IELTS Reading Tips for Summary Completion

This lesson focuses on the IELTS Reading question type summary completion questions. Later in the lesson, we will take a close look at an example question with a text that matches it. But this is just to give you a sense of what the question appears like on the test. Basically, you have a summary like this. It would probably be a little longer than this one, this one is just an example.


But what you have are blanks within the summary that you need to fill in with some words that are either provided to you or that you take from the text itself. All of this text with the questions that you see is paraphrased. It is a paraphrased portion of the reading passage that you have for this set of questions. Your job is to fill in these blanks with words that fit well based on what you read in the text. Like other questions, this kind of question fits nicely or fits closely with others you have seen. For example, diagram questions or flow chart completion questions because the directions and the types of questions you get are quite similar.


The first type for summary completion questions is basic to the short answer question type that you have seen other places on IELTS reading. Here we have got the example of using no more than two words. It could be one word, or three words, you could have a number that you have to use, but this is just an example. This is a short answer question type.


As always, this type will tell you if you need to take the words directly from the passage. Usually, that is the case, and that means you do not make any changes to the words. You take them directly from the reading passage that you are reading to answer the questions. The second type is just like we have seen again, on chart completion or diagram completion questions.


This is where they may give you a box with some answer choices. These answer choices may be, in fact, they are likely to be paraphrased. These are not usually words taken directly from the text, they are words that express a similar idea. They are paraphrases of words you find in the text. These answer choices, it is a little easier sometimes because you have got a box full of choices you can choose from.


But it can be tough to find the appropriate paraphrase since these words are not taken directly from the passage. The first thing you definitely need to do is to find the section of the reading passage that is summarized for these questions. Usually, the summary will only pertain to a small section of the reading passage. One or two paragraphs perhaps. If you go and find that section quickly you will know where to look and what part of the reading passage is going to be summarized including the answers that you need to find for the question. After you found the place in the passage where your information is summarized, then you need to study the summary a little bit.



For more details about this lesson, please watch this video on our website.