IELTS general reading question types

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The IELTS general test reading module comprises 3 sections with 40 questions. In the reading test, you will be reading the given passage and responding to the questions with answers taken from the reading passage. There are 13 IELTS general reading question types. The questions are framed in a way to assess your overall English reading ability. You will be given 60 minutes to complete the reading module of the IELTS test. 

The IELTS general reading passages will be taken from the notices, advertisements, flyers, newspaper, instruction manuals, books, magazines, etc. The passages will be based on your social survival, work life survival and general interest topics. The difficulty level of the passages will increase with each section. Thus a clear understanding of the IELTS general reading question types will help you in solving the reading section at ease. In this article we will cover everything about the question types, to guide you in your IELTS general reading preparation. 

How many types of questions are there in IELTS general reading?

There are a total of 13 IELTS general reading question types in the reading test. They are listed below for your reference. 

Also read: IELTS general reading tips

  1. Matching headings
  2. Locating information
  3. Summary completion
  4. True false not given
  5. Multiple choice questions
  6. Matching sentence endings
  7. Matching features
  8. Sentence completion
  9. Note completion
  10. Yes no not given
  11. Table completion
  12. Short answer questions
  13. Flow chart completion 

IELTS general reading matching headings question

In the IELTS general reading matching heading questions, you will be given a list of heading and will be asked to match the heading with the relevant paragraph from the reading session. As the headings represent the main theme of the paragraph, you have to look for the paragraph's meaning to find the correct answer. This question type is used when the paragraphs are given with clearly defined themes. 

The IELTS general reading matching heading consists of paragraphs or sections that are marked alphabetically and the headings list is marked with roman numerals. You have to write the respective roman numerals on the answer sheet. There may be passages that are not used for answering. Remember no two headings will be marked in the same paragraphs. Answering this question type is made simple if you have regular practice.   

Skill tested by matching heading question type

Your ability to identify the main theme or idea of the paragraph and distinguish the main gist from the supporting content is tested in the matching heading question types. 

Skills required to answer the matching heading question type

  • Main theme understanding
  • Identifying the main idea and the supporting idea
  • Time management
  • Comprehensive reading

Click to know more about the IELTS general reading matching heading question type.

IELTS general reading locating information question 

The IELTS general reading locating information question, required to match the given information with the specific details from the passage. Here you will be asked to locate informations like, 

  • Date
  • Persons
  • Example
  • Reason’
  • Description
  • Comparison 
  • Summary

The two or more information may be located in the same paragraph, thus the section or the paragraph can be used in the answer more than once. Some paragraphs may be present without any answer. This may consume your time while answering this question. Any type of text can be used for this question type. 

Skill tested by locating information question type

The locating information question type, assess your scanning skill and the ability to identify specific information from the passage. 

Skills required to answer the locating information question type 

  • Skimming 
  • Scanning
  • Synonym identification and paraphrasing skills


Click to know more about the IELTS general reading locating information question type.

IELTS general reading true false not given questions

In the IELTS general reading true false not given question type, you will be provided with statements and asked to verify whether the given statement agrees with the information in the reading passage. You have to answer whether it is true or false or not given, based on the statement given. If the statement matches the reading passage content, the answer will be true, if not the answer will be false. 

The challenge faced in answering the question type is getting confused between the false and not given option. False means the given statement does not agree with the reading passage and not given means, the information related to the statement is not found in the passage. The argumentative or discussion type of passage are used for this question type.

Skill tested by true false not given question type

This question type is used to check your understanding of the reading passage and the skill to recognize the information provided in the content. 

Skills required to answer the true false not given question type

  • Scanning
  • Specific information identification
  • Information understanding

Click to know more about the IELTS general reading true false not given question type.

IELTS general reading multiple choice questions

You will be given a sentence and asked to complete the sentence with the words given in the options. The IELTS general reading multiple choice questions are of three types. They are as follows, 

  • Choose one answer from the given 4 options
  • Choose two answer from the given 5 options
  • Choose three answers from the given 7 options. 

Here you will be reading the passage and choose the alternative that best suits the sentence grammatically as per the passage. The questions will be in the progressive order. Thus you will find the second answer after the first answer. Any kind of passage will be used for this question type.

Skill tested by multiple choice question type

Multiple choice questions evaluate your skill of identifying specific information and basic understanding of the passage. 

Skills required to answer the multiple choice question type

  • Process of elimination
  • Making an educated guess 
  • Attention to details
  • Keyword identification

Click to know more about the IELTS general reading multiple choice question type.

IELTS general reading summary completion questions

In this IELTS general reading summary completion question, you will be given the summary of any part or section of the passage and asked to complete the summary with the text from the passage. Here you will be asked to 

  • Fill the blank with the test from the passage or
  • Choose the test from the given alternatives.

You have to identify the type of answer required, i.e name or number or phrase and look for the details in the reading passage. Follow the instruction provided to find the word limit of the summary and fill the bank with the suitable words. The answer may not be in progressive order. Check for the sentence grammar before finalizing the answer. 

Skill tested by summary completion question type

The ability to understand the main idea of the content and fill the blanks with grammatically correct answers are the necessary skills tested using this question type. 

Skills required to answer the summary completion question type

  • Appropriate word selection
  • Scanning
  • Paraphrasing
  • grammatically correct sentence formation

Click to know more about the IELTS general reading summary completion question type.

IELTS general reading matching sentence endings questions

The IELTS general reading matching sentence ending question consists of two lists of sentences. The first list will contain the incomplete sentences based on the reading passage and the second list will be the ending sentence options. You have to read the passage, understand the sentence and pick the most suitable ending to complete the sentence.

It is to be noted that, there will be more ending options than the sentences, to confuse you while answering. The questions will be in the progressive order and thus it will be easy to find the answer. To solve this question at ease, you must enhance your overall reading skills. 

Skill tested by matching sentence endings question type

The skills tested in the matching sentence ending question type are your ability to look for details in a sentence and the overall understanding of the passage. 

Skills required to answer the matching sentence endings question type

  • Looking for specific details
  • Reading for information
  • Scanning
  • Ability to think of a suitable response

Click to know more about the IELTS general reading matching sentence endings question type.

IELTS general reading matching features questions

You will be matching a set of statements or information with the given option in the IELTS general reading matching features question type. A group of features identified by the alphabets is used as the option. You are required to read the passage and match the features with suitable sentences. 

The features may be about any scientific research activities, historical events, dates, etc. Here some options may not be used whereas some may be used more than once. This question type is used when the passage contains factual information or discursive tests. You must know to look for specific information to solve this question type smartly. 

Skill tested by matching features question type

Your capability of finding relationships between the events and the features related to it is tested here. To solve this question you must be an expert in finding the opinion and the views described in the passage.

Skills required to answer the matching features question type

  • Skimming
  • Scanning
  • Ability to establish relationships between the text and the
  • information
  • Reading for specific information


Click to know more about the IELTS general reading matching features question type.

IELTS general reading sentence completion questions

You will be given an incomplete sentence from the reading passage and asked to fill the remaining sentence with the specified number of words. Reading the instructions carefully is very important in answering the IELTS general reading sentence completion question. If you are exceeding the word limit, then your answers will be marked wrong. 

While answering the questions remember that the numbers can be written as figures and hyphenated words will be considered as a single word. In this question type, the questions will be in the same order as the passage, i.e, the answer for the second question will be found after the first answer. 

Skill tested by sentence completion question type

In sentence completion question type, your understanding of the main idea behind the sentences will be tested. 

Skills required to answer the sentence completion question type 

  • Keywords identification
  • Paraphrasing
  • Time management
  • Scanning
  • Instruction following


Click to know more about the IELTS general reading sentence completion question type.

IELTS general reading short answer questions

In the IELTS general reading short answer questions, you will be answering the question with the text or number from the reading passage. The number of words to be given in the answer will be specified in the instruction as, “No more than three words or numbers”, “one word only”, and “no more than two words”. 

Here you will be answering about the facts, dates, etc. provided in the passage. As you have to answer within the word limit, you can note your answer first and then paraphrase or summarize as per the word count and write the final answer. Progressive order questions will be used in this question type, thus you can find the answers easily. 

Skill tested by short answer question type

Your capability of looking for specific information provided in the reading passage is assessed in the short answer question type. 

Skills required to answer the short answer question type

  • Purpose definition
  • Paraphrasing
  • Summarizing
  • Skimming
  • Locating specific information


Click to know more about the IELTS general reading short answer question type.

IELTS general reading note completion questions

The blanks in the notes will be filled with specific information taken from the reading passage. This question type is a little tricky to answer as the notes will be having the synonym of the keyword. Thus you must have a strong vocabulary to locate the relevant information in the passage. 

The notes may not be necessarily in the same order as the passage or may be taken from a particular section alone. Thus you have to read and understand the overall reading passage to answer this question type. The blanks must be filled only with the word taken from the reading passage. Descriptive content can be used for this question type. 

Skill tested by note completion question type

The ability to identify the main idea and supporting details are tested in the notes completion question type. 

Skills required to answer the note completion question type

  • Looking for the relevant content
  • Understanding of the reading passage
  • Time management
  • Skimming 

Click to know more about the IELTS general reading note completion question type.

IELTS general reading flow chart completion questions 

IELTS general reading flow chart completion question, is a frequently asked question type in the reading test. You will be reading the passage and filling the blanks given in the flow chart. The instructions will be stating the answer word limit and if you exceed the word limit, you will be marked incorrect. 

This question type is simple to answer if you have a regular practice and a clear understanding of the question type. Passage explaining any scientific or natural process or sequence will be used for this question type. The flow chart question will be coming in order one after the other. Thus your work will be to look for the sequence in the passage and start filling the blanks with text as per the instructions.

Skill tested by flow chart completion question type

Your skill to understand the main theme of the passage and locate specific information is tested here. 

Skills required to answer the flow chart completion question type

  • Skimming
  • Scanning
  • Information identification
  • Sequence understanding

Click to know more about the IELTS general reading flow chart completion question type.

IELTS general reading yes no not given questions

In the IELTS general reading yes no not given questions, you will be given a set of information about the writer’s views and opinion. You have to analyze whether the given information matches the writer's view. If the information matches, your answer will be yes, if not your answer will be no. 

Your answer to the questions will be based on the following conditions, 

  • Yes - if the given information claims the writer’s opinion
  • No - if the given information does not claim the writer's view
  • Not given - if the given information is not found in the passage

You must make sure to answer only yes, no or not given and to use any other words in the answer sheet. Discursive or argumentative type of content is used for this question type. 

Skill tested by yes no not given question type

Your ability to recognize the writer's opinion or view given in the passage is tested in this question type.

Skills required to answer the yes no not given question type

  • Strong vocabulary
  • Attention to details
  • Time management
  • Main idea identification 

Click to know more about the IELTS general reading yes no not given question type.

IELTS general reading table completion questions

The IELTS general reading table completion questions, requires you to complete the blanks given in the table with the text from the reading passage. It is similar to the flow chart completion but the content layout will be given in the table format. The incomplete information in the table will be filled with texts within the word limit. 

While answering the table completion question, you may find the answer in a specific part of the passage. You have to find what type of answer i.e number or word or phrase, is required for the specific blank. Then scan the passage to locate the relevant information and pick the answer. To answer this question type easily, you must know the strategies and the answering steps. 

Skill tested by table completion question type

Identification of specific information, and overall understanding of the reading passage are the skills tested using the table completion question type.

Skills required to answer the table completion question type

  • Paraphrasing
  • Skimming
  • Locating details

Click to know more about the IELTS general reading table completion question type.

Summary:

We hope this article would have helped you in gathering information regarding the question types. Scoring a 7+ band in the IELTS general reading section is simple if you are having a clear understanding of the various reading question types. 

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Global Headquarters

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

132, Habibullah Rd, Satyamurthy Nagar, T. Nagar, Chennai, Tamil Nadu 600017

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About Kanan International

A truly global higher education partner to learners and education institutions. Supports learners at every point in their global education journey with its reliable services, products and solutions.

Copyright © 2022 KANAN INT EDTECH INC. All rights reserved.