IELTS Academic Reading Matching Headings

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IELTS Academic Reading Matching headings is one of the important question types in the reading section. In this task, you are required to match the headings (i, ii, iii,..) to the appropriate paragraphs (A, B, C,..). Chosen heading must convey the central theme of the paragraph.  It may sound easier, but to excel in this task, you need some specific skills to answer these questions  or else the extra information or specific details in the paragraph may mislead you. 

In the matching headings, you will be given paragraphs with clearly identified themes and a list of headings. You can approach this question type in two different ways: Read the passage, understand it and match it with the suitable heading (or) Read the headings, underline the keywords and identify the suitable paragraph with the help of keywords.

In this article, we are going to discuss the IELTS Academic Reading Matching Heading. As this being one of the important IELTS academic reading question types, having a clear knowledge about the question is necessary. There are tips and exercises, that will help you to perform well in this question type and to attain a high score in IELTS Academic Reading section.

IELTS Academic Reading Matching Headings - Tips & Strategies to Solve 

Following 14 IELTS academic reading matching headings tips and strategies is designed by the topmost IELTS experts. These expert-proven tips prepare you to solve the IELTS academic reading matching headings effectively and they are as follows.

  1. Do not pick up a heading only because it has one or more words from the paragraph. This may lead to a wrong answer. Look for the gist.
  2. A major detail in the paragraph can also be the heading but only in the absence of the central idea.
  3. Generally, the first sentence of the paragraph introduces the main idea, but selecting the heading by focusing only on the first sentence could be a mistake.
  4.  Sometimes, the first sentence refers to the previous paragraph.
    Look for signpost words in the paragraph - Such as, However, Although, Additionally, So, etc. These words indicate the progress of the paragraph. For example, ‘However’ indicates a shift in the focus of the paragraph to a contrasting idea.
  5. Read the first and last sentence of the paragraph to understand what the paragraph is actually about. And, skim through the middle of the paragraph in order to assure your understanding of the paragraph. 
  6. If two headings seem to be correct, reread the paragraph to select the most suitable one.
  7. The goal is to understand the paragraph as a whole. Don’t baffle your mind for each and every single word. It consumes your time.
  8. Focus on understanding the main idea of the paragraph instead of looking for the heading related words. Grasping the main idea is crucial to identify the corresponding headings
  9. As there are extra headings provided in the question, first try sorting out the extra heading and then proceed with the matching. 
  10. Remember, there is only one matching heading available for every paragraph. 
  11. If you’re not confident with the answer that you’ve chosen, move on to the next question. You can always come back to the question that you didn’t answer. It prevents you from wasting time and mental exhaustion.
  12. Paraphrasing helps you to understand the precise meaning of the heading. By identifying the gist of it, you can relate it with paragraphs main ideas that you’ve found by reading.
  13. Use the Summarization technique. The practice of writing passages into your own words will help you to understand the main idea of the passage. It helps you to guess the accurate heading to the passage.
  14. After you choose the heading, cross it out on the test booklet. Or, it will confuse you in the process of choosing the headings. 

We hope that the above-mentioned IELTS academic reading matching headings tips and strategies will help you to achieve an 8+ band score in the IELTS Reading test.

Also read: IELTS academic reading tips

Challenges faced while answering the Matching Headings Question 

  • There will be more headings than what is required. Hence, it may be difficult to narrow down the correct heading.
  • There could be similarities in headings.
  • It could consume your time  as you need to distinguish the main idea from the extra information in the paragraph.
  • There will be a possibility that you could confuse the main idea of the paragraph with the specific details in the paragraph.

Skills required to answer Matching Headings Question 

  • Time-Management
  • Comprehension Skill
  • Knowledge of Synonyms and the Paraphrasing skill.
  • Attentiveness and Patience

Matching Headings Skill Building Exercise 1

Questions 1 - 6

The reading passage has six paragraphs, A-F.

Choose the correct heading for each paragraph from the list of headings below.

Write the correct number, i-x, as your answer to each question.

List of Headings IELTS Reading Practice

Note: Please find list of heading IELS reading practice (i,ii,iii,..) to match with the approriate paragraph (A, B, C...) given below. 

  • Lamaism (i)
  • First account of almases (ii)
  • Missing link (iii )
  • Lost evidence (iv)
  • Borrowed tales from Tibet? (v)
  • Living in Mongolia (vi)
  • Possible ancestors of humans (vii)
  • Funding expeditions (viii)
  • New discoveries support a theory (ix)
  • Mysterious mountain men (x)
  1. Paragraph A
  2. Paragraph B
  3. Paragraph C
  4. Paragraph D
  5. Paragraph E
  6. Paragraph F

Almas: The Mongolian Man-Beast

A. Mongolia usually evokes images of nomadic herdsmen riding across vast grasslands, but along the western border with Russia, the Altai Mountains stretch for over a thousand kilometres, their permanently ice-capped peaks rising above 4000 mE=s From these mountains have long come reports of a mysterious human-like creature called an almas. Sightings have become increasingly rare over the past hundred years but according to old accounts, almas are described as being similar in height to that of modern Mongolians, hairy, having massive jaws, receding chins and prominent eyebrow ridges. They are thought to be mainly nocturnal, are unaggressive and usually avoid contact with humans.

B. The earliest description of an almas appears in the memoirs of a Bavarian noblema Hans Schiltberger, who was taken prisoner by the Turks in the early 1400s SAT general training in Bardoli and sent eastward to serve a Mongol prince. "In the mountains live wild people who have nothing in common with other human beings. A pelit covers the entire body of these creatures. Only the hands and face are free of hair" Giving his seemingly incredible account some credibility is the fact that he also mentions the Przewais horse (Equus ferus przewalskii), the last remaining wild species of horse which was unknown in Europe until centuries later.

C. A few scientists such as Myra Shackley, however, have suggested that the almas is (or at least was) a real creature, and that it could be a remnant population of hominids either homo erectus or Neanderthals. Neanderthals - mankind's closest cousins - lived in Central Asia, the Middle East and Europe, and are thought to have died out 25000- 30000 years ago. Over the decades there has been the occasional "find" (hair, skull droppings) but tests have shown them to be either of human origin or from known Animals.

D. Many accounts of almases seem to be tied up with Mongolia's pre-communist
Buddhism. In 1837 a pilgrim called Luvsandonoi (Mongolians typically use just a single name) found the body of a dead male almas in the Gobi Desert. He reportedly gave the skin, head, and limbs to the Galbyn Ulaan Sahius monastery. Lamas stuffed the skin. The stuffed almas was said to be hairy but with some human-like features. There are various other descriptions of monasteries with almas artefacts, even one with a complete stuffed almas. Unfortunately, communist purges in the 1930s led to the destruction of all but one of the country's more than 500 monasteries, and these artefacts were destroyed or disappeared. An interesting re-occurring element of almas stories is the use of bile (a digestive juice produced by the liver) from the gallbladder as a medicine. It was highly prized and used by lama doctors to treat a variety of disorders. Interestingly, bile from the gall bladder of black bears has long has long been used in traditional Chinese medicine.

E. One possible explanation for the almas is that it is folklore imported alongside Tibetan Buddhism from the Himalayas. From medieval times until the early twentieth   century, Buddhism dominated religious, cultural and educational lite in Mongolia. There were important ties with Tibet, and it was not uncommon for the religious leaders and devout followers to make the pilgrimage to the holy city of Lhasa where they would have heard the tales of the yetis, and seen various supposed yeti artefacts in monasteries. Currently, the weight of scientific opinion is that the Yeti is a mythical creature born of a combination of bear sightings and folklore. 

F. Two recent scientific bombshells give the remnant hominid theory a boost, First, the discovery of a new human species Homo floresiensis (nicknamed the Hobbit) and the  startling fact that it occupied the Indonesian island of Flores until perhaps as recently as 12,000 years ago. Even more relevant to the almas mystery is the 2008 discovery of a female finger bone in a cave in the Siberian section of the Altai Mountains. An international team of scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany have worked on the mitochondrial DNA from the finger bone. They announced in 2010 that it was from a previously unknown hominid species that lived in the Altai Mountains about 35,000 years ago.

(Hope you have correctly matched the headings with correct paragraphs in this given list of headings IELTS reading practice. )

 Check answer for this exercise

Check more IELTS academic reading matching headings exercise with answer

Matching Headings Skill Building Exercise 2

Questions 1 - 6

The reading passage has six paragraphs, A-F.

Choose the correct heading for paragraphs, A-F, from the list below.

Write the correct number, i-ix, as your answer to each question.

List of Headings

  • i Bills of exchange precede paper money
  • ii The English Civil War
  • iii Advent of the Gold standard
  • iv The Knights Templar
  • v Recurrence of paper currency
  • vi Goldsmiths in the role of bankers
  • vii Scarcity of copper coins
  • viii Virginian money
  • ix ‘Intangible’ money
  1. Paragraph A
  2. Paragraph B
  3. Paragraph C
  4. Paragraph D
  5. Paragraph E
  6. Paragraph F

Money

A. In China, the issue of paper money became common from about 960 but there had been occasional issues long before that. A motive for one such early issue, in the reign of Emperor Hien Tsung 806-821, was a shortage of copper for making coins. A drain of currency from China, partly to buy off potential invaders from the north greater reliance on paper money with the result that by 1020 the quantity issued was excessive, causing inflation. In subsequent centuries there were several episodes of hyperinflation, and after about 1455, after well over 500 years of using paper money, China abandoned it.

B. With the revival of banking in western Europe, stimulated by the Crusades, written instructions in the form of bills of exchange came to be used as a means of transferring large sums of money, and the Knights Templar and Hospitallers functioned as bankers. It is possible that the Arabs may have used bills of exchange at a much earlier date, perhaps as early as the eighth century. The use of paper as currency came much later.

C. During the English Civil War, 1642-1651, goldsmiths' safes were secure places for the deposit of jewels, bullion and coins. Instructions to goldsmiths to pay money to another customer subsequently developed into the cheque. Similarly, goldsmiths’ receipts were used not only for withdrawing deposits but also as evidence of ability to pay and by about 1660 these had developed into banknotes.

D. In England's American colonies a chronic shortage of official coins led to various substitutes being used as money, including, in Virginia, tobacco, leading to the development of paper money by a different route. Tobacco leaves have drawback as currency, and consequently, certificates attesting to the quality and quantity of tobacco deposited in public warehouses came to be used as money and in 1727 were made legal tender.

E. Although paper money obviously had no intrinsic value, its acceptability originally depended on its being backed by some commodity, normally precious metals. During the Napoleonic Wars convertibility of Bank of England notes was suspended and there was some inflation which, although quite mild compared to that which had occurred in other wars, was worrying to contemporary observers who were used to stable prices and, in accordance with the recommendations of an official enquiry, Britain adopted the gold standard for the pound in 1816. 

F. The break with precious metals helped to make money a more elusive entity. Another trend in the same direction was the growing interest in forms of electronic money from the 1990s onwards. In some ways, e-money is a logical evolution from the wire transfers that came about with the widespread adoption of the telegraph in the 19th century, but such transfers had relatively little impact on the everyday shopper. 

Check answer for this exercise

Attempt this free IELTS academic reading matching headings mock test 

Matching Headings Skill Building Exercise 3

Questions 1-6

The reading passage has six paragraphs, A-F.

Choose the correct heading for each paragraph from the list of headings below.

Write the correct number, i-ix, as your answer to each question

List of Headings

  •  i Difference in social status discourages helpful behaviour
  •  ii A gruesome act
  •  iii An impact of presence of others
  •  iv Becoming emotionless is a convenience
  •  v An inhuman response
  • vi Beautiful and affluent are valued more
  • vii Shouldering off accountability
  • viii One inaction leads to another
  • ix Hesitating to help
  1. Paragraph A
  2. Paragraph B
  3. Paragraph C
  4. Paragraph D
  5. Paragraph E
  6. Paragraph F

ARE WE BECOMING MORE INDIFFERENT?

A. A noticeably shameful attribute of society in recent times is the Bystander effect, where the general public blatantly ignores a person who may be a victim of a road accident or in some kind of need. Bystanders do not only remain indifferent to the condition of the victim, but in a grotesque example of apathy, they also go to the extent of capturing the event in a video to share on social media or even click a selfie with the victim in the background. 

B. Why are people so unemotional? Simply put, this happens when a person feels discouraged to get involved in an emergency, especially in the presence of others. It is called the Bystander Effect. The concept of the Bystander Effect was popularized by social psychologists John Darley and Bibb Latane after the murder of Kitty Genovese in New York City in 1964. Bystanders outside Genovese’s apartment watched while she was stabbed to death, neither trying to stop the crime nor calling the police for assistance. According to Darley and Latane, there is a perceived diffusion of accountability and social influence that leads to the Bystander effect. Onlookers, they believe, are more likely to help if there are fewer witnesses present.

 C. Another example of increasing apathy is the video of an unkempt man in a dirty coat walking with the aid of crutches and struggling. Ignored by onlookers as he tried to get up, he was eventually brought back to his feet by a homeless man. Helping the downtrodden is perceived as damaging to our social standing in society. Conclusions drawn by a research published by the International Ombudsman Association, an individual's hesitation in coming to the aid of the less fortunate is the fear of social consequences or the stigma of being associated with a person in distress.

D. The larger question about the culture of indifference has a lot to do with the bystander behaviour, says Wesley Perkins, a sociology professor at Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva, NY. The Bystander phenomenon is generated by the perception that other people are not doing anything about it. Therefore I shouldn't either. However, when these events come to the knowledge of the public, 'people think everybody is mean and cruel-hearted and doesn't care" Perkins says. 'But much of the Bystander phenomenon happens because people are looking on and thinking, if they don't see someone else coming to the person's aid, then the person must not be in trouble. Also, people are more likely to do the right thing when they notice the same behaviour being elicited by other individuals. It is only the real heroes who step out of a group to help.

E. Transferring responsibility is the most common response. Paul Rogat Loeb, lecturer on ethics and the author of Soul of a Citizen', speaks about his conversation with the factory workers who processed plutonium for nuclear weapons. Loeb asked, 'Do you think it is a good thing?' Promptly denying their responsibility, the factory workers disassociated themselves from the potentially horrific consequences of their actions. The prevalent attitude is that someone else will do what is needed. 'We hope people do the right thing. We hope someone takes care of the poor, says Loeb.

F. According to legendary Greek philosopher Aristotle, man is an inherently social animal. It would not be possible for us to survive without one another, not only because of the lack of sustenance but because we would probably go insane living alone. But looking at the society we live in today, it appears that humans have become apathetic not only towards the community and the environment but also towards fellow human beings. The Bystander effect is evident even on the internet, where users watch others get bullied or threatened. Unless the feelings of irrelevance that breed this apathy are addressed, people are going to find comfort in being apathetic as a tool of self-preservation.

Check answer for this exercise

Check more IELTS academic reading matching headings practice questions 

Answers For Skill Building Exercises 

Answers for Skill Building Exercise 1 - (Almas: The Mongolian Man-Beast) 

(Note: The text in italics is from the reading passage and shows the location from where the answer is taken or inferred. The text in the regular font explains the answer in detail.)

Paragraph A = x 

Explanation: From these mountains have long come reports of a mysterious human-like creature called an almas. Though Paragraph A mentions old accounts of almases, ii is not an answer because it does not specifically mention the first account.

Paragraph B = ii

Explanation: The earliest description of an almas appears in the memoirs of a Bavarian nobleman, Hans Schiltberger, who was taken prisoner by the Turks in the early 1400s and sent eastward to serve a Mongol Prince.

Paragraph C= vii

Explanation: A few scientists such as Myra Shackley, however, have suggested that the almas is (or at least “was”) a real creature, and that it could be a remnant population of hominids, either homo erectus or Neanderthals. Neanderthals - mankind’s closest cousins…

Paragraph D = iv 

Explanation: There are various other descriptions of monasteries with almas artefacts - even one with a complete stuffed almas. Unfortunately, communist purges in the 1930s led to the destruction of all but one of the countries more than 500 monasteries, and these artefacts were destroyed or disappeared.
 Paragraph D contains two details- one about alms artefacts in monasteries and the other about the use of bile juice as medicine. The first one is the dominating detail. So this forms the Heading.

Paragraph E = v 

Explanation: One possible explanation for the almas is that it is folklore imported alongside Tibetan Buddhism from the Himalayas.

Paragraph F = ix (h6)

Explanation: Two recent scientific bombshells give the remnant hominid theory a boost.

Answer for Skill Building Exercise 2 – (Money)

(Note: The text in italics is from the reading passage and shows the location from where the answer is taken or inferred. The text in the regular font explains the answer in detail.)

Paragraph A = v 

Explanation: Paragraph A mentions A motive for one such early issue, in the reign of Emperor Hien Tsung 806-821, was a shortage of copper for making coins. A drain of currency from China, partly to buy off potential invaders from the north greater reliance on paper money with the result that by 1020 the quantity issued was excessive, causing inflation.

Paragraph B= i 

Explanation: Paragraph B: …written instructions in the form of bills of exchange, came to be used as a means of transferring large sums of money… It is possible that the Arabs may have used bills of exchange at a much earlier date, perhaps as early as the eighth century. The use of paper as currency came much later.

Paragraph C = vi 

Explanation: Paragraph C states that goldsmiths provided services that are usually given by banks, i.e. depositing valuables in safe vaults and issuing cheques and banknotes. So they played the role of bankers.

Paragraph D = viii

Explanation: Paragraph D mentions substitutes for money and quotes an example of Virginia where tobacco was once used as a form of money.

Paragraph E = iii 

Explanation: Paragraph E states how Gold, a precious metal, became a standard for evaluating the pound, the British currency.

Paragraph F = ix 

Explanation: Paragraph F states about the rise of electronic money in the 1990s. As no physical money is being exchanged during e-money transfers, it can be called intangible.

Answer for Skill Building Exercise 3 - (Are We Becoming More Indifferent?)

(Note: The text in italics is from the reading passage and shows the location from where the answer is taken or inferred. The text in the regular font explains the answer in detail.)

Paragraph A = v 

Explanation: Paragraph A - A noticeably shameful attribute of society... ignores a person who may be a victim of a road accident or in some kind of need. Bystanders do not only remain indifferent to the condition of the victim, but in a grotesque example of apathy, they also go to the extent of capturing the event in a video to share on social media or even click a selfie with the victim in the background.

Paragraph B = iii

Explanation: Paragraph B - Simply put, this happens when a person feels discouraged to get involved in an emergency, in the presence of others. It is called the Bystander Effect.. Onlookers, they believe, are more likely to help if there are fewer witnesses present.

Paragraph C = i 

Explanation: Paragraph C - Helping the downtrodden is perceived as damaging to our social standing in society.. An individual's hesitation in coming to the aid of the less fortunate is the fear of social consequences or the stigma of being associated with a person in distress.

Paragraph D = viii 

Explanation: Paragraph D - The bystander phenomenon is generated by the perception that other people are not doing anything about it, therefore shouldn't either'.. much of the a bystander phenomenon happens because people are looking on and thinking, if they don't see someone else coming to the person's aid, then the person must not be in trouble.'

Paragraph E = vii

Explanation: Paragraph E - Transferring responsibility is the most common response.. The prevalent attitude is that someone else will do what is needed.

Paragraph F = iv 

Explanation: Paragraph F - But looking at the society we live in today, it appears that humans have become apathetic not only towards the community and the environment but also fellow human beings. Unless the feelings of irrelevance that breed this apathy are addressed, people are going to find comfort in being apathetic as a tool of self-preservation.

Also check IELTS academic reading Locating Information

Click the following link to practice matching headings with other question types to improve your reading skills and check the answers for feedback:

Conclusion 

We hope these tips and strategies could increase your capability of answering IELTS academic reading matching headings even if you face the complex questions. You can save this article for future use and share it with your friends if you find it useful.

 

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Kanan Intl EdTech Inc

Ph-1, 220, George Street, Toronto Ontario, Canada M5A 2N1

India Headquarters

Kanan International Pvt. Ltd.

D-wing, 2nd Floor, Trident Complex, Ellora Park Vadiwadi Road, Vadodara, Gujarat 390007

IT/ Digital Campus

Chennai Office

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