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Matching Headings Questions
Let’s look at Matching Heading questions. Matching heading questions looks like this, so in your passage, so in this case it’s the clonal colony’s passage linked below. Each paragraph is labeled A-F and what we’re supposed to do, is choose the correct heading and here’s the list of headings down below. We choose the correct heading for each paragraph.
In other words, each paragraph will match with one of these answer choices below. We just have to find which one. Since our essay has six different paragraphs, we will need to find a heading for all six of them in this exercise. So let’s learn a little bit about this question, and then we’ll try a sample. As you can guess, this is a main idea question.
What you’re supposed to do is match a heading with each paragraph. And the headings really represent the main idea of the paragraph. So, they are like a title for each paragraph. In order to find the right title, you just need to figure out what the main idea is for each one. Now, the headings are going to come before you read the passage.
This is unique, this is the only type of IELTS reading question that you will find before the reading passage. All the other kinds, they present the reading passage first and you answer questions afterward. So this leads people to basically take two approaches to this type of question. Some people like to read the headings before they skim the passage, right?
So you’re going to skim every reading passage for about two to four minutes before you start answering questions every time. Some people like to begin with those headings in the box so that they know what to look for as they’re skimming. Some people prefer to skim first and wait to read the headings until after they’ve done their first skimming.
I recommend option number 2. The reason is some of the headings are not correct, some of them are incorrect answers. And so in one way it’s kind of a waste of time to really spend a lot of time reading over those before you get to the reading passage. But my other concern is that when you read those first, it could affect the way you skim through the passage.
If one of the headings or more than one are incorrect information, it might cause you to remember incorrect information as you skim the real passage. My preference would be to skim the whole passage first, get as much correct information out of that as you can. And then go make decisions as you read through each type of heading as you’re trying to choose which one goes where.
Okay, what’s the best way to approach this question? Well, the first thing to recommend is definitely to start by scanning the topic sentences. Now you have to be careful, the answer will not always be in the topic sentence, but that’s a really, really good place to start most answers will be there. Remember, topic sentences are usually the first or second sentence in the paragraph that provide the main idea for that paragraph.
Since these are main idea questions, it’s very common that the correct answer can be found in one of the topic sentences. You do wanna be careful though, you wanna make sure especially if an answer or choice you just can’t seem to find the correct answer for a question, you should go through, definitely, and scan the rest of the paragraph to make sure that what you’re looking at in the topic sentences or what you believe are the topic sentences do in fact represent the main idea of the paragraph exactly.
Sometimes in some paragraphs, there are sort of transitional sentences and the main idea can be more difficult to find. All right, but most of the time you wanna start up here, topic sentences and you will find your answer there. Okay, you have to be careful for incorrect headings. And some signs that you have an incorrect heading like this, so first of all, incorrect headings often focus too narrowly on small details that you find in paragraphs.
These are main idea questions, so if one of the choices really focuses on a small detail, it’s probably wrong. And that’s tricky because many times, the information in the heading can be found in the paragraph or in the essay somewhere. It’s just not a main idea and that’s really tough, you have to be able to decide is this a main idea, or is this just a small detail.
Small details will not be correct as answer choices. Also, it’s common that incorrect answer choices will often change the meaning from what is in the passage, right? So they will take something that’s close to the meaning but they’ll just slight change it and those are tricky to find, you have to read each heading very closely to make sure that it matches the main idea in the paragraph.
So let’s try to answer some sample questions, okay? Why don’t you get out clonal colony’s passage, if you haven’t skimmed that in a while, go ahead and get it out and skim it again, take a minute. Cuz that will help you to understand the explanations a little better. Go ahead and pause the video now if you need to skim the passage. Okay, now we’re ready to answer questions.
So which one should you begin with? Do you want to begin in order, should you start from top to bottom and try to go answer paragraph A first, then B, C, D, etc or is there a better way? You can do that if you wish, if you like to go in order. But my suggestion is to try at least to figure out a paragraph that might be easiest to answer first.
If you can find a heading that works and you are very confident about it, you can cross it off. And that’s a really big advantage, because then you don’t have to consider it, for other paragraphs that you are going to have to find headings for. For me, if I’m looking at the paragraphs, I’m going to try to find something that is easily identifiable and unique, something that is not going to come up in a lot of the different paragraphs in the essay.
And to me, that paragraph is the one about Pando, okay? And if you look down below in the heading choices, there’s only one heading that mentions Pando. Maybe that’s the correct answer, if we look at paragraph E first because E is all about Pando. All right, so what you should do, what you would want to do as your approach to this question is to start by looking at the topic sentence.
Read it, try to understand it. And then the first place I would start is to see if this answer down below that mentions Pando specifically, seems correct. Okay, so let’s take a look here. Let’s just read it out loud. Perhaps the most famous example of a colony linked by a single rhizome is Pando, a quacking aspen colony which is widely cited as the world’s heaviest organism as well as one of the oldest.
Okay, now our answer choice down below says Pando may not be as large as some believe. Okay, there is no mention of that in our topic sentence at all. At this point, you may want to go and just quickly skim the rest to make sure that there’s no discussion of whether this organism is not as big as people believe. And if you do that, you quickly discover that, no, it is not, it is not discussed in that way.
Okay, so in a sense we’re kind of back to the beginning now. All right, we don’t have any more headings that mention Pando, so that little strategy didn’t work as well as we hoped. So now what do we have to do? Well, we have to go back through and look at the different headings now and trying to figure out which one will work.
Okay, it may be tempting to steep into another paragraph. This strategy of finding Pando answer didn’t work as quickly as I wanted. Do you go to another paragraph now? No, definitely not. You’ve already invested time Into reading this topic sentence and it’s in your mind, now go and find that answer.
This one may take you longer than others to find, but remember, if you find the correct answer, one, you are able to cross that off and know it will not work for other answers. And secondly, you’ll get to take a little bit of time to read through each of the headings then, and so for future questions they will now be familiar. Okay, so go ahead at this point and once again you want to pause, stop the video.
We’ve now been able to cross this one off as an answer choice. Go back through the rest of the answer choices and see if you can figure out which one of these seems to fit best with the topic sentence above, go ahead. Okay, so, as you scanned through, what did you find? Which one looked best to you? Probably you were able to cross off a few of these, I won’t go through each one but, let’s just go through some that are definitely not choices we would choose, right?
This paragraph E is about Pando and some of these answer choices are clearly not about Pando. Pando is a clonal colony, it’s an example of what people believe is the largest clonal colony in the world. Is it likely that it’s gonna have anything to do with a ramet, okay? No, no, not at all.
Is it about how clonal colonies are interconnected under the ground? No, okay? Is it about severed parts? No. Okay, so you could probably very quickly cross off several of these because they’re not, this paragraph is generally about Pando and general information about this very special clonal colony.
So which answer choice best resembles that? Well, you probably found that answer choice eight is the best, right? One specific tree colony that may outweigh all other organisms. Aha, this paragraph is about how large Pando is. And Pando is a tree colony. Aspen is a kind of tree.
This is a good main idea paraphrase for this paragraph. Okay, let’s look at a different one. Now let’s say we move to paragraph B. I would choose paragraph B because I like how it starts as a definition of clonal colony. So I can imagine that my heading is going to be something related to this definition of clonal colony.
All right, so let’s look through. We do our strategy here. We’re going to read the topic sentence. A clonal colony is a group of genetically identical, okay, identical meaning the same, individuals that have grown up in a given location, all originating vegetatively, not sexually, from a single ancestor.
So this is a definition of clonal colony and it is a group individuals that are exactly the same, growing up in the same location, and they come from one single ancestor. Okay, do you know synonym for ancestor? Well, an ancestor is someone who came before you, usually somebody like a grandfather, grandmother, even further than that.
Or even somebody who is closer to your parents would be an ancestor, so that may be a clue for you as well. Okay, now at this point, let’s do this again, let’s go down through. We’ve already crossed off the answer from the previous question, we know that doesn’t work. You go ahead now, look through the answers, pause the video and see if you can find the heading that matches this topic sentence best.
Go ahead. Okay, there were several on clonal colonies, okay? And so there would have been some tempting choices for you. Six may have been tempting for you, clonal colonies are interconnected below the ground. Okay, this is about clonal colonies, but is the paragraph describing how they are connected below the ground?
No, it is not specifically described in that feature of clonal colonies. Another place of clonal colonies are mentioned down here, severed part of a clonal colony can survive alone. No, this paragraph does not really describe how severed parts or parts that are disconnected or cut can survive on their own independently, not about that. The highlighted answer here we’ve had is the best one.
A group of clones a rising from one parent in the same area can form a colony. Little tricky. At the word colony is saved for the end. But notice some things here, as we’ve got discussed before when we started analyzing the question, we know this is a definition. This paragraph defines what a clonal colony is, right?
And this topic sentence gives you clues about that. There is this idea of parent, okay? And that connects to this, not a synonym but kind of a paraphrase way of saying ancestor, okay? And we have this information about how a group of clones is in the same area. They’ve come from the same parent.
Okay, all of that information is found up here in the topic sentence, making four the best answer for B. Okay, you should go back through, try to answer the remaining questions, okay? I’ll put the answers below for you to check your work. Go through and see if you can figure out the headings for the rest of the paragraphs in this essay.
Matching headings questions are not easy. You have to really be good at finding main ideas, but by focusing on topic sentences and eliminating answer choices that do not work, you will often be able to come to the correct answer.
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