IELTS reading flow chart completion


IELTS reading – flow chart completion


Flow chart completion is included under the category of fill in the blanks, and it is a very important question type in the IELTS reading test. This article will be helpful in giving you an overview of how to complete a flowchart and what are some of the tips and strategies to follow while doing so.


Types of questions in the IELTS reading test:


Getting to know about the various question types in the reading test is the first step towards getting a high score. These are as follows:


1. IELTS reading – flow chart completion
2. Note completion
3. Sentence completion
4. Table completion
6. Summary completion with options or without options
7. Multiple choice questions in which you need to select one option
8. Multiple choice questions in which you need to select two options
9. Matching the list of headings to the paragraphs
10. Matching the list of nouns to the information
11. Matching the endings of sentences
12. Matching the paragraph that contains the information
13. True / false / not given
14. Yes / no / not given
15. Short answer questions.


Among these question types, there is a difference in the method of getting the answer. Hence, it is important to particularly understand this question type before attempting the main test. Now, let us analyze how to answer the questions pertaining to the completion of a flowchart.


What is the flowchart?

A flow chart is a kind of representation in the form of a series of steps which are represented one below the other. This ensures that there is a flow of information from one step to another or from one process to another. Flow charts are an excellent way to describe a process in detail.


Flow chart completion questions can be given both for the IELTS academic module as well as IELTS general training module. The strategy and the tips are just the same for both these modules. In the case of an academic module, flow chart completion questions are given in any of the three sections of the test, while in the general training test, it is mostly seen in the first two sections, however, it may be given in the final section as well.


The process to be followed while completing a flowchart:


Step 1: Reading the instructions for the word count
If the candidates are losing their score in the reading test, especially for filling the blanks, it is mainly because they are not able to focus on the word instructions. They usually have one thing in mind that there is no additional time to transfer the answers. This makes them feel nervous. They can directly start answering the questions without paying any attention to the instructions.


However, it is always advisable to allocate at least 10 seconds of time to understand what the instructions say, particularly about the word count, which can look something like this.
a. Write one word only
b. Write one word and/ or a number
c. Write no more than two words
d. Write no more than two words and/ or a number
e. Write no more than three words
f. Write no more than three words and /or a number.


Step 2: If there is a title for the flowchart, underline the keywords in the heading as it gives us an idea of what exactly we are trying to find. In other words, underlining the heading gives a proper direction to our search. Never neglect this step.


One more thing is that, sometimes, the various steps in the process of a flowchart may also have several side headings. If this is the case, you need to mark the keywords in such subheadings as well.


Step 3: Follow quick reading methods


 Hence, there is no point in writing the answers first in the question paper and later writing them in the answer sheet. It is always suggestible to transfer the answers directly onto the answer sheet after following certain quick reading methods.


What are these quick reading strategies?

Basically, quick reading can be done in two ways.
1. Skimming
2. Scanning
Both skimming and scanning are extremely helpful to get the answer not just for flowchart completion, but for other question types as well.


What is skimming?
Skimming is a strategy where you get a basic idea of what is contained in the paragraph by just reading the first sentence and the last sentence of each paragraph carefully and running your eyes quickly through the rest of the paragraph.


 It does not involve you to read each and every word and try to understand what it means, as we are just trying to locate the significant point that the writer intends to convey through the paragraph.


What is scanning?
Scanning, on the other hand, is yet another fast reading strategy. The difference between skimming and scanning is that in the process of scanning, you will have to focus on the keywords, such as nouns, verbs, adjectives, etc. In brief, skimming provides an overall idea, and scanning helps you to locate the right answer.


In addition to skimming and scanning, there are other strategies such as intensive and close reading, which will enable the candidates to confirm the right answer only after going through the text carefully.


Step 4: Marking the keywords in the question and looking for synonyms in the text


Remember that the IELTS test requires the test takers to locate synonyms and use them properly. In the IELTS reading test, you will find that there are lots of synonyms for the words in the question. You should learn to locate the synonyms very quickly so that you can find the answers quickly. If you continue to look for the same word as you see in the question, it may not be found.


Further, you will notice that there are lots of unnecessary details that are given in the text. These details can sometimes mislead us to the wrong answer. Hence, it is advisable to learn to predict the right answer for such fill in the blanks questions.


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