To achieve a good score in the IELTS exam, all the four sections should be given equal and sufficient attention. If an aspirant finds the writing section more interesting and decides to dedicate most of his/ her time towards that section and neglects the other sections, then it is very tough or almost impossible for him/ her to score well in the examination.

IELTS reading band score is as important as any other section of the exam because the total band score will completely depend on the scores achieved in the individual sections.

So, let’s check out this important part of the IELTS reading test and see how an aspirant can score well in this part.

Short Answer Question in IELTS Reading Test

Short answer questions are perhaps the easiest questions in the IELTS reading exam. In these questions, you are to give your answers in one word and/or a number, at least two words and/or a number or at least three words and/or a number.

Another thing about these IELTS exam questions is that you are able to find the answers easily as compared to the other type of questions. Let us see some useful tips about solving short answer types of questions.

Strategy to Solve IELTS Reading Test Questions

The best strategy to solve any type of question in the IELTS reading test is to underline keywords in it. The main and important words in the question that help you to determine its meaning should be underlined. These are usually nouns, verbs etc. avoiding other words in the question such as prepositions, articles etc.


  • Which programming language is used for designing DNA circuits?
  • How long was the biological structure that Voigt had designed?

In the above two short answer questions, the main keywords have been underlined which you can prefer underlining in order to understand the question well and also, with the help of these keywords, you can find out one paragraph from the passage where you can find its reference.

Also Read : IELTS Band Score Calculator: FAQs on Academic and General IELTS Score Chart

Identify Focus in the IELTS Exam Question

Now, other than underlining the important keywords in the question, you need to identify the focus or stem of the question. Here, in short answer questions, you also need to keep your focus on words such as “what”, “where”, “when”, “which”, “how long” etc. so that you can predict whether your answer should be a word or a number, a noun or an adjective etc.

Such words are important to avoid making silly mistakes as it is often seen that IELTS candidates make such mistakes in IELTS. For instance, in the above short answer questions, the focus has been identified as follows:

  • Which programming language is used for designing DNA circuits?
  • How long was the biological structure that Voigt had designed?

Pay Attention to Nearby Words in the IELTS Reading Test Passage

While finding out answers from the reading passage, you can pay attention to words which are the same as you find in questions and which can help you to identify your answers.

For example, in the above question, “is used for” is the phrase that you may find written in the passage also. Similarly, prepositions such as “in”, “had”, “have”, “at”, “into”, “for” etc. are also such you can look for to be the same between question and your IELTS reading passage.

Write Answers as per Word Instructions

A very basic yet important tip for short answer questions is to always consider word instruction in your mind when you are locating your answers in the reading passage. Sometimes, you also have to write an article such as “a”, “an” or “the” along with your answer.

So, you should always be careful about the word instruction. Another thing to be always careful about is that you should never be having your answer written in more than three words in the IELTS reading test. These are some of the exam tips which you can get from top experts.


Only collecting various study materials and going through them won’t help much in achieving a good band score. Proper guidance and practice are needed to score well in any exam and in any paper.

Above mentioned tips will help to score well in the IELTS reading test for any exam aspirants struggling with short answer type questions in the exam. For achieving an even better IELTS reading band score, aspirants are suggested to seek expert guidance and if possible, go for personal mentorships programs. As personal mentors will not only help you learn better but will also be there to guide you through the entire process of IELTS exam preparation.

Also Read : IELTS Previous Year Question Papers: Speaking Cue Card Question with Answer

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