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How to get main idea of each paragraph in IELTS reading test


Reading is the most difficult part in IELTS exam for many of students who don’t have reading habits, as a result they get confused. IELTS Reading module checks your ability to answer 40 questions in 60 minutes from three passages which contain around 2700 words. Almost Students read every passage in detail without reading questions which is wrong, you only  need to find answers for your 40 questions. It is better to practice finding answers quickly rather reading the whole passage.


It becomes challenging for them to get main idea of a paragraph. It is not difficult once you know exactly how paragraphs are structured.  Every paragraph has general idea and supporting information. General idea means main idea or point that a writer discusses in an individual paragraph which in a sentence shape is called TOPIC SENTENCE. Supporting information means points that you need to support  topic sentence. They could be examples, explanation, references, evidence etc.


Understanding where topic sentence lies in a paragraph helps you get general idea of a paragraph which means to come to know what is the paragraph about. Topic sentence can come at the beginning of a paragraph, as a second sentence or last. If you still don’t find it, you would need to read whole paragraph in detail.
Specific information means supporting detail in a paragraph which explains topic sentence in detail. Questions like true false, short answer and multiple-choice check your ability whether you understand the explanation of paragraphs. Questions like matching headings check your ability to get main idea of a paragraph.


Skimming and Scanning are methods to help you get main idea of a paragraph or supporting information. You simply move your eyes quickly to find information you need not necessarily reading every word of a paragraph.


Read paragraphs in a way to get main idea and supporting information. Knowing the structure of a paragraph will help you perform better in finding your answers. Practice makes perfect and hope this post helps you in your exam.

2 Responses so far.

  1. […] part three is to listen to questions carefully by focusing on key words to get main idea. Once you get main idea of a question it is easy to […]

  2. […] to put general ideas in paragraphs General idea is called main idea of a paragraph in other words i should say it carries main idea of a paragraph […]

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