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IELTS Reading Course

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Lesson 3 of 11
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Multiple choice

In this lesson, we focus on multiple-choice questions. Below, we outline our strategy as well as giving you practice activities to help you prepare for the reading test.

Lesson Material

The first question type that we will look at is multiple-choice questions.  Multiple choice questions are very common in IELTS reading. In this lesson we will:
  • look at different tasks
  • show you an example of a multiple-choice question
  • outline our strategy
  • present some practice activities

Task

There are three types of multiple choice questions. 

  1. Choose one answer from four options. 
  2. Choose two answers from five or six options.
  3. Choose three answers from six options.

Example

Example of MCQ
Source: Cambridge English IELTS Past Papers

Strategy

This is just to acknowledge what kind of question it is.

This is called skim reading. While you read, underline names, dates, theories, etc. This will help you locate information when you answer the questions.  Don’t try to answer the questions until you have read the whole passage. 

Reading the questions will help you get an idea of what you are looking for in the passage. You should underline words as you read the questions and options. 

Now, it is time to focus on answering each question. Often there are two options that are similar to each other. Make sure to read these options carefully so that you understand which is the correct option. Find the area in the passage that answers the question and read it carefully. 

The order of the answers are the same as the questions. So, if you cannot find the answer to a question, try the next question. This will help you find out the area of the passage that has the answer to the question you find difficult. For example, if you cannot do question 2, do question 3. The answer to question 2 must be in the area between the answer for question 1 and 3. Remember, don’t spend too long on one question- it is better to guess than to run out of time.

Don’t leave these questions blank. If you guess, you have a chance of getting the question correct. If you are stuck between two options, sometimes it is better to move on to other questions. Return to this question later on. Or, if you run out of time, guess the answer before the end of the test.

Tip

Consider leaving these questions till last. If you don’t think you’ll finish the test in time, you have a higher chance of guessing these questions correctly compared to other question types. For example, if you guess the answer to a multiple choice question with 4 options, you have a 25% chance of getting the answer correct. However, you have a much lower chance of getting the question correct with questions that require you to take a word from the text. 

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