Flowcharts, Notes, Tables, Summaries And Diagrams

In this post, we will look at flowcharts, notes, tables, summaries and diagrams. It is very important that you will be able to >>

Understand information in flowcharts, diagrams and tables. These are used to give specific information for a fast analysis. In the test, you may have a table that you have to fill in, after finding the required information in an article. 

Summaries and notes, a summary is a short review of something, you will often see this when looking for information about a book or movie, they will give you a short summary of what it is about. Notes can be in bullet form, with groups of words or single words, linked to a subject heading. 

Read The Questions / Instructions

Before you start to read the information presented to you, first you must read the questions/instructions and think about the amount and type of information you can enter. If your answer does not follow the instructions given, then it will be marked as incorrect.

For example, you may be asked to;

  • Write no more than one word for each answer
  • Write no more than one word and/or a number for each answer
  • Write no more than two words for each answer
  • Write no more than three words for each answer

Finding Words In The Text

When reading information in a text you will be looking for specific information, that you can write onto a diagram, table or flowchart. This means you will use words that are in the text, paying close attention to the spelling. It is ok to copy words straight from the text, other forms of the word will be marked incorrect. 


The paragraph below is from The World Health Organisation (WHO) website.

Read through the questions and skim read the text, can you answer the questions?

Dementia is a syndrome – usually of a chronic or progressive nature – in which there is deterioration in cognitive function (i.e. the ability to process thought) beyond what might be expected from normal ageing. It affects memory, thinking, orientation, comprehension, calculation, learning capacity, language, and judgement. Consciousness is not affected. The impairment in cognitive function is commonly accompanied, and occasionally preceded, by deterioration in emotional control, social behaviour, or motivation.

  • Dementia is a ……………….. which is usually continuous and gradual. 
  • It can affect many cognitive functions, including ………………………………, …………………., or ………………….
  • According to the notes, dementia sufferers …………………… is not damaged.
  • Dementia can affect the ability to remember, awareness, direction and ………………

Answers >> Are at the bottom of the page. 


A flowchart is a graphic that shows the events of a process, normally in sequence. In the IELTS test, the flowchart questions are similar to the notes questions, but with arrows to tell you the sequence. When you read through the given text, the information presented may not be in the order of the flowchart.

The paragraph below is from The World Health Organisation (WHO) website.

Take a look at the information below and see if you can find the one-word answers that are missing…..

Climate change

Over the last 50 years, human activities – particularly the burning of fossil fuels – have released sufficient quantities of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases to trap additional heat in the lower atmosphere and affect the global climate. In the last 130 years, the world has warmed by approximately 0.85oC. Each of the last 3 decades has been successively warmer than any preceding decade since 18501. Sea levels are rising, glaciers are melting and precipitation patterns are changing. Extreme weather events are becoming more intense and frequent.

Answers >> Are at the bottom of the page. 


There are different types of diagrams that you may see, including labelling a plan, or a design. The other types could be something from the natural world or a technical drawing. You may also see a diagram, for example, to read a text about the human body and then label parts of the body, using one-word (or more) answers from the text. 

You may have a diagram that requires labelling from a selection of words in a box, try to understand what is happening in the diagram and where those words would fit. On the other hand, you may have a diagram that relates to a text you have to read and locate information relating to the diagram. Make sure you check how many words you need to write in the spaces, as writing too many will lose marks. Start with the most obvious and move on, if you are finding information in a text, read through quickly and don’t waste time trying to read the whole text and understand it. 

Image Source

Answers >> Are at the bottom of the page. 


The information you will see in a table can be looked at quickly, by looking at the headings and the information in each row. The tables present information, for example, a timetable, exam results or in this case below, IELTS band scores. 

Look at the table above, and see if you can answer the following questions >>

  • What do you need to score in listening to get a band score of 7? 
  • What do you need to score in Academic reading to get a band score of 8?
  • What do you need to score in General Reading for a band score of 6?

Answers >> Are at the bottom of the page. 


A summary is a brief explanation of the main points on a topic. You will use and see many summaries all of the time, from reading what a movie is about or a book, you summarise the story or events. When you see a summary of the reading test, quickly highlight or underline the keywords and think about paraphrasing. 

The paragraph below is from The World Health Organisation (WHO) website.

Read the summary below >>

Asthma is a major non-communicable disease characterised by recurrent attacks of breathlessness and wheezing, which vary in severity and frequency from person to person. Symptoms may occur several times in a day or week in affected individuals, and for some people become worse during physical activity or at night. During an asthma attack, the lining of the bronchial tubes swells, causing the airways to narrow and reducing the flow of air into and out of the lungs. Recurrent asthma symptoms frequently cause sleeplessness, daytime fatigue, reduced activity levels and school and work absenteeism. Asthma has a relatively low fatality rate compared to other chronic diseases.

  • Choose one word only for each answer.
  • The severity of Asthma varies in each person, some may have many …………. and others few.
  • Due to physical activities or in the evening, many sufferers say that they become…………….
  • When an attack happens, the air that flows into the lungs is restricted, with the ……………. becoming smaller.
  • Asthma does not cause many deaths in comparison to other ……………….. illnesses. 

Answers >> Are at the bottom of the page.


The flowcharts, notes, tables, summaries and diagrams are common in the IELTS Reading Test, therefore you should practice and develop a strategy for answering. 

TIP >> Read the instructions before you start reading the text. Make sure you understand the question.

TIP >> Study the diagram/flowchart and see how many words you need to write. For summaries, notes and tables, skim read and get the main idea.

TIP >> Highlight any keywords or labels you can see, then match them up if you see anything that stands out to you.

TIP >> Choose your answers carefully, be attentive to synonyms and paraphrasing and check your spelling.

 Answers From All Exercises >>

Notes Answers >>

  • syndrome
  • deterioration in emotional control, social behaviour or motivation.
  • consciousness
  • comprehension

Flowchart Answers >>

  • carbon dioxide
  • decades
  • extreme

Diagram Answers >>

  • 7. Spinal Nerve
  • 8. Spinal Cord
  • 9. Vertebra
  • 10. Spinal Cord

Table Answers >>

  • 33-35
  • 36-37
  • 26-30

Summary Answers >>

  • symptoms
  • worse
  • airways
  • chronic

We hope you found this post useful in helping you to study for the IELTS Test. If you have any questions please let us know in the comments below or on the Facebook page.

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