name='viewport'/> THE IELTS: IELTS READING TEST - MATCHING NAMES WITH STATEMENTS QUESTIONS TIPS AND STRATEGY expr:class='"loading" + data:blog.mobileClass'>


In this type of question you are asked to match someone’s name, normally an expert, researcher or scientist, to a statement.

You are given a list of names and a list of statements. Your job is to read the text and then match the names with the correct statement. The reading text will tell you what that person has said or done (normally research findings) and this will guide you to the correct answer.

This post will:
- look at an example question
- discuss common problems
- give you tips and advice
- provide you with a strategy to use on exam day

1. Example question

As you can see below you will be given a number of statements and a number of names. You must use the reading text to match each statement with the correct name. You will often be given more names than required.

IELTS reading matching names

2. Common Problems

1. Some names will appear only once in the text and some will appear several times. The names that occur several times will be harder to match than the names that appear only once because you will have to look at several different parts of the text. Some students focus on the hardest questions first. This is a problem for two reasons. First, you waste time looking at most of the text and second, you are more likely to get the easier questions correct so they deserve more of your attention.

2. Some of the difficult questions are there to separate band 8 from band 9 students. The vast majority of people will not get a band 9 and you should not waste too much time on these very difficult questions. If you were picking apples, would you pick the ones you can easily reach from the ground or take time to climb up the tree and pick the ones at the top?

3. A common mistake is to read the whole text and try to find the names that way. You won’t have time to do this and it is much better to find the names quickly by scanning for them.
Some students see the name, read that part of the reading text very quickly and then match the name with the statement. When you find the name in the text you should spend time reading it in more detail to really understand what it means before answering the question.

4. The most common error is trying to find words in the text that match exactly with words in the statement. Instead it is more likely that you will find synonyms (words with the same or very similar meanings).

3. Tips

1. Focus on the easy questions first. If you can’t find the answer to a question, move on and come back to it later.

2. Find the names in the text quickly by scanning for them and then underline them.

3. The names might be shortened to just a first or last name. For example, ‘John Jones’ might appear as only ‘Jones’ in the text.

4. Think of synonyms that might appear in the reading text. For example, the phrase ‘intense burst of energy‘ could look like ‘explosive release of energy‘ in the text.

5. Some of the names might be used more than once. Check the question for instructions on this.

6. The questions do not follow the order of the text. You might have to go backwards and forwards to find the correct answer. This is a very unnatural way to read and requires you to use your scanning skills.

7. If you like to categorise things by colour, use different coloured pens to underline the different names.

4. Strategy 

1. Read the statement question carefully.

2. Focus on the names first. Read them and then scan for the names in the reading text and underline them. Remember that some names will appear more than once and you should underline them all.

3. Focus on the names that appear only once first because these are the easiest.

4. Read around the name to see if their findings or research come before or after their name.

5. Read their research or findings and then go back to the statements in the question and match. Be aware of synonyms.

6. When you find a statement that matches a name, delete the statement. Each statement can only be used once.


Task type and format
Test takers are required to match a set of statements or pieces of information to a list of options. The options are a group of features from the text, and are identified by letters. Test takers may, for example, be required to match different research findings to a list of researchers, or characteristics to age groups, events to historical periods, etc. It is possible that some options will not be used, and that others may be used more than once. The instructions will inform test takers if options may be used more than once.
Task focus
Matching features assesses the test takers’ ability to recognise relationships and connections between facts in the text and their ability to recognise opinions and theories. It may be used both with factual information, as well as opinion-based discursive texts. Test takers need to be able to skim and scan the text in order to locate the required information and to read for detail.
 No. of questions

I hope you found this useful. If you have any questions please let me know in the comments below or on the Facebook page.

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