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IELTS reading paragraph matching tips


IELTS reading paragraph matching tips


In IELTS reading module, candidates are required to show their skills to identify main idea of the paragraph by matching headings with paragraphs. These questions come in two types. In first one, there are headings with the same numbers of paragraphs. In second type, you see more headings than paragraphs.

Matching heading with paragraphs is key skill in IELTS reading passages which many candidates do not possess. It requires ability to identify general information of a paragraph which can be done by topic sentence.

What is topic sentence?

Topic sentence is a sentence which summarizes or lets say carries main idea of a paragraph. Topic sentence is always general means it does not carry details only states main idea.

It has to parts:

Let me explain it by this sentence  “Tea has certain advantages”.

subject                      : Tea

“Tea”  is the subject which shows what is topic about.

Controlling idea : certain advantages

“certain advantages”  phrase is controlling idea of the paragraph which means do not go away from controlling idea. All details should match with certain advantages.


How to find topic sentence in a paragraph?

The best order is to read the first sentence  if you do not find it, read the second sentence and last sentence of a paragraph if you still do not find it, read the whole paragraph until you find topic sentences.

How to match headings with paragraphs?

It is not bad idea to skim headings and get idea what the passage is about, however, if you do not want to do it, no problem , ignore it. Read the first paragraph, try to identify topic sentence and you may read one or two supporting sentences to be sure what the main idea is. In second step, go for perfect heading that matches with to topic sentence you just found.

leave the difficult paragraph for the end time , as you do the others the last one would be easy for you.

To make sure whether the heading you have found is correct, divide the heading  into 3 parts and match it with details in the paragraph if it matches with three areas means it is correct one.




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