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How to Answer IELTS Reading Matching Information Questions

Kayla C. April 8th, 2020

In your IELTS preparation, you'll need to practice a total of 11 IELTS reading question types. In this post, we'll look at the Matching Information IELTS reading question type in detail and provide you with many IELTS reading Matching Information practice questions.

First, join IELTS Instructor Tina below to learn how to approach an IELTS reading Matching Information question. Click either General Training or Academic to watch the associated video lesson.


Table Of Contents

IELTS Reading Matching Information Question Introduction

In this question type, you are asked to match statements to paragraphs in the reading text. The statements could be reasons, descriptions, summaries, definitions, facts or explanations. You need to find the specific information in the paragraph and match it to one of the statements. This question type test your ability to understand various details and specific information from the text.

The amount of questions for this specific task can vary, but keep in mind that sometimes, answers can be used more than once. If this is the case, the directions will specify this detail. In any case, you will be instructed to write the letter of the correct paragraph or section (in which the information is found) on your answer sheet. Also keep in mind that the answers do not come in order.

Below is a sample practice. Give it a try! Remember to click either General Training or Academic based on the IELTS test you are taking or plan to take.

Questions 1-8

Look at the five advertisements, A-E.

Which advertisement mentions the following?


Write the correct letter, A-E, in boxes 1-8 on your answer sheet.

NB You may use any letter more than once.

1. up-to-date teaching systems

2. that the institution has been established for a significant time

3. examination classes

4. that arrangements can be made for activities outside class

5. the availability of courses for school students

6. language teaching for special purposes

7. a wide variety of language choices

8. evening classes


  • spellcheck Answers
    1. B
    2. E
    3. E
    4. C
    5. D
    6. B
    7. A
    8. D

A ) INTERNATIONAL LANGUAGE CENTRE INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY

FRENCH & JAPANESE SUMMER INTENSIVE

Also commencing January 2005

* Mandarin * Cantonese *Thai * Vietnamese *Korean * Indonesian * English * Spanish *Italian *German * Russian

For further details contact: Admissions & Information Office 5 Bligh Street, Sth. Sydney, 2000 Tel: 295 4561 Fax: 235 4714 

 

B ) Global Language

Learning Centre

ONE OF THE WORLD'S BEST LANGUAGE SCHOOLS IS NOW IN SYDNEY

LEARN A NEW LANGUAGE IN 10-20 WEEKS

  • LATEST METHODS
  • FULL AND PART-TIME COURSES
  • BUSINESS, HOSPITALITY, OR TRAVEL

Phone for Appointment

938 0977

 

C) DO YOU WANT TO LEARN ENGLISH SOMEWHERE DIFFERENT?

Then come to Perth, the Picturesque Capital City of Western Australia

Situated on the beautiful Swan River, Perth offers you…

  • Mediterranean climate
  • Lovely Indian Ocean beaches
  • Every sport imaginable
  • Multicultural society
  • Government-owned TAFE Colleges
  • High standards of facilities and staff
  • Maximum flexibility
  • Hostel or homestay accommodation 

Intensive English Courses Available 

  • 5 intakes per year 
  • 10 week modules
  • Multicultural classes
  • Optional programs
  • Cost $2000 AUD per 10 weeks

Study Tours Available 

  • English/cultural/tourism

WE PLAN THE PROGRAM TO SUIT YOUR NEEDS

For further details, contact:

TAFE International,  Level 5, 1 Mill Street, Perth 6000, Western Australia

Telephone: 619 320 3777

 

D ) French

SUMMER COURSES

January 2005

Adults Crash Course 9-19 Jan

  • Intensive 3 or 4 hrs a day
  • Morning or evening
  • 30 hrs $250

(Beginners and Low Intermediate only)

Adults Normal Course 9 Jan - 4 March

  • 10 levels from Beginner to Advanced
  • Twice a week - 2 hrs morning or evening
  • Once a week Saturday 9am - 1:30 pm   32 hrs $278

High School Crash Course 11 - 25 Jan 

  • Intensive 3 hrs a day, 1pm - 4pm
  • Years 8 to 12
  • 24 hrs $200
  • Starts Wednesday 11.1.97

Club Français

  • 27 Claire St, Sydney, Phone 227 1746 

 

E ) UNIVERSITY OF CANBERRA

Learn English in Australia's National Capital

  1. The TESOL Centre has more than 24 years' experience in providing quality language programs for overseas students
  2. Test preparation, possibility of further academic study 
  3. Access to University facilities
  4. Classes conducted on campus with opportunities to mix with Australian students
 
1 B - From scanning for our key words and synonyms (up-to-date methods/latest methods/teaching systems), we should pay attention to box B. The phrase, “LATEST METHODS” shows that this is correct.
 
2 E - From scanning for our key words and synonyms (institution, established, school, center, experience, ____ years), we should pay attention to box E. The statement, “The TESOL Centre has more than 24 years' experience in providing quality language programs for overseas students” proves that this is correct.
 
3 E - From scanning for our key words and synonyms (examination classes, testing, test preparation), we should pay attention to box E. The statement, “Test preparation, possibility of further academic study” proves that this is correct.
 
4 C - From scanning for our key words and synonyms (arrangements, activities, outside, class, plans, happenings, and studies), we should pay attention to box C. The phrases, “every sport imaginable” and “optional programs” prove that this is correct.
 
5 D - From scanning for our key words and synonyms (availability, courses, students, and schedule), we should come across box D. The prices and timings for the various courses are listed, making this the correct choice.
 
6 B - From scanning for our key words and synonyms (language teaching, special, and instruction, specific), we should come across box B. The phrase “business, hospitality, or travel” show that this is correct, since it is a specific type of language learning.
 
7 A - From scanning for our key words and synonyms (variety, language, and large selection), we should focus on box A. The fact that various languages are included in this option prove that it is correct.
 
8 D - From scanning for our key words and synonyms (evening classes, night, sessions), we should focus on box D. The phrase “2 hrs morning or evening” prove that this is correct.

Practice this sample practice on our IELTS App

Questions 1-6
The reading passage has six paragraphs labelled A-F.

Which paragraph contains the following information?

Write the correct letter A-F in boxes 1-6 on your answer sheet.

NB You may use any letter more than once.

1. an explanation of the factors affecting the transmission of information

2. an example of how unnecessary information can be omitted

3. a reference to attitude to fame

4. details of a machine capable of interpreting incomplete information

5. a detailed account of an incident involving information theory

6. a reference to what Shannon initially intended to achieve in his research


  • spellcheck Answers
    1. D
    2. F
    3. B
    4. E
    5. A
    6. C
Reading Passage

Information theory lies at the heart of everything - from DVD players and the genetic code of DNA to the physics of the universe at its most fundamental. It has been central to the development of the science of communication, which enables data to be sent electronically and has therefore had a major impact on our lives.

A In April 2002 an event took place which demonstrated one of the many applications of information theory. The space probe, Voyager I, launched in 1977, had sent back spectacular images of Jupiter and Saturn and then soared out of the Solar System on a one-way mission to the stars. After 25 years of exposure to the freezing temperatures of deep space, the probe was beginning to show its age. Sensors and circuits were on the brink of failing and NASA experts realised that they had to do something or lose contact with their probe forever. The solution was to get a message to Voyager I to instruct it to use spares to change the failing parts. With the probe 12 billion kilometres from Earth, this was not an easy task. By means of a radio dish belonging to NASA's Deep Space Network, the message was sent out into the depths of space. Even travelling at the speed of light, it took over 11 hours to reach its target, far beyond the orbit of Pluto. Yet, incredibly, the little probe managed to hear the faint call from its home planet, and successfully made the switchover.

B It was the longest-distance repair job in history, and a triumph for the NASA engineers. But it also highlighted the astonishing power of the techniques developed by American communications engineer Claude Shannon, who had died just a year earlier. Born in 1916 in Petoskey, Michigan, Shannon showed an early talent for maths and for building gadgets, and made breakthroughs in the foundations of computer technology when still a student. While at Bell Laboratories, Shannon developed information theory, but shunned the resulting acclaim. In the 1940s, he single-handedly created an entire science of communication which has since inveigled its way into a host of applications, from DVDs to satellite communications to bar codes - any area, in short, where data has to be conveyed rapidly yet accurately.

C This all seems light years away from the down-to-earth uses Shannon originally had for his work, which began when he was a 22-year-old graduate engineering student at the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1939. He set out with an apparently simple aim: to pin down the precise meaning of the concept of 'information'. The most basic form of information, Shannon argued, is whether something is true or false - which can be captured in the binary unit, or 'bit', of the form 1 or 0. Having identified this fundamental unit, Shannon set about defining otherwise vague ideas about information and how to transmit it from place to place. In the process he discovered something surprising: it is always possible to guarantee information will get through random interference - 'noise' - intact.

D Noise usually means unwanted sounds which interfere with genuine information. Information theory generalises this idea via theorems that capture the effects of noise with mathematical precision. In particular, Shannon showed that noise sets a limit on the rate at which information can pass along communication channels while remaining error-free. This rate depends on the relative strengths of the signal and noise travelling down the communication channel, and on its capacity (its 'bandwidth'). The resulting limit, given in units of bits per second, is the absolute maximum rate of error-free communication given signal strength and noise level. The trick, Shannon showed, is to find ways of packaging up - 'coding' - information to cope with the ravages of noise, while staying within the information-carrying capacity - 'bandwidth' - of the communication system being used.

E Over the years scientists have devised many such coding methods, and they have proved crucial in many technological feats. The Voyager spacecraft transmitted data using codes which added one extra bit for every single bit of information; the result was an error rate of just one bit in 10,000 - and stunningly clear pictures of the planets. Other codes have become part of everyday life - such as the Universal Product Code, or bar code, which uses a simple error-detecting system that ensures supermarket check-out lasers can read the price even on, say, a crumpled bag of crisps. As recently as 1993, engineers made a major breakthrough by discovering so-called turbo codes - which come very close to Shannon's ultimate limit for the maximum rate that data can be transmitted reliably, and now play a key role in the mobile videophone revolution.

F Shannon also laid the foundations of more efficient ways of storing information, by stripping out superfluous ('redundant') bits from data which contributed little real information. As mobile phone text messages like 'I CN C U' show, it is often possible to leave out a lot of data without losing much meaning. As with error correction, however, there's a limit beyond which messages become too ambiguous. Shannon showed how to calculate this limit, opening the way to the design of compression methods that cram maximum information into the minimum space.

 
27. An explanation of the factors affecting the transfer of information: D. In this paragraph, you'll see the following phrases: "interferes with genuine information", "information can pass along communication channels", and "depends on the relative strength of the signal". Although the word "affects" is used in the information, "interferes" is similar, albeit a more specific term. "Pass along" is another way to say "transmission", and "depends on" is a way to discuss what affects something. Thus, Paragraph D contains information regarding: An explanation of the factors affecting the transfer of information.
 
28. an example of how unnecessary information can be omitted: F. In this paragraph, you'll see the following phrases: "stripping out superfluous ('redundant') bits" and "leave out a lot of data without losing much meaning". "Stripping out" and "leave out" are phrasal verbs used to convey the idea of "omit" and "superfluous" and "redundant" are ways to say "unnecessary". Thus, Paragraph F contains information regarding: An example of how unnecessary information can be omitted.
 
29. A reference to Shannon's attitude to fame: B. First off, it is best to scan for the name "Shannon" in order to find the correct paragraph quickly. With a brief scan, you'll see that Shannon is mentioned in paragraphs B, C, D, and F. Now, you need to scan these paragraphs to find his reaction to claim. In Paragraph B, you'll see the following phrase: "shunned the resulting acclaim". This is a short phrase that shows his reaction to celebrity. Thus, Paragraph B contains information regarding: A reference to Shannon's attitude to fame.
 
30. details of a machine capable of interpreting incomplete information: E. In this paragraph, you'll see the following phrases: "error-detecting system that ensures supermarket check-out lasers can read the price on say, even a crumpled bag of crisps", and "transmitted reliably". The fact that the paragraph uses the word "crumpled" conveys the idea that these systems can understand difficult codes and situations, and thus incomplete information. Therefore, Paragraph E contains information regarding: details of a machine capable of interpreting incomplete information.
 
31. a detailed account of an incident involving information theory: A. In this paragraph, you'll see the following phrases: "In April 2002 an event took place which demonstrated one of the many applications of information theory". It further goes on to explain this theory in detail, which satisfies the requirement of the question. Thus, Paragraph A contains information regarding a detailed account of an incident involving information theory.
 
32. a reference to what Shannon initially intended to achieve in his research: C. In this paragraph, you'll see the following phrases: "the down-to-earth uses Shannon originally had for his work" and "he set out on an apparently simple aim". The words "originally" and "set out" are ways to describe the initial intentions of Shannon's work. Thus, Paragraph C contains information regarding a reference to what Shannon initially intended to achieve in his research.

Practice this sample practice on our IELTS App

Now that you're familiar with the Matching Information question type, it's time to teach you some IELTS reading tips & strategies for successfully answering a Matching Information question.

How to Answer Matching Information Questions

The first two steps contain "preparation work", which will be done while reading the headings. The last step is to be done with the reading passage itself.

1. Read the Information - Think of this step as the "Golden Rule" of any reading question on the IELTS exam. You should never "read blindly", or reading the passage without knowing exactly what to read for. Therefore, the first step in this case (and all cases in the General Reading section) will be to read the information given to you. Reading the provided information first will help you get an overview of the theme of the passage, which will help you scan for information later.

Note that as you read the information that has been given to you, you should be looking for key words and underlining them as you go along. Check out our Overview lesson for more information regarding key words! In any case, we will explore this in depth in our step-by-step example.

2. Comprehend and Highlight - Once you've read the information, make sure that you have truly understood the information. Why? The information you'll be looking for will most likely appear differently in the text. It's rare that the information appears exactly as it is written in the question. By closely reading the information, you'll be prepared to understand it if it is written differently. A great way to dissect the information is to underline key words. By doing this, you'll know what to look out for in the passage. We'll show you an example of this below. You can also think of ways to paraphrase the information as that will help you process the information.

3. Scan the Passage - After you have read and comprehend the information, read the passage and scan for the information. Underline or circle sentences that you think could help you answer the given questions. You may need to come back to these clues later.

After you've done this, start answering your questions. Some things may make immediate sense after having scanned the text, but some questions may take more time. Before we use these tips to look at an example, let's briefly discuss what not to do when answering the Matching Information question type.

1. Do not read the entire passage. As a general rule for the Reading section, it is not necessary and actually time-restrictive to read the entire passage, word for word. Be sure to use the scanning technique, first and foremost, for this section.

2. Do not get confused if the text includes synonyms of the information that is originally presented in the questions. Think about it: this question type would be too easy if the exact wording was relayed in both the passage and questions. This is why it's important to brush up on your vocabulary for this exam. A trick in this section is to reuse key words in order to fool test-takers. For example, the same key words used in a question will be presented in the incorrect paragraph. We will look at an example of this in our practice test below.

3. Do not write words on your answer sheet. The answers for this question type will be the letters that correspond to the various paragraphs.

Recap

Here are some brief tips to remember when approaching this question type:

Do:

  • Read the questions first and circle or underline any key words.
  • Comprehend the information in the questions in order to maximize your understanding.
  • Scan the passage looking for information provided in the questions.
  • Write the paragraph letters in your answer sheet.
  • Remember that answers will not come in order.

Don’t: 

  • Read the passage first.
  • Read for general information.
  • Get confused with synonyms from the questions, located in incorrect paragraphs. Just because the synonyms or key words are in a certain paragraph doesn’t always mean that it’s the correct option.
  • Repeat any letters if not instructed to do so in the directions.
  • Write any words in your answer booklet for this section.

IELTS Reading Matching Information Practice List

Now it is time to practice! Check out the following Matching Information practice questions.

Academic Reading - Matching Information Questions Practice List

matching information Practice 1 - 16
Practice 1Practice 2Practice 3Practice 4Practice 5Practice 6Practice 7Practice 8Practice 9Practice 10Practice 11Practice 12Practice 13Practice 14Practice 15Practice 16
matching information Practice 17 - 32
Practice 17Practice 18Practice 19Practice 20Practice 21Practice 22Practice 23Practice 24Practice 25

General Reading - Matching Information Questions Practice List

matching information Practice 1 - 16
Practice 1Practice 2Practice 3Practice 4Practice 5Practice 6Practice 7Practice 8Practice 9Practice 10Practice 11Practice 12Practice 13Practice 14Practice 15Practice 16
matching information Practice 17 - 32
Practice 17Practice 18Practice 19


 
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