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IELTS Reading Course

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Lesson 3 of 10
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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


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 of MCQ
Source: Cambridge English IELTS Past Papers


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.

Underline words in the text that help you to understand it. You can also mark the areas that you think answer each of the questions. Don’t try to answer the questions until you have read the whole passage. This is sometimes called skimming. 

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.

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