IELTS Reading: Matching Information Question

You will be provided with a list of statements or information. You will be asked to  match those statements or find the information in the reading text. The question statements may appear in different forms like definition, description, summary etc. Regardless the forms of question statements, answers will always be there in the reading text. Look at the different types of Matching Information questions below: 

Example 1

IELTS Reading Matching Information example 1

Source: Cambridge English IELTS Past Papers

Look at the example above, you are provided with some statements and a list of scientists' names. You need to match which scientist is related to which statement. Remember, you are asked to write the correct letter, not the name, on your answer sheet's specified boxes 19-23. If you write scientists' names rather than writing only the designated letters, your answer will be considered wrong. Remember, your answer has to be based on the reading text, neither based on logic nor prior knowledge.

Example 2

IELTS Reading Matching Information example 2

Source: Cambridge English IELTS Past Papers

Look at the above example 2 , you are provided with some events and a list of dates.

You need to match which event is related to which date. Remember, you are asked to write the correct letter on your answer sheet's specified boxes 1-5, not the dates. If you write the dates rather than writing only the designated letters, your answer will be wrong. 

Again, your answer has to be based on the reading text, not logic or your prior knowledge.

Example 3

IELTS Reading Matching Information example 3

Source: Cambridge English IELTS Past Papers

Look at the example 3 above, you are provided with a list of information. You have six paragraphs in the reading passage, and the paragraphs are numbered alphabetically from A to F. You need to identify which information is contained in which paragraph. 

Remember, you are asked to write the correct letter A-F on your answer sheet's specified boxes 1-5. Again, your answer has to be based on the reading text, not logic or your prior knowledge.

Common Problems

  • This is not an order question. That means, answers could be anywhere in the reading passage, they do not come in order. That's why students need to have a good grasp on the complete picture of the whole passage.

  • There are so many students who tend to read a whole paragraph to answer this question. It takes long time, and in fact it's not a good strategy.

  • Some paragraphs may contain more than one answer, whereas some may contain none. This is a misleading issue for many students.

  • There are so much irrelevant information in each paragraph. You don't need to know all the information to answer this question. But many students dive deep into details and get lost. Eventually, they end up with wasting time.

Solution Tips

  • I suggest you answer this question first. Because you can get a good understanding of the whole passage if you do this question first. The remaining questions will be much easier for you.

  • Skim the reading passage to understand a general meaning of it. Scan and mark the paragraphs that you guess contain the answer.

  • Always be aware of synonyms and paraphrases. You know the same word can provide different meanings, likewise the same meaning can be represented by different words. For example, you might see the word "dramatic" in the reading text, whereas in the question sentence the word might be "theatrical". 

  • Identify the keywords in the question sentence. It can be a name, a place, a number, and a date etc. These are relatively easy to locate in the reading text.

Check the other Reading question types with their detailed discussion: