Matching Information

IELTS reading matching information

In this post, we will be looking at matching information.

For the matching information tasks, you should look at each phrase in the questions and then find the information or idea in the text. The order of the questions is not in the order of where you will find the information in the text. A skill that is important and will help you is skim reading.

Skim Reading

Skim reading is a skill that is used to locate information in a text quickly. It is often used to find the main ideas or the main points in a text. In the IELTS Reading Test, skim reading is a skill you should use when trying to find numbers or dates, a measurement, a reason, a finding, a description, a reaction, an account, a cause or an effect, a conclusion or a problem. It will help you to find the information you need to answer questions and it makes sure you know the overall meaning of the text. 

Look at the sentences below, which ones have a number, a date, a description, a measurement, a finding, a reaction, a cause, an effect, a conclusion? (More than one type may apply to each sentence).

Skim read through to find the information >>

  • The Medical Journal of the American Research Institute last year published many articles relating to new developments in medicine. 
  • By 2020, the number of people aged 60 years and older will outnumber children younger than 5 years.
  • Many people have been shocked by the number of cuts in the health system this year. 
  • The government has made a huge mistake in failing to give nurses a pay rise for over 10 years, thus losing voters and support from that profession. 
  • The impact of spending cuts in the NHS has seen many people suffer long waiting hours over a number of departments, increasing the wait time in A&E in some hospitals to over 4 hours. 

Answers at the bottom of the page

Matching Information

Look at the extracts from texts below and match them to the following information >>

  • An Effect
  • A Date
  • A Finding
  • An Account
  1. People worldwide are living longer. Today, for the first time in history, most people can expect to live into their sixties and beyond. By 2050, the world’s population aged 60 years and older is expected to total 2 billion, up from 900 million in 2015. 
  2. According to The World Health Organisation (WHO), a longer life brings with it opportunities, not only for older people and their families but also for societies as a whole. Additional years provide the chance to pursue new activities such as further education, a new career or pursuing a long-neglected passion. 
  3. In fact, in the research paper on ageing by The World Health Organisation (WHO), there is, however, little evidence to suggest that older people today are experiencing their later years in better health than their parents. While rates of severe disability have declined in high-income countries over the past 30 years, there has been no significant change in mild to moderate disability over the same period.
  4. If people can experience these extra years of life in good health and if they live in a supportive environment, their ability to do the things they value will be little different from that of a younger person. If these added years are dominated by declines in physical and mental capacity, the implications for older people and for society are more negative.

(Information from The World Health Organisation (WHO)

Answers at the bottom of the page

Test Question

Below is an example of how a matching information question may look in the IELTS Reading test. In the examples given in this post, the texts are short, to give you an introduction to how to answer this type of question. In the test, the texts will be much longer with a word count of 1000+, you will need to skim read the whole text to find the answers you are looking for.

IELTS reading example question

Read the information below and match the information, remember to skim read the text, don’t read every word.

(Information from The World Health Organisation (WHO)

Diversity in older age (A)
There is no ‘typical’ older person. Some 80 year-olds have physical and mental capacities similar to many 20 year-olds. Other people experience significant declines in physical and mental capacities at much younger ages. A comprehensive public health response must address this wide range of older people’s experiences and needs.

Health inequities (B)
The diversity seen in older age is not random. A large part arises from people’s physical and social environments and the impact of these environments on their opportunities and health behaviour. The relationship we have with our environments is skewed by personal characteristics such as the family we were born into, our sex and our ethnicity, leading to inequalities in health. A significant proportion of the diversity in older age is due to the cumulative impact of these health inequities across the life course. Public health policy must be crafted to reduce, rather than reinforce, these inequities.

Outdated and ageist stereotypes (C)
Older people are often assumed to be frail or dependent, and a burden to society. Public health, and society as a whole need to address these and other ageist attitudes, which can lead to discrimination, affect the way policies are developed and the opportunities older people have to experience Healthy Ageing.

Which paragraph contains the following information?

Write the correct letter A-C, in boxes 11-13 on your answer sheet.

11. A description of the way society views the elderly.

12. A reaction to the rights for the elderly living in our society.

13. The effect of our surroundings partnered with our own personality traits, which lead to health differences. 

Answers at the bottom of the page. 

How You Can Prepare = Read More

You should prepare as much as possible before your IELTS Test and that includes reading regularly. You can find good texts to read on various websites like the news sites listed in the Introduction to IELTS Reading post.

You should try to read around a range of topics, from health, the environment, technology, education, history and general interest articles. The IELTS articles will not cover politics or religion, so you can focus on other topics.  

Some articles may seem challenging to read, but this is really good practice! Keep a notebook and write down any words you do not know the meaning of, then look them up and write the meaning in the book. This is a good way to learn new vocabulary. 


The matching information questions 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 questions.

TIP >> Skim read the text/paragraphs and get the main idea.

TIP >> Look at the questions and think about if they match up with any of the paragraphs. Is anything standing out to you?

TIP >> Choose your answers through an elimination process. Which ones do not fit? Which ones can you dismiss? Be attentive to synonyms and paraphrasing.

Task Answers >>

Skim reading exercise answers >>

  • A finding
  • A description
  • A reaction
  • A cause
  • An effect

Matching Information Answers (Task 1) >>

  • A Date
  • An Account
  • A Finding
  • An Effect 

Matching Information Answers (Task 2) >>

11. C

12. A

13. B

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