What Are The Different Types Of IELTS Reading Matching Questions?

The IELTS reading test tests your reading comprehension skills. Students have to answer questions based on different reading passages that range from academic to general life skill topics. The types of question asked also vary, and there are around 12 different kinds of questions that you can be asked in the IELTS reading exam. These range from multiple choice to fill in the blanks. In this article, I’ve provided you with some useful free IELTS preparation tips that deal with the tricky reading test matching question types. Students from Singapore often struggle with questions that involve any sort of matching. We will take an in-depth look at why these questions are considered problematic and look at different ways in which these questions can be solved.

There are 4 types of matching questions that appear in the IELTS exam. They include:

  1. Matching headings
  2. Matching features
  3. Matching sentence endings
  4. Matching information

Matching Headings

The IELTS reading Matching headings question requires choosing headings that match the gist of the given paragraphs. (basically, each heading summarizes a paragraph within the text). Before you actually look at the question you should first skim through the text to get the general understanding of the text. Once this is done, you can look at the headings. The headings always match the main ideas of a paragraph, but they are paraphrased meaning that they may not contain the same words as the passage.

This question is often labelled as one of the toughest questions in the IELTS reading exam because test takers have to be able to find the main idea of the paragraph. There are usually more headings than actual paragraphs which means that sometimes more than one heading seems to match a paragraph. This is because Some of the headings are distracters, having a similar meaning to the actual answer. These distractor headings might even be an actual part of a paragraph but are not the main idea of that paragraph. They could represent supporting ideas or examples.

Sample Question:

Matching Endings

This a question type in which we are given incomplete sentences along with options for suitable endings. Both the sentence beginning and ending options are paraphrased, meaning that they will not appear in exactly the same way in the text.

Students struggle with this question because there are usually more options than sentences. these incorrect options are meant simply to confuse students. These options are often worded very similarly to the text with a few minor differences. When you do that match an ending to a sentence beginning, make sure that the resulting sentence should be grammatically correct.

Often students try to bypass actually going through the text by just searching for options that fit and form a complete sentence that makes sense when joined together, The IELTS Examiner have already taken this into consideration and they add options that fit grammatically but are actually incorrect.

Sample Question:

Matching Features

In this question, you will be given a list of options in mixed order and you will have to match features of two different but somehow connected lists. These features are often a list of options (a job, a name, a location, a city, etc.) or a collection of statements (facts, opinions or even theories). Unlike the matching headings questions, the answers for this question do not match to the main headings of a paragraph. The answers can come from anywhere in a paragraph and they will often be paraphrased in some way or form.

An option may match more than once and that does not necessarily mean you have made a mistake.

Sample Question:

Matching Information

In this question, you will be given a list of options in mixed order and you will have to match each option with a corresponding part of the passage. Unlike the matching headings questions, the answers for this question do not match to the main headings of a paragraph. They can come from anywhere in a paragraph. We have to decide which of these options only fits the sentence grammatically.

A paragraph may match more than once and that does not necessarily mean you have made a mistake.

Sample Question:

Hopefully, now that you have a better idea about what each IELTS reading matching question involves, you will be pes of able to answer these types of questions more confidently.

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