Students often find this section of IELTS Reading to be one of the most difficult sections because the headings are usually very similar to one another and because there are more headings than you need for the question. It is easy to feel confused. Follow the strategy below to eliminate the headings you do not need and to answer the question quickly and effectively:
WHAT YOU HAVE TO DO
In this section you are asked to select headings of paragraphs and match them to the relevant paragraphs from a text:
STRATEGY FOR SUCCESS WITH MATCHING HEADINGS
If you get this question on the test DO THIS TYPE OF QUESTION FIRST as the question will really help you to understand the general meaning of the entire text and sets the stage for the rest of the questions where you need to look at the text in more detail.
READ THE HEADINGS FIRST and think about the possible topic of the text-DO NOT READ THE TEXT. It is so important to read the headings before you look at the text. This will save you time and help you to pick the headings accurately.
Identify and underline key words in each heading.
Think of as many synonyms as you can for the key words.
DO NOT READ EVERY WORD OF THE TEXT. SKIM read the text by reading the first first and last sentence of each paragraph to read the text quickly and pick up key information.
Look for synonyms in the text for the keywords you have circled by SCANNING the text and circling relevant words for each heading.
Compare the first and last sentence of each paragraph carefully to check for keywords and topic and possible matches with the heading.
If you cannot figure out the answer, read the next sentence in the paragraph scanning for key words.
Be sure to check how many questions you need to answer.
Do not use any answer more than once.
Practice the steps above with IELTS practice exams until you are sure of the sequence. Practice makes perfect! If you practice this question type will be easy on the day of the exam.
Read this post to see why Time Planning is a crucial skill for doing well in IELTS Reading: