- For Teachers
In this task type, which often appears in the exam, you are given a text with 5 to 7 paragraph headings missing. You must select the right paragraph headings from a list. Depending on the length and difficulty of the text and the number of paragraph headings, you will have between 5 and 8 minutes to do this task. There are always more paragraph headings than paragraphs, so you won't need to use all of the paragraph headings that are given. There will always also be some other different reading tasks for detailed understanding to do with the same text.
As this task tests your ability to read a text quickly and get a general understanding of it, you will need to practice reading newspapers etc. quickly and naturally without a dictionary. Most native speakers do not read every newspaper article through to the end, as all the important and new information is usually given at the beginning of the article. Reading a newspaper or magazine this natural way can help with this IELTS task and save you time and effort too!
Every time you do this task in your textbook or as part of a real IELTS exam reading, make sure you time yourself and keep to the time limit. After you have finished all the tasks for the text you can then go back and read more slowly and use your dictionary if you like.
Planning all your writing in English (and even in your own language) carefully before you start writing and deciding a clear topic for each paragraph or section can also help you understand how texts are organised in this way.
Copyright © 2007 Alex Case
Written by Alex Case for UsingEnglish.com