Short Answer And Sentence Completion

In this post, we will look at short answer questions and sentence completion.

Short Answer Questions

Short answer questions in the test, will require you to write no more than a set number of words. You will probably be given a word limit, for example, 'No more than two words and/or a number'. If you write more words than the instructions tell you to, your answer will be marked as incorrect. The short answers only need keywords, meaning you will not be able to write a sentence. These questions are there to see how well you can find specific information. 

When you are answering short answer questions, underline/highlight the keywords that will help you to find the information you need. You can also underline any words that you think are suitable in relation to the information you need to find. 

You also need to be aware of synonyms and paraphrasing - look for words that have the same meaning, don't just look for words that are exactly the same.

Take a look at the examples below, the words in italics are what you need to find out, the key terms are in bold

  • On which date was the medical research on asthma first published?
  • Which news article was eventually discussed by the media in more detail?
  • Which four pharmaceuticals were recalled?

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

Read the following passage and answer the questions with no more than two words.

Approximately 90% of visually impaired people live in developing countries.

People aged 50 and over
About 65 % of all people who are visually impaired are aged 50 and older, while this age group comprises about 20 % of the world's population. With an increasing elderly population in many countries, more people will be at risk of visual impairment due to chronic eye diseases and ageing processes.

Children below age 15
An estimated 19 million children are visually impaired. Of these, 12 million children are visually impaired due to refractive errors, a condition that could be easily diagnosed and corrected. 1.4 million are irreversibly blind for the rest of their lives and need visual rehabilitation interventions for a full psychological and personal development.

TIP >> When answering the question, use the keywords in bold to help you find the text and the word in italics to find the information you need for the answer. 

TIP >> You must use the word limit stated in the instructions - DO NOT go over this. 

Questions >>

  • How many people have sight problems over the age of 50?
  • How many young people have vision and sight problems?
  • Which situation can quickly be changed for the better in young children?

Answers are at the bottom of the page. 


Sentence Completion 

Similar to short-answer questions, sentence completion questions are designed to assess your ability to find specific information. You will have to choose the right words or keywords from a text to complete a sentence. The words will be in the text and when you write them, they must be grammatically correct

The sentence will paraphrase the information from the text, so you will have to use your knowledge of synonyms, underlining or highlighting any keywords and terms. Paraphrasing is a skill that is needed in all parts of the test.

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

Read the following passage and answer the questions with no more than one word.

Leishmaniasis is caused by a protozoa parasite from over 20 Leishmania species and is transmitted to humans by the bite of infected female phlebotomine sandflies. Over 90 sandfly species are known to transmit Leishmania parasites. There are 3 main forms of the disease:

Visceral leishmaniasis (VL), also known as kala-azar is fatal if left untreated in over 95% of cases. It is characterised by irregular bouts of fever, weight loss, enlargement of the spleen and liver, and anaemia. It is highly endemic in the Indian subcontinent and in East Africa. An estimated 50 000 to 90 000 new cases of VL occur worldwide each year. In 2015, more than 90% of new cases reported to WHO occurred in 7 countries: Brazil, Ethiopia, India, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan and Sudan. The kala-azar elimination programmes in South-East Asia are making sustained progress towards elimination, and cases are declining in the three major endemic countries: Bangladesh, India and Nepal.

Cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL) is the most common form of leishmaniasis and causes skin lesions, mainly ulcers, on exposed parts of the body, leaving life-long scars and serious disability. About 95% of CL cases occur in the Americas, the Mediterranean basin, the Middle East and Central Asia. Over two-thirds of new CL cases occur in 6 countries: Afghanistan, Algeria, Brazil, Colombia, Iran (The Islamic Republic of) and the Syrian Arab Republic. An estimated 0.6 million to 1 million new cases occur worldwide annually.

Mucocutaneous leishmaniasis leads to the partial or total destruction of mucous membranes of the nose, mouth and throat. Over 90% of mucocutaneous leishmaniasis cases occur in Bolivia (the Plurinational State of), Brazil, Ethiopia and Peru.

Questions >>

  • The disease is passed on to people from the poison carried by the ................... Sandflies.
  • One strain of the disease can cause death if it is ...........................
  • Another strain of the disease can cause skin problems and ulcers, leaving people with marks and sometimes even a severe................
  • One of the deadliest strains of this disease attacks the ...................... membranes located in the upper part of the body.

Answers are at the bottom of the page.


REVIEW AND STRATEGY

The short answer questions and sentence completion questions are common in the IELTS Reading Test, therefore you should practice and develop a strategy for answering. 


Short Answer Questions Strategy

TIP >> Read the instructions before you start to read the questions or the text.

TIP >> The answers will be in the same order as the questions. 

TIP >> Check the word limit - make sure you do not go over it. 

TIP >> Try to find the information by scanning quickly until you locate the part of the text with the information you are looking for.

TIP >> Check your spelling, make sure you have spelt the word or words correctly. 

TIP >> Look for any keywords and see how they may have been paraphrased in the questions. knowing and understanding paraphrasing and synonyms will help you to reach a high score over all parts of the IELTS test.


Sentence Completion Strategy

TIP >> Read the instructions before you start to read the questions or the text. Check that you understand what you have to do.

TIP >> The answers will be in the same order as the questions. 

TIP >> Check the word limit - make sure you do not go over it. How many words do you have to find? 

TIP >> Read the incomplete sentences then try to find the missing words in the text by skim reading (scanning through it quickly).

TIP >> Check your spelling, make sure you have spelt the word or words correctly. 

TIP >> Look for any keywords and see how they may have been paraphrased in the questions. knowing and understanding paraphrasing and synonyms will help you to reach a high score over all parts of the IELTS test.


Short Answer Questions >> Answers

  • about 65%
  • 19 million
  • refractive errors

Sentence Completion Answers >> 

  • female
  • untreated
  • disability
  • mucous

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