IELTS Reading- Short Answer Questions

ielts raeding short answer questions

The Short Answer Questions are also known as ‘comprehension questions’, and it tests one ability to skim and understand the whole passage. The students are generally aware of Short Answer Questions as they have encountered similar questions in school level exams.

What are Short Answer Questions?        

In these questions, you have to answer the questions in brief after thoroughly reading the text given. The answer must not exceed the word limit. To answer these types of questions, you have to identify the aspects and main idea of the topic.

How to solve Short Answer Questions?

Let’s look at the steps to solve the short answer the questions:

  1. Focus on the questions

The first and foremost thing is to read the questions keeping their order in mind. The answers in the text are in the same order as the questions, and it will give you a brief info on what to search for in the text. Reading questions first will save a lot of time. Moreover, the technique is to focus on the questions so that you do not read the text aimlessly.

  1. Keywords

After reading the question, the keywords must be identified and underlined. Also, think about the synonyms of the underlined keywords as the exact word may not appear in the text. Also, remember to highlight the keywords both in question and answer options.

  1. Skim and Scan

Start scanning the passage based on the underlined keywords and also try to find their synonyms, if any. If you found a text that looks credible for the answer, read that section carefully to confirm the answer. By doing this, accuracy improves, and eventually, plenty of time can be saved.

  1. Write the answer

After performing the above steps, write the answer within the word limit. The word limit must be closely observed as when you exceed the word limit, the answer is marked as wrong and no points are awarded for the answer even if the answer is correct


Let’s look at the tips that can enhance accuracy while answering the questions.

  1. Remember the answers are in order similar to the order of questions. In this way, you will know that the answer are located consecutively in the given text. By keeping this in mind, answering the questions will become easy.
  2. Understand the question and determine what the question is asking.
  3. Keep in mind the keywords you underline may exist as synonyms in the text. So, it is better to always think of synonyms of underlined keywords.
  4. Pay attention to the question words like who, when, what, where, how.
  5. It’s important to understand the central idea of the passage. However, sometimes the test taker reads in a hurry to get the answer as soon as possible and forget to get the main idea. So, taking care of this, understand and read the text thoroughly.


So, in this way, one can answer the short answer questions with accuracy. Also, one can amend their strategy by applying the above steps and may see visible progression in their IELTS band score.

To know more about the strategies to clear the IELTS exam- Click here

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