Introduction to IELTS Reading Sentence Completion
The IELTS Reading test measures your ability to read and understand text in general. It does not test your reading skills knowledge-wise (as prior knowledge of the passages is not required, in fact, it’s better that you come in with a clean slate), it’s mainly a test of your vocabulary, grammar, and general reading comprehension. It measures how well you process information as well as how analytical you are.
The main challenge in these questions is that students often try to match words in a question with the same words in the reading text. Instead, you should look for paraphrases and synonyms. When searching for synonyms, you would not be looking for words that are exactly the same. Instead, you would look for words that have the same meaning when used in the correct context.
Students also often start reading the answer text before the question. Instead of that, you should ask yourself: ‘What is the question asking?’ before reading the answer text. That will help you find answers much faster, as you will know what to look for, and this will surely reduce the time taken.
Read on in this article to know more such strategies to help you answer these questions quickly and effectively.
Tips for IELTS Reading Sentence Completion
- Before reading the text, read the questions first.
- Before attempting to answer a question, locate the answer in the text.
- Make sure to think about paraphrasing and synonyms when answering.
- The test doesn’t ask you to write as many words as you can. If it asks you to write only two or three words, write two or three words. If the question says ‘no more than three,’ you may write one, two, or three words. If a number is written numerically, such as 72, it counts as one word. If a hyphenated expression, like up-to-date or long-term, is written, it counts as one word.
- If the question says ‘using words from the text,’ then you should only use words from the text and not change them or use different words. Do not alter the words or use different words unless explicitly mentioned.
- The order of the answers is the same as the questions. The answer to Question Number 2 will be above number 3 and after Number 1.
- The correct answer to questions should be grammatically correct. Check if the word fits in the space. To answer the question correctly, you must make sure the word is a verb, a noun, an adjective, or an adverb.
Strategies for IELTS Reading Sentence Completion
You may use the following strategy or one that you prefer. You can also adapt this strategy to your needs.
- Read the directions carefully, noting how many words you can write and whether they require you to use the exact words from the question.
- It is important to begin by reading the incomplete sentences first. Think about keywords and how they might be expressed by synonyms or paraphrases.
- Scan for information rapidly to locate it. If you can’t locate the answer quickly, move on.
- When checking your answer, read the question again, and check your spelling.
With the right strategy and the right amount of practice, you will be able to tackle IELTS Reading Sentence Completion questions successfully and move towards a perfect Band 9 Score.