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How to Answer: Matching Names with Statements or Information Questions

In this article we we will look at how to answer Matching Names with Statements or Information questions.

  1. 📑 Look at some examples

  2. 🎯 Focus on the objective

  3. 🤔 Discuss common problems that students have and how to solve them

  4. Describe the best strategy for answering these questions

  5. 💡 Review some general Reading Exam tips

1. 📑 An Example

(source: Cambridge IELTS 16)

2. 🎯 The Objective

You need to:

  • Identify which person said which thing.

3. Common Problems and Solutions

Problems IELTS candidates have with these questions and some solutions to these problems:

The Problem:

The Solution:

😫 Some candidates try to read and retain too much information at once, ie. read all of the options before looking at the text, and get confused. The options are designed to confuse you, and you want to minimise ‘cognitive load’ while you’re completing the reading exam.

😎 You should try to deal with this exercise paragraph by paragraph

get an idea of the answer to the head question before you start looking at the options. If you do that, you should be able to immediately discard some, or all, of the incorrect answers without letting them confuse you.

🏃 Some candidates rely too much on ‘skimming’ and ‘scanning’, rush their reading, don’t really understand the text or the questions, and get the answers wrong. These questions test your comprehension of the meaning of whole phrases and passages of text, not just matching individual words.

🧐 You need to make sure you really understand the text and the questions, not just look at them superficially.

👯 Some ideas in the paragraphs might be quite similar and may contain words which are the same as in the questions.

🔬 Focus on dealing with one paragraph at a time, and don’t be afraid to go back and change previous answers if you think a new paragraph you’ve read gives you a better answer.

⚖️ Some candidates might start to doubt themselves if they’ve chosen one paragraph ‘too many times’.

🎰 As there are more questions than paragraphs, some paragraphs may contain many answers, and some may contain none. As such, you shouldn’t worry about finding an even distribution of answers across the paragraphs. There won’t necessarily be an event distribution across paragraphs.

😕 Some candidates don’t know enough vocabulary, or don’t understand synonyms or paraphrases of words or phrases.

📚 It’s highly important that you build your vocabulary for every section of the IELTS test. The reading test is largely a big vocabulary test. You also need to be sensitive to how things could be reworded in the questions and in the text.

4. The Strategy

  • When reading a text which contains names, you should always underline/highlight these and pay attention to their opinions/discoveries/research. It’s quite likely that you’ll be asked about this in one way or another.

  • These questions are typically not the first questions for a passage, meaning that you should’ve already read through the text and you should have some idea of who said what.

  1. As always, read the instructions carefully.

  2. Read the first statement carefully, take note of key words which will help you locate the idea in the text, but make sure you understand the meaning of the whole sentence.

  3. Find the same idea in the text and scan around it for the name. Sometimes the name of the person associated with the idea is mentioned earlier or later in the paragraph.

  4. Work through the statements until you’ve finished. As you progress through the exercise, if you feel you’ve found a more suitable answer to a question you’d already answered, make a note of it and at the end of the exercise, try to work out which answer is better.

  5. As always, never get stuck on one tough question. Put a mark next to it and come back to it later.

5. 💡 General Reading Exam Tips

Different types of questions will test different reading skills such as your understanding of individual words, understandings of whole sentences in the context of a paragraph, understandings of whole paragraphs in the context of a text, understandings of writer’s opinions, and variations of the above.

While you should use different strategies for different questions, it’s important to keep a few things in mind.

  1. Reading every day to improve your reading fluency and comprehension will have a greater effect on your score than learning some exam strategies.

  2. Improving your vocabulary will have a huge effect on your score, more so than learning some exam strategies.

  3. You need to practise answering different types of questions and using different reading strategies so that you know exactly what to do on exam day. Just looking at this article once is not enough - you need to do a lot of practice.

  4. In the exam, always read the instructions to each question very carefully. You might have practised lots of gap-fills which ask you to use TWO WORDS AND/OR A NUMBER, but on exam day, you might be answering a gap-fill which asks for ONE WORD ONLY. If you write two words in that gap on exam day, your answer will be wrong.

  5. Even though there are different strategies for different questions, I would still recommend using the overall reading strategy we discussed in the last class.

i. Read the Title (if there is one)

ii. Read the First Paragraph

iii. Answer Any Questions You Can

iv. Repeat with the Next Paragraph

Try to complete the exam one paragraph and one question at a time. Be systematic and don’t overload your brain with too much confusing information.

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