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Matching headings IELTS Tutorials

March 5, 2017, 3:21 pm

So many people that I have spoken to have told me that they really have problems with this reading question - matching the headings to the paragraphs. So I though I would write some tips here for you all.

Matching headings IELTS Tutorials

So many people that I have spoken to have told me that they really have problems with this reading question - matching the headings to the paragraphs. So I though I would write some tips here for you all.

Matching headings IELTS Tutorials


1. Skim the whole text first

The very first thing you must do is read the whole text through - not just the first lines. Take no more than 2 minutes. You do need to understand everything; you just want a general idea of what each paragraph is about. If you can, write one or two words to summarise reach paragraph as you are writing.

2. Look at the question

Now you look at the paragraph or section that you need to match. Read it a little more carefully and check your first summary if you wrote one. Summarise the MAIN point of the paragraph. Now look at the headings and see if there is one which matches your summary. Quickly eliminate the wrong ones. PARAPHRASE the key words - think of other words that mean the same thing. 

Now SCAN the text for these words or ideas. Can you see these words in the paragraph? E.g. if the heading has the word “effects”, can you find the words ‘results’ or ‘consequences’? Scanning means you search for a word - do not read everything; just look for particular words. When you find them, read that part more carefully. Read before and after the key words. 

3. Now move on

Do not spend too much time worrying about your decisions. Each question is only worth one point so keep moving. You will quickly run out of time if you think too much.


This technique can be used for the identifying information questions too. This is where you have to match paragraphs to statements that highlight one aspect or piece of information. You do exactly the same thing - skim - summarise - paraphrase - scan.