Introduction to IELTS Reading Matching
In these questions, you are asked to match paragraph and statement pairs to collate information.
It doesn’t matter what the paragraphs are about, you’re not required to know a lot about the content beforehand; you just need to be able to find details in the paragraphs and match them to the statements.
The statements can be reasons, descriptions, summaries, definitions, facts, or explanations. The answers will frequently be expressed using a phrase or sentence rather than a single word.
Reading Skills needed for IELTS Reading Matching
Before you start looking for keywords, you must first be able to skim and scan the entire text. You must also be able to glance through the paragraphs and find certain words.
You are more likely to be looking for synonyms (words that mean the same or nearly the same) and paraphrases rather than exact keywords from the questions.
When you find the words or phrases you think might give you the correct answer, you must read very carefully to understand the meaning in order to make the decision.
There may be more paragraphs than questions, so don’t be concerned if some of the paragraphs don’t contain the information you are seeking. In addition, don’t be concerned if you find more than one answer in a paragraph.
Common Problems Students Face in IELTS Reading Matching
The biggest difficulty with these questions is that you have to read the whole text. There are no priority answers, so you have to spend time looking at everything.
It is also possible that the answers aren’t the focus of each paragraph. With these questions, the answer might be anywhere in the paragraph and you cannot simply skim to find it. But, you should focus on the first and last sentence of every paragraph to interpret its central idea, in order to save time and somewhat avoid the nonessential information.
Above all, not all paragraphs have answers and some have more than one answer.
Tips for IELTS Reading Matching
- You should attempt this type of question at the very end. You will find the correct information quicker and easier if you already know the passage.
- Identify the correct information by locating and referring to the names, places, and numbers in the questions. Try to find names, places, and numbers in the questions. You will often find these terms in the text.
- Be aware of synonyms used. For example, ‘34%‘ may appear in the question, but it might say ‘just over a third‘ or ‘about a third‘ in the text.
Strategies for IELTS Reading Matching
- Make sure you follow the instructions carefully.
- Read the questions first. Identify synonyms and paraphrase the statements. With this technique, you can identify the correct answer. You may also use your own words to express the statements.
- Read the reading material quickly to understand the general meaning.
- After reading the question statements again, you can predict which paragraph contains the right answer.
- A synonym you see in the text may be underlined for later reference.
- Mark your answer, and check back with the question statement to verify whether your answer is correct.
- If you get stuck, move on to other questions.
With the right strategy and the right amount of practice, you will be able to tackle IELTS Reading Matching questions successfully and move towards a perfect Band 9 Score.