Strategies in answering short answer questions in IELTS Academic Reading


One of the types of questions in IELTS Academic Reading is the short answer questions. It is probably one of the easier types to answer. The good thing about this task type is that, like the multiple choice, the questions are usually arranged so that the answers appear in order in the passage. And like the other types, there are strategies to answer this.

Most likely, the examinees will be asked to give short answers in NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS AND/OR A NUMBER.

Answers are taken directly from the passage. The instructions will clearly state as to the number of words you should write on your answer sheet.

If the instruction is same as the above, giving two-word answer is just fine. What is not accepted is writing more than THREE words.

You can use figures or words for number answers.

Example: How much does the ticket cost in dollars?

Answer: 45 or forty-five

Any of the above answer is correct. You don't need the word dollar because it is given in the question. If it is not, then either 45 dollars, $45 or forty-five dollars should be the answer.

In some cases, a word in the question may not be the same as the one in the paragraph. In this case, you may need a good grasp of synonyms.

Example: One of the sentences in the paragraph is this:

The museum was erected in 1925.

The question is worded like this:

When was the museum built?

The answer should be 1925 because erected is synonymous to built.

So knowledge of synonyms is really important in IELTS test.




From short answer questions to Academic Reading

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