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A Guide for Matching Sentence Endings in IELTS Reading

You will be given two lists. In one list there will be some incomplete sentences, and in another list there will be some possible endings to choose from. You will be required to match the incomplete sentences with the correct endings. And there will be more number of ending options than you need to complete the sentences.


Remember, your answer has to be based on the reading text. Look at the example from a previous actual test question: 

IELTS Reading Matching Sentence Endings

Source: Cambridge English IELTS Past Papers

Look at the example question above, at first you are given five incomplete sentences. You need to complete these sentences with the best possible option from the given list. Check the instruction sentence, it says that you need to write the correct letter in the specific boxes on your answer sheet. That means, if the answer of the question 38 is C, you just need to write the letter C in the box number 38 on your answer sheet.​

Common Problems

Using just Logic and Grammar

Using logic rather than using grammar and passage is one of the major problems for many students when they attempt to answer this question. Most of the time, they get biased to match the sentences just using common sense and grammar, they tend to forget that the answer has to be based on the reading text.

Examiner's Trap

Many students fall into trick of connecting ideas. Examiners give the options in such a way that students tend to answer the questions based on connecting ideas rather than looking at the reading passage. This distraction is a major trap that most of the students cannot get rid off.

Trying to Find Matching Words

Another common problem for many students is targeting a word in the question sentence, and then looking for that exact word in the reading text. If you do this, you might end up with wrong answer. Because in IELTS, most of the time examiners use synonyms and paraphrases in reading texts for the the words they use in question sentences.

Solution Tips

Ordered Answer: This is a order question. Answers in the reading text will appear in order. That means you will find the answer of the second question in the reading text somewhere after the answer of the first question. If you can remember this little information, your task will be much easier. Because now you know where to start searching your answer in the reading passage. 

It's a good strategy to spend some extra time for the first couple of questions. It will make your task easier for the remaining questions. 

Read the question sentence before you read the answer options, and try to predict the answer. It will help you to guess the probable word type (verb, adverb, noun, adjective etc) that the answer option might start with.

When you are predicting, try to predict the synonyms and paraphrases that might be used in the answer options or in the reading text.

Highlight keywords like places, dates, names etc. in the question sentence. These keywords are relatively easy to find in the reading text.

Take closer looks at the answer options, but don't dive deep into it.

If you are running out of time, keep eliminating the options by marking the possible answers, and move on to the next question. Come back later, you will find it much easier to answer.

Check the other question types with detailed discussions for the Reading section:

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