IELTS Reading Matching Headings Tips

Matching Headings IELTS Reading Tips: Major Solutions to Your Aid

August 22, 2019

Matching Headings is a question type in the IELTS Reading Task. It tests your ability to understand the main idea of each paragraph. Headings are short sentences that summarize the information of a paragraph. You will need to pick the best heading suiting a paragraph.

This section is common for both IELTS General and Academic Reading.

Before we move on to the tips and strategies for this task, it is important first to understand the common problems faced by test-takers in the Matching Headings task.

Let's take a look:

IELTS Reading Matching Headings Task: Common Problems

  1. There is too much information in the paragraph and time is running out.
  2. Trying to match the heading with the same words that are in the paragraph.
  3. Some headings can have the same meaning to confuse you.
  4. Headings will not in the same order as the paragraph.
  5. Spending too much time reading the paragraphs and headings.
  6. The first sentence is not always enough to find a perfect heading.

Please know that there are always more headings than paragraphs. IELTS will test your reading and understanding ability at the same time. Matching Headings IELTS Reading question types can be confusing.

IELTS Reading Exam Tips & Strategies

The essential part of this section is skimming. You have to be quick enough to skim the paragraph at a glance through unique keywords. Get a general idea of the meaning that the paragraph is trying to convey. Learn how to utilize your skimming skills in this section of the IELTS Reading exam.

Because Skimming is Essential: While skimming the paragraph, focus on the first two sentences and the last sentence. You will able to grasp the general meaning of the paragraph.

Identify the Keywords: Then, try to identify some keywords that are important to find the best heading. Usually, the keywords can be found in the first two sentences.

Every word is Not Your Keyword: The IELTS Reading Task is not expecting you to read each and every word of the text. If you feel some part of the paragraph is not important, you can skip it.

It is Good to be Confident: Match the obvious headings if you are confident about them. In case you are not confident; please move on to the next step.

Fewer options mean less confusion: Once you start matching the headings, there will be fewer options left for you. This will clarify your confusion too.

Synonyms can Play a Lead: Pay attention to the synonyms in the paragraphs to the headings. The synonyms can often reveal your answer.

It's Okay to Not Know: Don't worry if you don't understand the meaning of a few words. It is sometimes difficult for even native speakers to understand the meaning of every single word.

Quick & Helpful Tips for Matching Headings

  • Pay attention to the headings that are similar to one another.
  • Read the paragraph to get a general idea.
  • Keep the first and last sentence of the paragraph in your mind.
  • Devote some time to paraphrasing the keywords in the headings.
  • The main idea of the paragraph is your heading.
  • Don't go on matching words; this is not the aim.
  • There may be extra headings, so be careful.
  • There is one heading for every paragraph.
  • You should either use numerals (i.e., i or v) or letters (i.e., a, b, c) when listing the headings
  • Read all the headings before picking anyone.

If you follow these strategies and get enough practice with mock tests, then it would only be a matter of time before you start feeling confident in this question type. As long as you understand the general idea of the paragraph, you can answer the questions correctly. Aim to match each of the headings in 1 minute. This way, you can save time for solving the more difficult questions, that follow.

Sign Up with IELTS Tutorials to get 20+ Free Practice Tests. IELTS General Reading and IELTS Academic Reading Practice Tests will help you to overcome weaknesses. There are additional benefits for your help to score high in the exam. You could also opt for IELTS Online Coaching if you don't have time to attend regular classes.