IELTS Reading Sample (Academic) #20

IELTS Reading Tip: Match Headings

One IELTS Reading task is to match headings to sections of the text. There is one appropriate heading for each section, but there are some additional headings which do not match any of the sections.

  • Reading the whole text quickly before attempting any of the tasks will help you to do them more easily. Don't try to save time by starting the tasks and reading the text in small chunks.
  • Even the unsuitable heading(s) may contain words which are the same or similar to words used in the text. But unlike the suitable headings, they don't match the topic of the whole section.

Questions 1-8

The Reading Passage has six paragraphs A-H.

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

Write your answers in boxes 1-8 on your answer sheet.

List of Headings
i Obesity in animals
ii Hidden dangers
iii Proof of the truth
iv New perspective on the horizon
v No known treatment
vi Rodent research leads the way
vii Expert explains energy requirements of obese people
viii A very uncommon complaint
ix Nature or nurture
x Shifting the blame
xi Lifestyle change required despite new findings

1Paragraph A 

2Paragraph B 

3Paragraph C 

4Paragraph D 

5Paragraph E 

6Paragraph F 

7Paragraph G 

8Paragraph H 

IELTS Reading Tip: Completing summaries

Another task is completing a summary of the reading text by choosing from a list of words. The words are usually (but not always) nouns. It is best to read the whole summary quickly, before attempting the questions. Then you have to follow steps similar to the ones above, for completing sentences.

Questions 9-13

Complete the summary below using ONE WORD ONLY from the box for each answer.

Write your answers in boxes 9-13 on your answer sheet.


They do this by seeking to blame their (9) for the fact that they are overweight and erroneously believe that they use (10) energy than thin people to stay alive. However, recent research has shown that a (11) problem can be responsible for obesity as some people seem programmed to (12) more than others. The new research points to a shift from trying to change people's (13) to seeking an answer to the problem in the laboratory.


However, rather than take responsibility for their weight, obese people have often sought solace in the excuse that they have a slow metabolism...
Dr. Jebb explains that overweight people actually bum off more energy.
...researchers were able to show... that her metabolism was not the culprit...
...Professor Stephen O'Rahilly, goes so far as to say we are on the threshold of a complete change in the way we view not only morbid obesity, but also everyday overweight.
Professor Ian Caterson is confident that science will, eventually, be able to 'cure' some forms of obesity but the only effective way lose weight is a change of diet and an increase in exercise.
This paragraph spells out the dangers of using drugs or resorting to surgery.
Research being done on an overweight mouse is significant.
...leptin deficiency turned out to be an extremely rare condition...
Paragraph A: obese people have often sought solace in the excuse that they have a slow metabolism
Paragraph A: it doesn't matter how little they eat, they gain weight because their bodies break down food and turn it into energy more slowly than those with a so-called normal metabolic rate. Ref Paragraph C also.
Paragraph D: Prof. O'Rahilly's groundbreaking work in Cambridge has proven that obesity can be caused by our genes.
Paragraph E: explains that they need to eat i.e. consume more than others.
Paragraph F: Until recently, research and treatment for obesity had concentrated on behaviour modification...

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