Tips for Solving Re-Order Paragraphs

Jul 12,2019

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The reorder paragraph is one of the most tricky and time-consuming tasks of the PTE reading section. You can expect around 2 to 3 items of reordering paragraphs in the real PTE Test. Generally, a PTE reorder paragraph has 5 jumbled sentences…. which has one topic sentence and 4 supporting sentences.

As apparent from the name of the task, you need to rearrange the jumbled sentences in a proper sequence by utilizing your coherence and logical skills in an effective fashion.

As the PTE Reading section is time-bound, ideally you should spend not more than 2 minutes on each such question. Also, since these questions don’t have negative markings, one should at least try to give a fair attempt at it.

Please note that you will get 1 point for every correctly aligned pair of the sentence. That means, even if you put few sentences at the right place but their preceding or subsequent sentence doesn’t form a well-aligned pair, you won’t get any score even also for those correctly placed sentences.

Thus, on your test day, even if, you get a jumbled paragraph that seems difficult to be aligned, you should at least try…. to make 1 or more pairs correct, to score something more than a ZERO.

Let’s look at the Key Strategies now….!

Although solving re-order paragraph is critical but the given strategies can really help you gain a full score in it.

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Identify The Topic Sentence

Generally, a topic sentence gives the introduction of the whole paragraph in a way to show that what the paragraph is all about.

It is the most critical step because, if the 1st option is selected incorrectly, the probability of building a correct sequence further, turns out to be quite minimal. Thus, ascertaining the 1st sentence correctly can let you win the half race.

For this, it is important to remember that, the 1st sentence of a well-structured paragraph is always clear, independent and if said alone, can convey the complete idea without inserting any supportive fact or sentence.

In short, in the first instance, all you need to do is to look for a sentence that can survive alone.

Supporting sentences- After identifying the topic sentence, you should try to find the logical sequence of the other sentences.

Remember that, all the remaining sentences of the given paragraph will reflect the supporting idea to convey the progression of further events.

Grammar and Cohesion

This can be another sure way of finding a correct sequence of the whole paragraph. To get an edge in solving it correctly, you need to take care of the following points:

Use of time-related phrases: Pay attention to the dates and various time frame related words such as firstly, secondly, later, finally, etc. Such phrases naturally give an idea about the sequence of the paragraph.

Use of transition words: Such words include the words like moreover, although, however, similarly, consequently, hence, otherwise, generally, therefore, besides, yet, because and consequently, etc. These transition words can certainly help you to guess the exact order of the paragraph.

Apply knowledge of noun and pronoun: Since the noun (name of person, place, animal, or thing) is always followed by a pronoun (words used in place of a noun), you should look for the usage of the pronoun in the sentence such as he, she, him, they, them, etc as such words will convey that something related to a noun has already been referred in the paragraph.

Use of Articles

Proper understanding of articles, in grammar, can benefit you in solving the re-order paragraphs in an efficient way. For example, a noun especially, if preceded by an article ‘the’ usually refers to something specific and being already discussed in some previous sentence. On the other hand, if the author places a or a before a noun it means that he just wants to make a general statement and introduce a noun for the first time in the context of the paragraph.

Understand the flow or progression of the events in the paragraph

This can be understood by the concept of sentence structure which has three major parts namely, subject-verb-object (S- V- O approach).

Significantly, most of the times the sentences in all the paragraphs follow a progression built by the S- V- O approach that states that:

Every sentence is made up of a subject, verb, and object.
As a sequential sentence of every paragraph has its corresponding relevance with the previous sentence…..the object of the first sentence becomes the subject of the next sentence. Such relation can also be sighted by identifying the reference of some relatively synonymous, consequential, acronym nous terms and phrases forming sub-sequential sentences.

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    Written By

    Himani Dave

    Himani Dave is an IELTS and PTE tutor with over three years of experience. She is a Cambridge and Pearson IT-certified tutor and has helped hundreds of students ace the exams and achieve their dream scores. With her friendly and approachable teaching style and a knack for making even the most difficult concepts easy to grasp, she is a rockstar among peers and students.


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