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How to Answer IELTS Reading Diagram Labelling Questions

Feeling a bit overwhelmed by the IELTS Reading exam? You're not alone, but guess what? We're here with you every step of the way! In this article, we're diving deep into the Diagram Labelling Questions - those tricky riddles that can trip up even the most confident test-takers. But don't fret! With our strategies, tips, and our specially crafted comprehensive eBook on IELTS Reading, you'll unlock the secrets to answering these questions like a pro. Ready to turn that uncertainty into unshakeable confidence? Let's get started!

IELTS Reading Tips and Strategies eBook - IELTS Luminary
IELTS Reading - Diagram Labelling, Answering Tips and Strategies

What Are Diagram Labelling Questions in IELTS Reading?

Ever looked at a complicated diagram, map, or plan and wondered, "How do I even begin to understand this?" That's exactly what Diagram Labelling Questions in the IELTS Reading exam might make you feel at first glance.

These questions ask you to read specific texts and then label different parts of a diagram, plan, or map according to the information given. Sounds simple, right? But let's delve a little deeper:

  • The Diagrams: They can range from scientific processes to building layouts, geographical maps, or even parts of machinery. They may contain numbers or letters that correspond to certain paragraphs or sentences in the text.

  • The Text: It usually comes with detailed descriptions that match the various parts of the diagram. You'll need to interpret the text and find the exact words that fit the labels in the diagram.

  • The Challenge: Many candidates find these questions a bit daunting. Why? Because you need to pay close attention to detail, understand complex texts, and make precise connections between the text and the visual elements. A misstep in comprehension could lead to an incorrect label.

  • The Solution: Worried? Don't be! Like any skill, mastering Diagram Labelling Questions comes with understanding and practice. If you're serious about conquering these questions, our comprehensive eBooks provide real-life examples, strategies, and explanations tailored to tackle each question type, including Diagram Labelling. These resources are your go-to guide for turning confusion into clarity, one label at a time. Want a taste of success? Have a look at our in-depth guide on IELTS Reading that brings the whole process to life.

With the right tools and mindset, Diagram Labelling Questions don't have to be the enigma they appear to be. They are just another stepping stone on your path to IELTS success.

Key Challenges in Answering Diagram Labelling Questions

Navigating the maze of Diagram Labelling Questions in the IELTS Reading exam isn't always a walk in the park. Here's what you might come across, and how we've designed the perfect resources to help you overcome these hurdles:

  • Understanding Complex Diagrams: Diagrams can be intricate and multifaceted. They might represent an industrial process, a flowchart of events, or a layout of a building. The complexity often lies in deciphering which part of the diagram corresponds to which part of the text. Getting lost? You're not alone, but our in-depth guide on IELTS Reading contains meticulously explained examples from real tests that mirror these complexities, making it easier for you to relate and understand.

  • Time Management: Time is of the essence in the IELTS Reading exam. Each second spent lingering over a complex diagram or confusing text is a second lost for other questions. Balancing the need for careful reading with the ticking clock is a skill that doesn't come overnight. It requires practice and smart strategies, which we've encapsulated in our comprehensive eBooks. Curious to know how to ace these questions without breaking a sweat? Dive into our IELTS Reading eBook, where we break down time-saving techniques specifically for Diagram Labelling Questions.


But here's the good news: These challenges aren't insurmountable! With the right approach, careful practice, and guidance from our specialized resources, these obstacles turn into opportunities for learning and growth. We've taken the guesswork out of Diagram Labelling Questions, turning them from a dreaded task into a manageable one.

So, if you've ever felt stumped by a complex diagram or pressed for time during your reading test, remember that we've tailored our comprehensive eBook on IELTS Reading to tackle these very challenges. Consider it your personal guide, filled with strategies and examples that not only explain but show you how to triumph over these questions.

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Effective Strategies to Answer Diagram Labelling Questions

Diagram Labelling Questions don't have to be a source of frustration. With the right strategies, you can tackle them with ease and accuracy. Here's what you need to know, and how our specialized resources can guide you every step of the way:

  • Read the Instructions Carefully: Sometimes, the devil is in the details. The instructions hold the key to what exactly you are required to do. Are you matching labels to numbers or letters? Are you filling in missing words or selecting from a given list? By understanding what's being asked, you set the stage for accurate answers. If you want to see this strategy in action, our in-depth guide on IELTS Reading takes you through real-life examples where following instructions makes all the difference.

  • Scan for Keywords: This is where your detective skills come into play! Look for specific terms in the text that correspond to parts of the diagram. Keywords can be technical terms, descriptive adjectives, or unique identifiers that are directly linked to the diagram. Learning to spot them quickly is a game-changer, and it's something we emphasize in our IELTS Reading eBook. Inside, you'll find detailed exercises and explanations that sharpen your scanning skills, turning you into a keyword-spotting pro.

  • Utilize the eBook's Strategies: The strategies mentioned above are just the tip of the iceberg. Our comprehensive eBook on IELTS Reading dives deep into a well-rounded approach to Diagram Labelling Questions. From breaking down the types of diagrams you might face to providing tips on how to move efficiently through the text, it's a resource designed to take your skills to the next level.


Remember, tackling Diagram Labelling Questions is less about memorizing and more about understanding, practicing, and adapting. Our in-depth guide on IELTS Reading has been crafted with this philosophy in mind. It’s not just about telling you what to do; it's about showing you how to do it through step-by-step examples, exercises, and insights.

Ready to turn Diagram Labelling Questions into your strength? With these strategies and the support of our specialized resources, you'll find yourself not just answering but excelling at these questions.

Real Test Example

Are you geared up for a hands-on experience? We've carefully selected a passage from Cambridge IELTS – 16 Academic paper, Test 4, Passage 1. But this is no ordinary text; it's your personal training ground for the Diagram Labelling questions that might be waiting for you in the IELTS Reading exam. Pause for a moment and prepare yourself. Imagine that you're sitting in the examination room, test paper in front of you, poised and ready. We're going to walk through this exercise together, so that you don't just learn what these questions look like, but also how to tackle them with assurance and skill. Whether you need to adjust your reading light or settle into your favorite reading chair, do what you need to get comfortable. Because here's the text that's going to help you hone your skills and boost your confidence:

Remember, it's all part of the comprehensive approach we take at IELTS Luminary to ensure that you're not just prepared but empowered for success in your IELTS exam. Feel free to explore more resources and services on our website, including our extensive collection of eBooks tailored to your IELTS needs!


The Romans, who once controlled areas of Europe, North Africa and Asia Minor, adopted the construction techniques of other civilizations to build tunnels in their territories.

The Persians, who lived in present-day Iran, were one of the first civilizations to build tunnels that provided a reliable supply of water to human settlements in dry areas. In the early first millennium BCE, they introduced the qanat method of tunnel construction, which consisted of placing posts over a hill in a straight line, to ensure that the tunnel kept to its route, and then digging vertical shafts down into the ground at regular intervals. Underground, workers removed the earth from between the ends of the shafts, creating a tunnel. The excavated soil was taken up to the surface using the shafts, which also provided ventilation during the work. Once the tunnel was completed, it allowed water to flow from the top of a hillside down towards a canal, which supplied water for human use. Remarkably, some qanats built by the Persians 2,700 years ago are still in use today.

They later passed on their knowledge to the Romans, who also used the qanat method to construct water-supply tunnels for agriculture. Roma qanat tunnels were constructed with vertical shafts dug at intervals of between 30 and 60 meters. The shafts were equipped with handholds and footholds to help those climbing in and out of them and were covered with a wooden or stone lid. To ensure that the shafts were vertical, Romans hung a plumb line from a rod placed across the top of each shaft and made sure that the weight at the end of it hung in the center of the shaft. Plumb lines were also used to measure the depth of the shaft and to determine the slope of the tunnel. The 5.6-kilometer-long Claudius tunnel, built in 41 CE to drain the Fucine Lake in central Italy, had shafts that were up to 122 meters deep, took 11 years to build and involved approximately 30,000 workers.

Are you ready to take on a challenge? Here are the actual test questions and their answers, but wait – resist the temptation to glance at those answers too soon! Approach this with genuine earnestness, just as if you were in the actual exam room. Trust us, this method could be the hidden key to achieving that remarkable band score you've been striving for. Eager to prove your mettle? Let's jump right in!

However, don't forget to explore our eBooks and Essay Correction Service for a more rounded and effective IELTS preparation!

IELTS Reading - Diagram Labelling Question
IELTS Reading - Diagram Labelling Question

Answers with Explanations

Diagram 1: The Persian Qanat Method

  1. Posts: The passage mentions the qanat method by stating, "...which consisted of placing posts over a hill in a straight line, to ensure that the tunnel kept to its route." This highlights that the "posts" were essential for guiding the construction of the tunnel.

  2. Canal: Referring to the final destination of the water channeled by the qanat, the passage says, " allowed water to flow from the top of a hillside down towards a canal, which supplied water for human use." This establishes the "canal" as the receiving end of the water flow.

  3. Ventilation: The passage points out the dual function of the vertical shafts by noting, "The excavated soil was taken up to the surface using the shafts, which also provided ventilation during the work." Thus, the "ventilation" was crucial for maintaining a breathable environment for the workers in the tunnel.


Diagram 2: Cross-section of a Roman Qanat Shaft

4. Lid

Describing the features of the Roman qanat tunnels, the text states, "Roma qanat tunnels were constructed with vertical shafts dug at intervals of between 30 and 60 meters... and were covered with a wooden or stone lid." This indicates that the "lid" served as a protective cover for these shafts.

5. Weight

The Roman precision in ensuring verticality of the shafts is highlighted with, "To ensure that the shafts were vertical, Romans hung a plumb line from a rod placed across the top of each shaft and made sure that the weight at the end of it hung in the center of the shaft." The "weight" here refers to the heavier end of the plumb line, which was crucial in maintaining the structural integrity of the tunnel.


6. Climbing

The passage details the practical aspects of the shafts, noting that, "The shafts were equipped with handholds and footholds to help those climbing in and out of them." This suggests that these features were essential to facilitate "climbing" for workers as they moved in and out of the shafts during the tunnel's construction.


So, the answers are:

  1. Posts

  2. Canal

  3. Ventilation

  4. Lid

  5. Weight

  6. Climbing

Keep in mind that in the actual exam, the process is simpler than you might anticipate. Your task is merely to insert the correct answers ( 1. Posts; 2. Canal; 3. Ventilation; 4. Lid; 5. Weight; 6. Climbing ) into the specified answer spaces. There's no requirement for detailed explanations or elaborations.

This insightful tip and more await you in the eBooks. Don't forget to check out the eBooks and our popular Essay Correction Service to help you attain your desired band score!

Special Tips to Improve in Diagram Labelling Questions

Improving in Diagram Labelling Questions isn’t just about knowing what to do; it's about understanding how to do it. Here are some special tips that can take your skills to new heights, all of which are explored in depth in our comprehensive guide on IELTS Reading:

  • Start with the Diagram: Before diving into the text, take a moment to examine the diagram. Understand its structure, components, and what it represents. This initial understanding can guide your reading, making the connection between text and diagram more intuitive.

  • Highlight Key Phrases in the Text: As you read, underline or mentally note key phrases that seem to correspond to parts of the diagram. This active engagement with the text aids in quicker and more accurate matching.

  • Use Process of Elimination: Sometimes, the answer might not be immediately clear. In such cases, eliminating the unlikely options based on the information in the text can lead you to the correct label.

  • Practice with Real Examples: There's no substitute for hands-on practice. Our in-depth guide on IELTS Reading offers you a treasure trove of real test examples, allowing you to apply these tips in a real exam scenario. This not only helps in solidifying your understanding but also builds confidence.

  • Learn from Mistakes: If you get a question wrong, don’t just move on. Analyze what went wrong and why. This reflection is a powerful tool for continuous improvement.

  • Stay Calm and Methodical: Diagram Labelling can be overwhelming, especially under time pressure. Developing a calm and methodical approach through guided practice can make the difference between panic and precision.

  • Access Expert Guidance: Your journey to mastery doesn’t have to be a lonely one. Our IELTS Reading eBook is not just a book but a companion. It's filled with expert insights, well-explained strategies, and step-by-step guidance to make Diagram Labelling Questions a breeze.

These special tips, coupled with the comprehensive strategies and insights provided in our eBook, create a roadmap to success in Diagram Labelling Questions. Whether you’re just starting your IELTS preparation or looking to fine-tune your skills, our in-depth guide on IELTS Reading is your go-to resource, turning these tips from words on a page into tangible skills in your toolkit.

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