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IELTS Reading Question Types: Strategies

Strategies for Each Question Type

The question types are the same for Academic & General Training and there are 12 – 14 questions in each section.

There are two types of questions. Questions where you need to write numbers or words for the answer and questions where you need to choose the answer from options


Click on each question type below for a description of the task, an example along with strategies and tips.

True, False, Not Given

There is always at least one True/Yes, False/No, Not Given answer in the set of statements. Therefore, if your answers do not include all the options, you have answered a question or some questions incorrectly. 

Matching Headings

The task requires you to match headings to sections or paragraphs in the text. The headings are a summary of the information in each section or paragraph.

Completing a Summary

The task requires you to complete a summary of a particular section or paragraph(s) from the test either by selecting options from a list or writing the answer in the gaps according to the word limit. 

Completing Sentences & Notes

Sentence and note completion are virtually the same in terms of task. You are required to complete gaps in sentences with words from the text according to the word limit in the instructions.

Completing a Table & Flowchart

Complete the gaps in the table and flowchart with a word/word or a number/numbers from the text. 

Despite the difference in layout, completing a table and flowchart are very similar in terms of task, skills required and strategies. 


Labelling a Diagram

There are 3 possible types of diagrams: a plan/design, a machine/device and a diagram on the natural world. You are required to label the diagram by completing the gaps with words and/or numbers from the text or choosing from a list of option. 


Matching Information

This task requires you to match numbered statements to paragraphs. Matching paragraph information is often believed to be the same task type as matching headings. However, they are very different. 

Matching Sentence Endings

This reading task requires you to match 2 halves of sentences according to the information in the text. The question numbers are the first half and the second half is from a list of options.

Matching Names

Matching names is quite a common task and it requires you to match names (individuals, nationalities) to statements according to the information in the text. 

Multiple Choice

Multiple choice questions are very common in the reading test and you should expect to find them in at least one of the sections. There are several types of multiple choice questions.

Short Answer Questions

Short answer questions are quite common in the Reading test. The task requires you to answer questions according to the information in the text, following the stated word limit.

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