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Matching Features Questions

Let’s take a look at matching features questions. For this lesson, we are going to use the Lowell article. We’ve used that one for a few other lessons already. And there’s a link for you below to go find that article. Okay, so this is what a matching features question will look like. You’ve got a list of things.

In this case, we have a list of people. They will all belong to the same category, whatever it is. Your job then is to take the statements over here and match them with the person who relates to them according to the article, okay? So each question will match with a different person in the box. So, this type of question tests your ability to find factual information.

This is more about finding detailed information most of the time. Although, sometimes, they will ask you to find theories and opinions. So for example, they may have a list of people in the box and an article about some topic where different people have different theories or opinions about it. Your job in that case will be to match the people with the theory that they hold. It could be reversed as well.

In the box, you may have a list of theories and your questions will be people. And you need to relate those theories to the people, okay. That’s how these kinds of questions are generally structured for your IELT exam. The answers do not come in order for this type of question, okay? So answer to number one could come at the end of the article.

And the answer for number two might come at the beginning. Usually, your answers will be letters, okay? So A, B, C, D. Although, you should definitely check the directions every time. Sometimes they can change things. So the best approach to this question starts with just noting the category you should need to find, okay?

So for our sample question, we’re supposed to look for people. But there could be other things. Types of something, right? Types of birds, types of cars, types of food. All the things in the box will relate to the same category in some way. As we mentioned already, they could be theories, opinions, okay?

Many different types of things are possible. It depends on the article you’re reading, what they will put in the box. You need to be careful with these kinds of questions. Sometimes, an item in the box will come up in more than one paragraph. In that case, when you would search for an answer about Lowell, you may need to scan much of the article because he’s mentioned so many times.

That will be part of the strategy we discuss in a moment when we look at our sample question. Okay, so if the first part is taking careful note of the category you’re looking for, the second part of your approach to this question is to note the keywords in the questions. Okay, so let’s take a look at how that works.

How would we approach one of these matching features questions? Okay, so we come to this question on the exam. I’m assuming that you have already gone through and skimmed the Lowell article. Remember our sun method where you skim, underline, and take notes. I’m assuming that you’ve already looked through and you’ve tried to figure out the organization of this passage and what the main ideas might be.

Maybe you’ve underlined a few things to remember but you at least have a sense of where things basically might be in the passage. Okay, so your first step as we mentioned on the last screen there, you want to just take note of your categories. What are you looking for? And as we already know, we’re looking for people.

Now, what strategy would you use in order to decide who you should look for first? Now that it’s time to go back and scan for answers, would it be smarter to start with some people in this list over others as you begin your search? I would advise starting with someone or something in that list that you remember from skimming, that is not mentioned very often in the passage. I would not, for example, start scanning for answers related to Lowell, because Lowell is mentioned many times in the article.

And I might waste a lot of time trying to find some answer about Lowell when you know if you look we only have four questions here, and it’s possible that Lowell is not even the correct answer for any of these questions. That would be a huge waste of time. I would choose something in the box that I remember only seeing a couple of, once or twice maybe, or not very often at least in the article.

Is there somebody like that you remember from skimming the lower article? Well, for me, I would probably start looking for answers related to Mike Brown. I remember seeing his name. I believe I only saw it one time. And as I’m going back to scan for answers, I think I can remember exactly where to find his name in the passage.

So that would be a great place to start your scanning as you’re approaching this question. Okay, but the second thing you need to do, you can’t just go back and scan and look for Mike Brown. You need to know what you’re looking for. So it’s good to go through and just underline keywords in your questions.

Take a minute, take a little more if you need it, but to go back through and identify what are you looking for as you go back to scan. You can do this on your own if you want to. You could pause the video and look at what you think would be the keywords in each question. I will just go through and do it myself here.

So I think in question number 1, we’re looking for a space object that was named in honor of somebody. We’re going to in question 2, look for a discovery that supported some astronomers who were reclassifying a planet. In question number 3, we’re going to figure out somebody who resumed the work of a predecessor, okay?

And they were looking for a new planet. In question four, we’re going to look for somebody who helped a colleague discover a new planet. Okay, these are the keywords that I would underline. And now I’m gonna go back and try to scan for an answer about Mike Brown. Okay, so if you’re looking for Mike Brown, you go and quickly find him in Paragraph E.

There’s his name. Now your goal will be to figure out, okay, which one, if any of these, relate to Mike Brown? Can you figure that out? So as you look through this paragraph, you would just have to probably go and look at the information surrounding Mike Brown’s name to see if it relates to anything in your questions.

If you do that, you will find that in fact it does. That question number 2, His discovery provided support to astronomers who wanted to reclassify a planet, can be found here. And the blue parts tell you which aspects of the paragraph relate to that. So here we have a direct, A word that’s used directly in the question right, reclassified.

And here we’ve got reclassify. So International Astronomical Union ultimately reclassified Pluto. Okay, so Pluto is a planet, all right? And did Mike Brown provide support to that? Let’s see. Mike Brown, who discovered Eris, a dwarf planet larger than Pluto, speculates that there are likely thousands of other rocks like Pluto orbiting in the Kuiper belt outside of Neptune.

So this discovery supported the idea that Pluto ought to be reclassified and not be considered a planet anymore. Okay, so there is your answer for 2. All right, so now where do we go? Okay, well, two other people I remember who were not mentioned very much, and I remember them from the beginning of the article, were Le Verrier and Galle.

All right, so they would be another good choice, although you could probably start, we’d go back with Tombaugh as well. Cuz he was not mentioned very often but I’m going to go with C and D. I’m gonna look for them because I remember they were mentioned close to one another in the passage. Okay, we find their names if we go back and scan in Paragraph A, all right?

And so now, again, your goal is to go through here and see if we can find something that relates to one of our questions. Indeed when we do that, we find the answer to 4. So Le Verrier predicted the position of his new planet and sent his calculations to a German astronomer, Galle. With these coordinates, Galle discovered Neptune the very next day, exactly where Le Verrier had predicted.

Okay, so the correct answer here is Galle. And we see from the question stem, A colleague helped him discover a new planet. Okay, so that works for Galle because he was helped by Le Verrier, who sent him his calculations. And those calculations helped him to discover a new planet.

Okay, now for those of you who are reading carefully in the passage, you may remember that in the middle of the article, Tombaugh discovered a planet as well. And he did that with the help of Lowell. But, Galle was helped in a direct way by his colleague Le Verrier, whereas Tombaugh was just continuing his predecessor’s search for that planet.

And in fact, when he discovered it, it was exactly where Lowell had said. So not direct help there. So actually, for those of you reading really carefully, the answer for number 3 makes sense as Tombaugh, okay. So this type of question is tough because you have to go back and really do a lot of good scanning to try to find the answers related to what’s in the box and also related to the keywords in your passage.

If you go back through and do it in a strategic way, looking for things that you think you can find easily in the passage and not spend a lot of time having to re-read and rescan information, you can get through this type of question pretty efficiently.

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