IELTS Reading lesson 2: Multiple Choice
In this lesson we'll learn how to answer multiple choice questions on IELTS Reading. Multiple choice question asks you to choose the correct answer from 3 or 4 proposed answers. This type of question looks like this on the question paper:
Choose the correct letter, A, B, C or D.
Write the correct letter in boxes on your answer sheet.
Useful information about multiple choice questions:
- Questions follow the order of the text.
- Questions repeat key words (or their synonyms) from the text.
Multiple choice questions have 3 or 4 answers, only one of which is correct. Usually, there are such types of answers:
- Irrelevant answer that gives information, which is not stated in the text.
- Answer that gives completely opposite information.
- Answer that gives information that figures in the text, but not what you're asked about.
- Correct answer.
You should obviously choose the correct answer, not confusing it with other answers. To understand what I mean, see an example below.
- Read the first question and underline the key words.
- Read the text from the beginning, simultaneously scanning it for the information that relates to the question.
- Once you found the key words or their synonyms in the text - look for the answer (it should be somewhere close).
- One you've found the answer, read the next few lines of the text to make sure that it is correct. Also, reread the question.
- Repeat this strategy with other questions, but now read the text from the place where you stopped the last time.
If you prefer another strategy, you can use it too. Remember: there is no 'right' strategy for answering IELTS Reading questions. In fact, you can try different answering strategies and figure out which one works the best for you.
- Scan text for the key words and their synonyms.
- Cross out the answers which are obviously wrong. This will help you to identify the correct answers more quickly.
- The order of questions can help you. Answer for question 4 will be between answers for questions 3 and 5 in the text.
- Don't rely on your own knowledge, the correct answer contains ONLY information stated in the text.
Rice That Fights Global Warming
More than half the global population relies on rice as a regular part of their diet. But rice paddies have a downside for the planet too: they produce as much as 17 percent of the world's total methane emissions. That is even more than coal mining emissions, which make 10 percent of total! So Christer Jansson, a plant biochemist at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, spent the past 10 years developing SUSIBA2, a genetically modified rice plant that emits almost no methane.
Multiple choice question:
1. What is the negative effect of rice?
- It is regular part of more than half of the world population’s diet.
- Rice paddies emit more methane than coal mining industry.
- Its plantations produce 17% of the world’s total methane emissions.
- Rice has genetically modified sort SUSIBA2, which is harmful for health.
In this question key words are “rice” and “negative effect”.
Now let's consider all the answers:
Answer A gives us true, but completely opposite information from what we're looking for. The first sentence tells us that
More than half the global population relies on rice as a regular part of their diet.But it is a positive effect! And we're looking for the negative one. So this answer is false.
Answer B also gives us true information, but it is not what you’re asked about. Look at the third sentence, which contains information that answer B uses:
That is even more than coal mining emissions, which make 10 percent of total!This sentence is used only to highlight the negative effect, not to state it.
Answer C is correct. The second sentence clearly states the negative effect:
But rice paddies have a downside for the planet too: they produce as much as 17 percent of the world's total methane emissions.downside = negative effect
As you see, it's very important to search key words or their synonyms in the text.
Answer D is irrelevant: it was not written anywhere that SUSIBA2 is harmful. This answer uses some words from the text just to confuse you.
Don't be caught by irrelevant answers! If you see that answer contains information that contradicts the text or was not stated at all, it's an irrelevant answer.