top of page

How to Answer Flow-chart Completion Questions in IELTS Reading

Stumped by the Flow-chart Completion Questions in the IELTS Reading exam? Don’t let those charts and arrows intimidate you! You're part of a large community of test-takers who've faced this challenge. But here's the good news: conquering these questions is entirely within your reach. Together with our comprehensive IELTS Reading eBook, we'll dive into real test examples, unravelling the mysteries of flow-charts. We'll arm you with time-tested strategies that turn what might seem like a perplexing puzzle into a manageable task. Ready to turn those question marks into confident ticks? Let's get started!

What is the Flow-Chart Completion Question Type in IELTS Reading?

Flow-chart Completion Questions in the IELTS Reading exam are designed to assess your ability to understand a complex procedure or process described in the reading text. Here's a closer look at what these questions entail:

  1. The Question Setup: You are provided with an incomplete flow-chart that illustrates a particular sequence or process described in the passage. The flow-chart will have several gaps that need to be filled with specific words or phrases from the text.

  2. The Task: Your task is to locate the missing information within the reading passage and write it into the corresponding blanks in the flow-chart.

  3. Understanding the Sequence: Often, the flow-chart represents a chronological sequence or a set of steps leading to an outcome. Understanding this sequence can help you make sense of the flow-chart quickly.

  4. Identifying Keywords and Synonyms: The words or phrases you need might be paraphrased in the text. Recognizing synonyms and related phrases is key to finding the correct answers.

  5. Word Limitations: Pay attention to the word limit instructions, as you may need to answer using a specific number of words. Sometimes, the instructions may also specify that answers must be taken from particular sections of the text.

  6. Testing Various Skills: Flow-chart Completion Questions test your skills in skimming, scanning, understanding detailed information, and recognizing paraphrases.

  7. A Real-World Skill: This question type mirrors real-world scenarios where understanding processes and procedures is essential, such as following a recipe or assembling a piece of furniture.


In our comprehensive IELTS Reading eBook, we provide detailed explanations, strategies, and practice exercises for Flow-chart Completion Questions and many more. With guided practice, you'll master the skills needed to tackle this question type with confidence.

Challenged You May Face in IELTS Reading Flow-Chart Completion Questions

IELTS Reading Tips and Strategies eBook - IELTS Luminary
IELTS Speaking eBook - How to Achieve a High Band Score in IELTS Speaking - IELTS Luminary
How to Achieve a High Band Score in IELTS Academic Task 1 Report - eBook by IELTS Luminary
How to Write a High Band Scoring Task 2 Essay - eBook by IELTS Luminary (IELTS Essay eBook)

1. Time Management

The clock is ticking, and spending too much time on a single Flow-chart Completion Question can eat into your valuable minutes. But how do you overcome this challenge? At, we understand this pressure, and we've got your back. Our comprehensive IELTS Reading Guide offers practical strategies and timed exercises to help you manage your time effectively. By learning how to answer each question with 100% accuracy, spending minimum time, you can optimize your test-taking experience. Our step-by-step guidance ensures you spend just the right amount of time on every question, leaving no room for panic.

2. Identifying Correct Information

Navigating through a dense passage to locate the precise information that fits into the flow-chart can feel like finding a needle in a haystack. It's more than merely scanning for keywords; it's about understanding the context, recognizing synonyms, and drawing connections. Sounds tough? Well, it doesn’t have to be! Our IELTS Reading eBook is packed with real test examples, giving you hands-on practice in identifying correct information, making the Flow-chart Completion Questions a breeze.

3. Recognizing Sequence and Connections

Flow-chart Completion Questions are all about connections and sequence. Missing a step can lead to confusion. How do you ensure you capture every detail? Our IELTS Reading Guide breaks down the complexities, guiding you through various sequences, connections, and processes. We help you build the analytical skills needed to visualize and understand these connections. Through guided practice, you’ll find yourself tracing the flow of ideas with ease.

4. Dealing with Paraphrasing

The text may contain paraphrased information that corresponds to the flow-chart. Identifying these paraphrases is a skill that requires practice. With our IELTS Reading eBook, we dive into this aspect, offering extensive exercises and explanations to train your eye to spot paraphrases. We don't just tell you what to do; we show you how to do it, with expert tips and strategies tailored to this specific question type.

IELTS Vocabulary List with Meanings and Examples

Effective Strategies to Answer Flow-Chart Completion Questions

Understand the Structure

The first step in tackling Flow-chart Completion Questions is understanding the structure of the given flow-chart. What process or sequence does it depict? Is it a chronological sequence or a set of interrelated steps leading to an outcome? By breaking down the flow-chart into individual components, you'll be better equipped to fill in the blanks. In our IELTS Reading eBook, we provide thorough explanations of different types of flow-charts you might encounter, complete with expert insights into understanding their structures.

Skim and Scan

Next, it's essential to approach the passage methodically. Begin by skimming the passage to grasp an overall understanding of the content. What's the theme? How does it relate to the flow-chart? Once you have a general sense, scan for specific details related to the gaps in the flow-chart. Skimming and scanning are crucial skills in IELTS Reading, and our ebook offers practical exercises to hone these skills. You'll find tailored strategies to help you zero in on relevant information quickly and efficiently.

Identify Keywords and Synonyms

Flow-chart Completion Questions often require you to find specific words or phrases that may be paraphrased in the text. Recognizing these synonyms or related expressions is key to locating the correct answers. Our IELTS Reading eBook offers specific guidance on how to identify and understand these linguistic connections, providing a richer understanding of the text and ensuring that you don’t miss vital clues.

Practice, Practice, Practice

There's no substitute for hands-on practice, especially with real test examples. We include actual Flow-chart Completion Questions from previous exams in our IELTS Reading eBook, providing you with authentic practice. These real test examples aren't just about repetition; they're designed to build familiarity and confidence. By working through these exercises, guided by detailed explanations and tips found in the eBook, you'll develop a robust understanding of how to tackle Flow-chart Completion Questions effectively.

Use a Systematic Approach

Approaching Flow-chart Completion Questions methodically ensures that you don’t overlook essential details or get lost in the passage. A systematic approach involves carefully working through each gap in the flow-chart, correlating it with specific parts of the text. By adopting this approach, taught in depth in our IELTS Reading eBook, you transform a seemingly complex task into a series of manageable steps, ensuring accuracy and efficiency.

Real Test Example

We have derived this passage and the questions from Cambridge IELTS Official Practice Book. We're going to use this to unravel the mystery of answering Flow Chart Questions in the IELTS Reading exam. Ready? Let's get started!


On November 19. 1969. astronauts Charles Conrad and Alan Bean made a difficult manual landing of the Apollo 12 lunar module in the Moon’s Ocean of Storms, just a few hundred feet from an unmanned probe. Surveyor J. that had landed in a crater on April 19. 1967. Unrecognized at the time, this was an important moment in the history of science. Bean and Conrad were about to conduct the first archaeological studies on the Moon.

After the obligatory planting of the American flag and some geological sampling, Conrad and Bean made their way to Surveyor 3. They observed that the probe had bounced after touchdown and carefully photographed the impressions made by its footpads. The whole spacecraft was covered in dust, perhaps kicked up by the landing.

The astronaut-archaeologists carefully removed the probes television camera, remote sampling arm. and pieces of tubing. They bagged and labelled these artefacts, and stowed them on board their lunar module. On their return to Earth, they passed them on to the Daveson Space Center in Houston, Texas, and the Hughes Air and Space Corporation in EI Segundo, California. There, scientists analyzed the changes in these aerospace artefacts.

One result of the analysis astonished them. A fragment of the television camera revealed evidence of the bacteria Streptococcus mitis. I or a moment it was thought Conrad and Bean had discovered evidence for life on the Moon, but after further research the real explanation became apparent. While the camera was being installed in the probe prior to the launch, someone sneezed on it. The resulting bacteria had travelled to the Moon, remained in an alternating freezing.' boiling vacuum for more than two years, and returned promptly to life upon reaching the safety of a laboratory back on Earth.

Ready for a challenge? We've got a set of questions lined up, but no peeking at the answers! Treat this like the real deal, and you might discover the key to your success. Ready to prove yourself? Dive in!

Complete the flow chart below.

Choose NO MORE THAN ONE WORD from the passage for each answer.

During the assembly of the Surveyor 3 probe, someone 1 ....................... on a TV camera.
The TV Camera was carried to the Moon on Surveyor 3
The TV Camera remained on the Moon for over 2 ....................... years
Apollo 12 astronauts 3 ....................... the TV camera
The TV camera was returned to Earth for 4 .......................
The Streptococcus mitis bacteria were found.
The theory that this suggested there was 5 ....................... on the Moon was rejected.
Scientists concluded that the bacteria can survive lunar conditions.

The correct answers are:

  1. sneezed

  2. two

  3. removed

  4. analysis

  5. life

Answer Explanations

1. sneezed

Explanation: The sentence in the passage that provides this answer is: "While the camera was being installed in the probe prior to the launch, someone sneezed on it." This means that during the assembly of the Surveyor 3 probe, someone sneezed on the TV camera.


2. two

Explanation: The sentence in the passage that provides this answer is: "The resulting bacteria had travelled to the Moon, remained in an alternating freezing/boiling vacuum for more than two years..." This indicates that the TV Camera stayed on the Moon for over two years.


3. Removed

Explanation: The sentence in the passage that provides this answer is: "The astronaut-archaeologists carefully removed the probe's television camera..." This means that the Apollo 12 astronauts removed the TV camera from the probe.


4. analysis

Explanation: The sentence in the passage that provides this answer is: "On their return to Earth, they passed them on to the Daveson Space Center in Houston, Texas, and the Hughes Air and Space Corporation in EI Segundo, California. There, scientists analyzed the changes in these aerospace artefacts." This means that the TV camera was returned to Earth for analysis.


5. life

Explanation: The sentence in the passage that provides this answer is: "For a moment it was thought Conrad and Bean had discovered evidence for life on the Moon..." This indicates that the discovery of the bacteria initially suggested the theory that there might be life on the Moon.

Remember, in the actual IELTS exam, it's simpler than you might imagine. All you have to do is place the right answers in the specific boxes provided. No need for detailed explanations or added flair. Stick to the guidelines, and you'll be headed in the right direction.

Special Tips to Improve in Flow-chart Completion Questions

Read the Instructions Carefully

One fundamental step that's easy to overlook is reading the instructions. The devil is often in the details, and missing out on specific instructions such as the word limit or other requirements can cost you valuable points. For instance, if the question instructs you to use no more than two words, adhering to this rule is vital. In our IELTS Reading eBook, we dedicate a section to understanding and interpreting instructions, ensuring you’re fully aware of what's expected in every question type, including Flow-chart Completion Questions.

Use Synonyms

A critical aspect of Flow-chart Completion Questions is recognizing that the wording in the flow-chart might differ slightly from the passage. The text may use synonyms or paraphrased expressions, making it essential to understand these variations. Developing this skill isn't just about knowing synonyms but understanding context and related expressions. Our IELTS Reading eBook provides targeted practice and strategies for identifying these variations, offering you a deeper comprehension of the language used in the passages and the tools to decode it successfully.

Review Your Answers

Accuracy is paramount in Flow-chart Completion Questions, and allocating time to review your responses ensures that you've correctly understood the passage and filled in the blanks appropriately. This is more than a cursory glance; it's about critically evaluating your answers and cross-referencing them with the text. Our IELTS Reading eBook emphasizes this review process, providing you with practical techniques to assess your responses systematically. By incorporating these techniques into your practice, you'll enhance your precision and confidence in your answers.

Practice with Real Test Examples

Reinforcing these tips through hands-on practice is vital, and our IELTS Reading eBook offers real test examples for Flow-chart Completion Questions. These aren’t merely practice exercises; they’re carefully curated to offer authentic challenges and insights. As you work through these examples, guided by our in-depth explanations, you'll find these special tips become second nature. You'll learn to apply them in the context of the actual exam, turning these tips into actionable strategies.

Improving in Flow-chart Completion Questions is about more than understanding the task; it's about mastering the nuances and specific skills required. With careful attention to instructions, proficiency in recognizing synonyms, diligent review, and guided practice through our IELTS Reading eBook, you can elevate your performance in this challenging question type.

These special tips, when internalized through consistent practice using the resources found in our eBook, offer a robust pathway to success in Flow-chart Completion Questions, transforming potential obstacles into opportunities for excellence.

bottom of page