Thursday, March 17, 2011

Matching Headings – IELTS Reading Task

This task is pretty straight forward; you are given a set of paragraphs without their headings, you are to select the right paragraph heading from a list.  In most cases you will be given more paragraph heading choices, than the actual paragraph; if you have 5 paragraphs, you can expect to have up to 7 or 8 paragraph headings.
This task is designed to test your ability to read passages quickly and get some general information about the passage or paragraph.  With that said, the best way to practice this task is to read newspaper and magazine articles.  Understand that reading everything in detail, will not be the best thing to do in this instance; try to notice when reading a
news article that the most important details or information are usually found at the beginning. 
When practicing for this task, try reading the first few sentences of the news article and scan through the rest, see if you were able to grasp the topic or the general information that the writer is trying to convey.  After the initial reading and scanning, try reading the news article in more details and see if you got it right.
To practice for the task in more detail, ask a friend or family member to either snip of several news articles or write it on a sheet of paper, you can then try matching the heading of the articles.
Some tips for this task
·         Read through all the paragraph headings first, this will give you an idea of what you can expect.  This will also allow you to match the headings without having to read through the whole paragraph.
·         Underline or mark keyword to be able to match the headings easily.
·         Don’t worry about words or phrases that you don’t understand; you aren’t here for specific information, rather you are here to get the general information and match the headings.
·         If you have read through the whole paragraph and you’re still not sure of the match, write down or mark the possible matches and move on, come back and analyze the possible matches if you still have time after you have completed the other questions. Don’t forget to make a logical guess if you don’t.
·         Be careful not to match headings simply because they have the same word written several times in the paragraph. The meaning of the heading and the paragraph should match.
For a sample of matching headings click here
To find out what to expect from the IELTS Reading test and the different question task click here
For other Reading Tips click here

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