IELTS READING EXPLAINED : DEALING WITH LIST OF HEADING TYPES OF QUESTIONS

"In IELTS Reading Section, there will be different types of questions we are going to have. Each type of question has its own challenge and thus require different methods. One of the most challenging type of question in IELTS Reading section is List of Headings"

Challenge in List of Headings

This kind of questions will require you to have extremely good method of keywording and paraphrasing, since the questions are not well structured as the passage and the information contained by the paragraphs are jumbled.  So, you may have to start from the middle of a passage, initial paragraph, or even last paragraph when doing the first number. Some test takers have a real serious problem when they cannot grasp the general idea of a paragraph and end up reading the whole passage (while it is actually not necessary) or even worst, read and re-read the whole passage from top to bottom back to top to bottom (which is highly not recommended since it is such a waste of time and energy). This kind of questions will also have at least two set up answers. Say, you have ten questions to answer, then twelve options will be presented and two of them are actually used to set you up. To avoid this, there will be some strategies that are necessary applied when doing this type of questions.


"In List of Headings type of questions, the questions are not well structured as the passage and thus keywording and paraphrasing will be extremely important"

Strategies for List of Headings


1. Read the options and find the keywords

2. Read the passage (do not read it all the way trough) starting from the first paragraph and focus on the first and last sentence of the paragraphs, since they are the main idea.

3. Find the paraphrase keywords in the passage

4. If you cannot find the answer, then it is probably found in the middle of the paragraph, or you may need to re-check the answer to avoid choosing the set up options


Take a look at this example



Reading Passage 1 has five paragraphs, A-E


Choose the correct heading for each paragraph from the list of headings below

Write the correct number I-VII on your answer sheet

Passage 3

Recession and Its Meaning to Investors


Paragraph A


When the economy is crumbling apart, there may be several symptoms like a decline in the number of new housing, rising unemployment, and the shrinking of the overall economic output. For investors, these symptoms are just the onset of something bigger, determining the state we are currently living in: A period of expansion or a period of recession .


Paragraph B


Economic condition is closely related to business cycle which is usually divided into four periods of activity lasting for months, or even years. The first period is the peak period, in which the economy is running extremely well. Employment is reaching its maximum levels, real gross domestic product (GDP) is healthy and incomes are rising. However, life is like a wheel. It is certainly not possible to always be on top since life keeps evolving. After a period of significant growth and success, both employment and income start to decline for some reasons like supply shock or an extreme decline in consumer spending caused by inflation that eventually lead to massive layoff and unemployment, leading to trough period. This is the time when economic output and employment reach its lowest level.

Paragraph C

Trough period leads to next period in which prices and wages are being pushed down by the fact that spending and investment are cooling down. This is considered as the period of re-balancing, in which consumers are attracted to new purchases and firms are interested in new investment. Expansion is a period of recovery, indicated by betterment in economy. The increasing demand from consumers result in a significant growth in production, causing the need for labors. Competition for workers will benefit the people looking for a job –who are also the consumers themselves, and enable them to earn more money. As demand keeps increasing and production is at its peak, companies will then start increasing prices, causing a mild inflation that eventually make the cycle restarts from its initial position.

Paragraph D

How does recession affect investors? It depends on the situation and what type of investor they are. First, it is important to note that there is always a way to make money even in a collapsing market. Some investors seem to be happy to sell short selling stocks when the market is falling. Their case seems to be in contrary with everybody else’s, since they earn much more money during economic downfall, but have lower earning when the economic condition starts improving. This technique is the privilege of certain investors, considering its anomaly as well as uncertainty. It is also important to note that the losses from short selling stocks are potentially infinite because it is really hard to know when their values is going to rise.


Paragraph E

Another method that may be taken is value investing, in which investor will take advantage of the degrading prices of high quality stocks from reputable companies and wait for the better time to gain a better bargain for their previous purchase. This is another means of investing that will require sophistication and pose investors to a great risk since it is more like gambling rather than investing. There is another type of investor trying to take advantage of the period of recession. These are the ones who focus on the long term, buy-and-hold strategy, investing on stock whose value will probably rise within 20 to 30 year span.


I. A different way of coping with economic downturn

II. An explanation on the initial stages of the economic sequence

III. Several characteristics of the decline of economy

IV. Significant improvement leading back to the initial phase

V. A method requiring a great deal time of waiting

VI. An example of a case in investment lasting for 30 years

VII. Explanation on how GDP affects global investment


Discussion


1. Read the options and find the keywords

I. A different way of coping with economic downturn

II. An explanation on the initial stages of the economic sequence

III. Several characteristics of the decline of economy

IV. Significant improvement leading back to the initial phase

V. A method requiring a great deal time of waiting

VI. An example of a case in investment lasting for 30 years

VII. Explanation on how GDP affects global investment

Red indicates  keywords*

2. Read the passage (do not read it all the way trough) starting from the first paragraph and focus on the first and last sentence of the paragraphs, since they are the main idea.

3. Find the paraphrase keywords in the passage

I. ...there is always a way to make money even in a collapsing market. Some investors seem to be happy to sell short selling stocks when the market is falling. Their case seems to be in contrary with everybody else’s, since they earn much more money during economic downfall...

II. Economic condition is closely related to business cycle...The first period is the peak period, in which the economy is running extremely well. Employment is reaching its maximum levels, real gross domestic product (GDP) is healthy and incomes are rising...

III. When the economy is crumbling apart, there may be several symptoms like a decline in the number of new housing, rising unemployment, and the shrinking of the overall economic output.

IV. As demand keeps increasing and production is at its peak, companies will then start increasing prices, causing a mild inflation that eventually make the cycle restarts from its initial position.

V. Another method that may be taken is value investing...These are the ones who focus on the long term, buy-and-hold strategy, investing on stock whose value will probably rise within 20 to 30 year span.

VI. There is no explanation on specific case of 30 year investment explained in the passage, so this is a set up option

VII. There is no explanation on how GDP affects global investment, so this is a set up option

Red indicates  paraphrased keywords*


4. If you cannot find the answer, then it is probably found in the middle of the paragraph, or you may need to re-check the answer to avoid choosing the set up options

For other types of Reading question, please go to these links


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