/blog/importance-asking-questions-promote-higher-order-competencies-maurice-elias.