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How to Answer IELTS Reading Short Answer 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 Short Answer IELTS reading question type in detail and provide you with many IELTS reading Short Answer practice questions.

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


Table Of Contents

IELTS Reading Short Answer Question Introduction

In this question type, you are asked to locate information in the passage and answer a question in the number of words specified in the instructions, which can range from NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS AND/OR A NUMBER, ONE WORD ONLY, or NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS. This section requires some attention towards the spelling and number of words and numbers that you write, so be sure to spend time adhering to the instructions. As always, numbers can be written using figures (12) or words (twelve), and will always count as one word. Most times, prepositions and articles (such as 'the' or 'an') are optional. Additionally, unless otherwise stated, answers that are last names are sufficient, but you could also write the first and last names of a person.

The Short Answer question type is almost always used with factual information. In other words, you will probably never have to answer this question with a passage based on the writer's opinions. Similar to other question types in the exam, the answers are most likely going to be in the order of the questions. Lastly, it is a good idea to write your answers in capital letters to ensure precision and consistency.

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 1-4
Complete the short answers below.

Choose NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS from the passage for each answer.

Write your answers in 1-4 on your answer sheet.

1. You do not want to renew your lease. What must you provide to your landlord in order to terminate the contract?

2. What could be added to the rent of the final month if a contract is not terminated properly?

3. You want to renew your lease. With whom must you schedule a meeting?

4. You have questions regarding contract termination. Who should you contact?


  • spellcheck Answers
    1. a written request / written request
    2. additional fees
    3. Housing Cooperative Board
    4. Housing Cooperative President


Read the advertisements below and answer Questions 1-4.

A.                                            

Hotel Concierge Wanted

Have you previously worked in the hotel industry and know what it takes to succeed? Then Benway Hotels Inc. is looking for you!

We are looking for a trained Hotel Concierge for our luxury chain in Atlanta, Georgia. Accepted candidates will be able to start within one month of our offer.

Please call Personnel at 890-444-2947 or send your resume to: Benway Hotel, 42 Benway Road, Atlanta, Georgia 38377.

Benway Hotel
ATLANTA


B.

TRAVEL AGENT

Are you an enthusiastic graduate looking for part-time work? Our office is ready to train newly accredited travel experts to help our customers plan the perfect getaways. Role is based in Yorkshire, England.

Please send CV to Gregory Smith, Luxury Tour Company Ltd., 44 McKnight Road, Yorkshire, England W6 3NI.

C.                                                    

Quality Assurance Consultant Needed!

Toucon Corporation is looking for entry-level Quality Assurance Consultants for our offices in the United States.

Candidates must currently reside in the United States and can expect to make monthly visits to out-of-state sites during the first two years of employment.

Contact Andrea Nisson at 724-933-5757 for more details.


D. 

ENGLISH TUTOR

Criswick & Co. are looking for an English Tutor for the High School division of English as a Second Language students. Must be accredited and familiar with preparation for various state exams. Current positions that need to be filled will offer fixed contracts from January to April.

Please submit references and resumes to Harold Scherner at hscherner@criswick.com.

E.

HALSTON GAMES
Greetings! Our company is searching for five video game aficionados looking for part-time work as gaming consultants for our start-up company. This position would be perfect for freelancers and college students, as you can organize your working hours based on your schedule. Knowledge of User Design is an advantage, but by no means essential.
Game on!

Interested parties are asked to send your CV or inquiries to our mailing address:
HALSON GAMES
1000 Brambury Lane
London, England
Y648X

Read the text below and answer Questions 5-8.
 

RENTAL LEASE INFORMATION

All tenants must abide by the contractual information regarding rental leases and renewals. In the event that a tenant does not wish to renew his or her lease in Bradbury Apartments, a written request to terminate the agreement must be received by the landlord no later than two weeks before the contract's end date. If the notice is not received within the necessary timeframe, additional fees may be accrued to the final rent payment.

Alternatively, should a tenant decide to renew his or her lease, a meeting with the Housing Cooperative Board must be requested on behalf of the tenant no later than three months before the contract's end date. Failure to abide by these rules may result in forfeiture of the contract renewal.

For any questions regarding these processes, contact the Housing Cooperative President at your convenience.

Read the text below and answer Questions 9-14.

The following chart displays new recycling regulations in Barmont County and serves as a reference point for residents.

Recycling Guidelines
As of March 1, Barmont County recycling guidelines have changed. All residents are urged to make a note of the following changes and regulations.

    

Pick-Up Times

Unless otherwise communicated, Barmont County City Workers will follow this schedule in terms of recycling pick-up:

  1. On weekdays: From 6:00 AM - 7:30 AM
  2. On weekends: Contrary to last year's schedule, pick-up will no longer take place on Sundays.
  3. On bank holidays: Recycling refuse will not be collected.

If residents are unable to abide by the aforementioned pick-up times, they can request a Recycling Card through the Town Hall, in order to transport recycling refuse to the Barmont County Ecological Island.

What Can Be Recycled?

In accordance with the most recent State Laws, residents must now recycle the following items:

Aluminum Cans, Cardboard, Egg Cartons, Plastic Materials, Glass Bottles, Paper, Empty Aerosols

If it is discovered that a resident has not properly recycled any of the above items, a fine may be issued.

What Cannot Be Recycled?

Similar to previous years, the following items remain unable to be recycled:
Batteries, Clothing, Electronic Waste, Food Waste, Hazardous Waste, Medical Waste, Diapers, Glass (from windows or frames)

Note: In an effort to curb potentially harmful recycling practices, Barmont County City Workers will keep track of each instance that these items are found in the recycled waste. If occurrences exceed a given amount, City Waste Taxes will increase in the following fiscal year.

Residents and Taxpayers are urged to attend City Hall Meetings on Wednesday evenings at 8:00 PM to contribute opinions and learn more information regarding this initiative. 

1. C. The statement, “Candidates must currently reside in the United States and can expect to make monthly visits to out-of-state sites during the first two years of employment.” proves this to be true. The travel would be domestic because candidates must reside in the United States, as described in the entry. 
2. A. The first question in this job advertisement, “Have you previously worked in the hotel industry and know what it takes to succeed?” proves that this job would require past experience.
3. D. This advertisement calls for 'Tutors' and describes tutoring in the “high school” sector of education. Therefore, this is the correct answer.
4. D. The statement, “Current positions that need to be filled will offer fixed contracts from January to April.” shows that this job is available for a fixed period. Therefore, it is seasonal.

5. a written request / written request - The statement, 'In the event that a tenant does not wish to renew his or her lease in Bradbury Apartments, a written request to terminate the agreement must be received' proves this to be correct.

6. additional fees - The statement, 'If the notice is not received within the necessary timeframe, additional fees may be accrued to the final rent payment.' proves this to be correct.

7. Housing Cooperative Board - The statement, '...should a tenant decide to renew his or her lease, a meeting with the Housing Cooperative Board must be requested…' proves this to be correct. Note that the word 'the' cannot be used as NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS can be written as an answer.

8. Housing Cooperative President - The statement, 'For any questions regarding these processes, contact the Housing Cooperative President at your convenience.' proves this to be correct, since contract terminations would fall into 'any questions regarding these processes'. Note that the word 'the' cannot be used as NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS can be written as an answer.
9. TRUE - The chart states that “Contrary to last year's schedule, pick-up will no longer take place on Sundays.”, which would mean that Barmont County City Workers collected recycling refuse on Sundays.
10. NOT GIVEN - Information regarding the price of the Barmont County Recycling Card is not listed in the chart.
11. FALSE - The chart states that “If it is discovered that a resident has not properly recycled any of the above items, a fine may be issued.” Thus, a fine may only be issued if the malpractice has been discovered. It would be incorrect to state that this would lead to an automatic fine.
12. TRUE - The statement, “Similar to previous years, the following items remain unable to be recycled” proves that There have not been changes regarding items that cannot be recycled.
13. FALSE - Since glass bottles can be recycled, yet glass from mirrors and frames cannot, it is incorrect to state that all glass must be recycled.
14. NOT GIVEN - The passage does not provide the total amount of occurrences it would take for taxes to increase.

Practice this sample practice on our IELTS App

Coming soon!

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

How to Answer Short Answer Questions

1. Read the Questions and Underline Key Words - As the answers are most likely to appear in the text in the same order as the questions, test takers should pay close attention to the order of questions. Read each statement first in order to get an overview of the theme of the passage, and underline key words in both the question and the answer options.

2. Think About the Missing Words - Once you have successfully understood the information presented in the sentences, think about the type of word that will fit in the gap. Is it a noun, verb, adverb, or adjective? Write a note about what you think it could be next to the gap.

3. Scan the Passage & Skim Read as Necessary - Now that you've read the sentences and you are aware of what type of word could fit in the gap, start scanning the passage based on the underline words. Once you've found a section of the text that looks promising, skim read the section in order understand the information to correctly answer the question.

4. Pay Close Attention and Answer the Questions - Pay attention to the amount of words you need to write, and be sure to write in all capital letters in order to maintain consistency and precision.

What Not To Do:
Do not read the entire passage, and do not read the passage first, as you won't know what you're looking for. 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, and then the skimming technique as necessary.

Do not misspell or use words incorrectly. This information is included in the passage, so there is not really any excuse to misspell a word. Remember to use the step of "thinking about the missing words" in order to appropriately write a verb, noun, etc.

Recap

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

Do:

  • Read the questions first, underline key words, and scan for information.
  • Remember that answers will most likely come in order.
  • Remember to think about the parts of speech of the missing word.
  • Skip a question if it is difficult and move on. Then, you should be able to better locate the
  • answer to a difficult question in the text, since it will most likely be between some of your marked information.
  • Write in capital letters to ensure precision.

Don't:

  • Read the entire passage first.
  • Make mistakes when it comes to spelling or grammar, or write more words than necessary.
  • Miss key words such as "first" or "last".

IELTS Reading Short Answer Practice List

Now it is time to practice! Check out the following Short Answer practice questions.

Academic Reading - Short Answer Questions Practice List

short answer Practice 1 - 16
Practice 1Practice 2Practice 3Practice 4Practice 5Practice 6Practice 7Practice 8Practice 9Practice 10Practice 11Practice 12

General Reading - Short Answer Questions Practice List

short answer Practice 1 - 16
Practice 1Practice 2Practice 3Practice 4Practice 5Practice 6Practice 7Practice 8Practice 9Practice 10


 
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