Matching paragraph information question may seem a little overwhelming, as it requires strong scanning skills. Many test takers may be under the false assumption that they need to understand every single word, when the key here is to look for specific information within a paragraph.

Read below for helpful tips and tricks, as well as example questions!

1. Question Overview

The Matching Information question type is one of fourteen (14) question types on the Reading Section of the IELTS exam.

1.1. Objective:

You must identify the paragraph that contain the information in the question.

1.2. Skills Used:

You will need to look for specific content in the text. You will need to scan the text and understand the content.

The questions will be statements – in other words, sentences that mention information found somewhere in the text. The answers don’t come in order which may make the question seem overwhelming, but good news, the information in the questions will always be in the text. No trick questions! If you are unsure about how to approach the task and answer the questions, we have tips and tricks to help you!

2. Example of Matching Paragraph Question


3. Steps to Follow

How should you answer these questions? Follow our steps below!

3.1. Read and Understand the Questions

Because you are looking for specific information in the text, it essential that you read the statements carefully and understand what they mean.

3.2. Paraphrase the Question Statement

Paraphrasing the question statement means saying what they mean in different words, focusing particularly on their key words and/or phrases:

IELTS writing correction

Example: ‘species of penguins and their partners

In other words: ‘the type of partners/mates that different kinds of penguins have.’

If you explain the questions in other words, you make sure you understand them better, and you can see more easily where the meaning is expressed in the paragraphs.

3.3. Scan the Text for Information

To scan a text means to read it quickly while looking for specific information. You don’t need to read or understand every single word, as long as you are able to identify specific information that helps you answer the question, including synonyms to key words you have paraphrased.

3.4. Choose the Correct Answer

After you made sure you understood the statement, and you have scanned the text for specific information, you can choose the paragraph that mentions the information in the statement (paragraphs usually each have a letter: A, B, C…)


‘a description of the courting process’


  1. Penguins are like many seabirds, in that they are usually long-lived.
  2. In many species, male penguins attempt to attract a mate by first building a nest.
  3. Penguins tend to live in areas where they are safe from land predators.


B - In many species, male penguins attempt to attract a mate by first building a nest.


a description1 of the courting process2

  1. description = explanation, account
  2. courting process = courting rituals, making an impression, ritual to get attention/affection, attracting a partner/mate

“attract a mate” is synonymous of “court”, so the information in the statement is in paragraph B

IELTS Reading Question Types List

4. Tips & Tricks

4.1 The number of paragraphs may not be the same as the number of questions. Sometimes you will need to use a paragraph more than once. Other times, not all paragraphs will be used. You must read the instructions carefully.

4.2 Read all the matching paragraph questions before reading the IELTS reading paragraphs. Because some of the information is not given in the text and the answers do not come in order, you want to make sure you know what topics you are expected to look for in the text before answering the questions. This will help you make the most of your time.

4.3 Matching paragraph questions will be statements, and they will include a general topic you will need to identify in the paragraphs. They will not tell you explicitly what words to look for in the paragraphs, but rather the type of information to look for.

For example:

Rather than: ‘The rituals male penguins undertake to attract a mate’

It will be: ‘A description of the courting process’

In the example above, the general topic is ‘courting process’. However, within the text, related words to ‘courting process’ could be ‘ritual’, ‘attract a mate’ or ‘impress a mate’, amongst others. Those are the types of words to look for in the paragraphs, in order to accurately locate the topics that are mentioned in the questions.

4.4 When paraphrasing the statements in the questions, think of synonyms to key  words and/or phrases in the statements:

Example:  species of penguins and their partners.

species —> kinds, types

partner —> companion, mate, life partner

In other words: ‘the type of companions/mates/life partners different kinds of  penguins have.’

IELTS writing correction

When you paraphrase the matching paragraph questions, you will therefore need to think of words that relate to the general topics, so that you might find them in the text and locate the information in the appropriate paragraphs.

4.5 You do not need to understand all the words in the IELTS reading text. It is enough to identify specific information in the text that relates to the topic in the questions.

4.6 The answers will not come in order, so it is important to understand what information is mentioned in the questions, so you can use the time and find the answers more efficiently.

4.7 Paragraphs tend to have a letter each (A, B, C…), but make sure to read the  instructions carefully so you know how to answer the question correctly.

4.8 You may try to do matching paragraphing question type after you have finished other types of question in that reading text. This way, you will have a reasonable understanding of the entire passage as well as the individual paragraphs. This should make your task of location information much faster.

5. Mock Test

Climate Change

  • Climate change is an issue that affects ecosystems and communities around the world. The subject of human-induced climate change is often considered an issue that will occur in the future. This is a misconception, however, as climate change is an ongoing process. A rise in temperature by 1.98°F (1.1°C) from 1901 to 2020 has been observed, but climate change is so much more than an increase in temperature, as it comprises sea level rises, changes in weather patterns like drought and flooding, amongst others. Water, energy, transportation, wildlife, agriculture, ecosystems, and human health – parts of our lives which we consciously or subconsciously depend on are affected by climate change.
  • Although it may not be immediately obvious, the impacts that climate change has on different aspects of society are interrelated. Drought can harm food production and human health. Flooding can lead to spread of diseases and can cause damages to ecosystems and infrastructure. From a human-health perspective, the effects can include an increase in mortality, impacts on food availability, and a decrease of worker productivity.
  • Climate change truly affects every aspect of the world we live in. Nonetheless, even though climate change is a global issue, not everyone is affected by it the same way. Individual communities may experience climate change differently, depending on the conditions people live in the resources that are available to them. Individuals living in underserved areas or neighborhoods often have the highest exposure to hazards, and are therefore more vulnerable, lacking the necessary resources to respond.
  • Despite the projections of the impacts that climate change will have in years to come can be avoided, thanks to research that keeps providing us with knowledge of problems and solutions to counter those impacts. Experts believe there is still time to avoid the most negative of outcomes by limiting warming and reducing emissions to zero as quickly as possible.
  • Reducing our emissions of greenhouse gases will have a range of positive outcomes on the planet and on humans. Such reduction of greenhouse gas emissions will help create new employment opportunities, as it will require investment in new technology and infrastructure. It will also help reduce harmful impacts on human health, saving countless lives and billions of dollars in health-related expenses.
  • Earth has a natural greenhouse effect which naturally causes a rise in temperature, but humans create additional greenhouse gas emissions and cause an unusually rapid rise in temperature, also known as global warming. Carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, ozone, and various chlorofluorocarbons are all human-emitted gases. Virtually all climate scientists agree that this increase in heat-trapping gases is the main reason for the 1.8°F (1.0°C) rise in global average temperature since the late nineteenth century. Of all human-emitted heat-trapping gases, scientists are most concerned by carbon dioxide, as its overall warming influence is greater than the other gases combined.
  • At present, humans are emitting an estimated 9.5 billion metric tons of carbon into the atmosphere each year by burning fossil fuels. Deforestation and other land cover changes by humans emit another 1.5 billion metric tons per year. Of these nearly yearly 11 billion metric tons of carbon, forests and vegetation absorb around 3.2 billion metric tons per year, and oceans about 2.5 billion metric tons per year. A net 5 billion metric tons of human-produced carbon remain in the atmosphere each year, raisin the global average carbon dioxide concentrations by about 2.3 parts per million per year. Humans have increased the abundance of caron dioxide in the atmosphere by nearly 50 percent since 1750.

Text edited, adapted and partially paraphrased from following sources:
Source 1
Source 2

Questions 1 – 5

Look at the seven paragraphs, A-G.

Which paragraph mentions the following?

Choose the correct letter, A-G.

NB   You may only use a paragraph once.

Matching paragraph information

  1. a gas that needs urgent attention
  2. action to avoid consequences
  3. a wrong assumption
  4. benefits of less greenhouse gas releases
  5. impacts on different individuals
Score - 0

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