IELTS Reading: List of Matching Headings Practice & Tips

May 22,2024

IELTS Reading Matching Headings

The IELTS Reading section is a crucial part of the exam that evaluates your capacity to comprehend and interpret written texts. The “List of Headings” question type can be particularly challenging. It requires you to match headings to paragraphs or sections of a passage. Here’s a complete guide on decoding the List of Headings and improving your IELTS Reading score.

The matching heading questions of the IELTS Reading test are the question type that students most frequently struggle with. Nevertheless, by implementing successful tactics and thorough preparation, you can tackle these questions. In this blog, we will discuss different techniques and advice to assist you in effectively answering matching headings questions and achieving a high score on the IELTS Reading test.

Tips and Tricks for IELTS Academic Reading Matching Headings

To improve your ability to accurately match the headings, carefully read the text and headings, identify important words, and grasp the main ideas of each paragraph. It is most likely that the options for the heading are more in comparison to questions. In few instance, it is possible that certain parts or sections of the text will have NO connection or relevance to the questions however the main here is to test your skill to identify the main idea and supporting ideas in each paragraph.

This type of question can be difficult for the reasons listed below:

  • Match the Heading usually consumes more time than other task.
  • The number of questions in this task and the number of headings can vary, so always read the instructions carefully.
  • Headings are not provided for all the paragraph. You could be asked to answer heading for just few sections or paragraphs.
  • Several headings may contain precise, specific details in lieu of the central idea which can mislead students.
Get Enrolled for Online IELTS Coaching

How to Solve the Matching Headings Question Type in IELTS Reading Test?

There are typically two strategies to solve List of Headings. Both of the strategies are elaborately explained below.

Strategy 1: Read the QUESTIONS

1. Start by Reading the Question

There are about 7 to 8 list of headingsprovided as a form of question. You must read it thoroughly and understand it. Often rephrasing the main idea or converting it into simpler words helps in matching the paragraphs with heading.

2. Highlight Important Words

In order to bring your attention to nitty grit ties of the paragraph it is vital that you highlight important words such as names, places, dates and nouns in the headings.

3. Pay Attention to Similarities and Differences

List of headings often have very similar to very different headings. It is advisable for students to pay close attention to similarities and spot the differences between headings.

4. Focus on First and last sentences.

The main idea is frequently derived by first and last sentences of each paragraph. It is best to read these first and last sentences carefully, as it will save you time. It is also best to skim through the rest of the sentences in a paragraph, as the main idea may not be found in the first one.

5. Next, select the best heading

After rereading the headings, select the heading that best describes the paragraph. If you are unsure of the difference between several headings, take a note and keep reading. As you go through each paragraph, you may be able to remove some of the heading options, which will help you understand the answers more clearly.

Keep in mind that a heading is a summary of a paragraph’s main idea, not a specific detail. In some cases, a heading and a paragraph may have the same word, but the main idea is not the same.

Join IELTS Coaching Classes Today!

Strategy 2: Read the TEXT before starting.

The aim of reading through the entire paragraph is to get a sense of the text for some test takers. However, remember that you are reading each paragraph in less than 20 minutes and do not want to spend this time on a specific type of question. 

First, focus on one paragraph. Pay close attention to the beginning and end of the paragraph.

Second, make your own heading. Skim the paragraph and come up with a new heading or short sentence that sums up what you’ve read.

Third, don’t just skim through headings but comprehensively read and understand.

Fourth, as soon as you go through the paragraph make your own heading and try to match your heading with the list of headings provided.

Fifth, in case of multiple suitable options of heading for single paragraph note them down and you can eliminate later on.

Must Read: Tips to Achieve CLB 9 In IELTS

General Tips for IELTS Reading Matching Headings

  • You might be able to rule out some options as you read more.    
  • Mark keywords that indicate similarities or differences between headings. You will be able to exclude headings that have similar meanings.
  • Be careful not to waste too much time when selecting the right heading based on both techniques.
  • Take a note and keep reading if you don’t know which heading to use for a paragraph or if you don’t rule out any of the other headings.
  • You may be able to exclude some possible answers when you are reading the passage further.
  • It’s a good idea to cross out a heading as soon as you’re sure you’ve got the right one for the paragraph.

IELTS Reading List of Headings Practice Passages

Choose the correct heading for Paragraph A from the List of Heading below.

IELTS Reading List of Headings Practice
IELTS Reading List of Headings Practice

Answer:- ii.

Passage Explanation: The passage mentions that “But these early cars inherited steam’s weaknesses along with its strengths

Answer Explanation: The answer refers to part of the debate on the advantages and disadvantages of steam technology being used in earlier cars.

Reason for Correctness: The passage points out that the early cars had both the advantages and disadvantages of steam technology, suggesting a transfer of characteristics from steam technology to these vehicles.  Therefore, the answer is “ii”.

IELTS Reading List of Headings Practice
IELTS Reading List of Headings Practice

Answer:- vi

Passage Explanation: The passage talks about a new technology called the Internal Combustion Engine that emerged.

Answer Explanation: The answer indicates to a superior choice than the steam automobile emerging.

Reason for Correctness: As the passage mentions internal combustion engine appearance and ability the answer “A better option that the steam care arises” is the most suitable answer here.

Book Your Free Demo Lecture Now!

    Contact Us


    Make sure to subscribe to our newsletter and be the first to know the news.

    Latest Posts

    Written By

    Aayushi Vankawala

    Meet Aayushi Vankawala, a distinguished IELTS and PTE trainer a faculty at Aspire Square Surat with a master's degree in Law and expertise in the Speaking module. With dynamic methods like interactive activities and personalized feedback, she ensures tailored learning experiences. Through dedication and innovation, she empowers students to excel in language proficiency.


    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    Video Button Book Online
    Video Counselling