IELTS Reading Tips And Tricks For Flowchart And Table Type Questions

Reading module is one of the difficult modules in the IELTS examination. On the other hand, it is also one module that can affect one’s result. A correct approach can help you to find your answers in a given time period.

As you all know, there are basically five types of questions that are asked in the reading booklet. This particular web search will focus on some useful tips and tricks for fill-up type questions and that too for flow charts and table question types in the reading module.

I. Differentiation Between Table & Flowchart:

In the reading module, the table and flow chart seems to appear the same at first look. But, it is very essential to differentiate between the two.

  • Table: In this particular question type, the information will be enclosed in a box. With numbers or without numbers, sentences will be given with some missing words in it.

  • Flowchart: Flowchart also seems the same as a table with sentences and missing gaps in it but one can differentiate as flowchart is directed as a process with the help of arrows. Not sometimes, but if once, you are able to differentiate between the two, it would be useful to solve these two. 

Why To Differentiate?

Table’s information may not match in sequence with the passage as sentences are independent of each other. So it will make you more careful to focus on each line while reading the passage.

Flow chart’s information, a major times, will be in sequence as it is always a process which will be given as it is in the passage. So if once, you get to find starting word or synonym, it will get easier afterward.

II. Important Do's & Dont's:

Do's :

  • Read the instructions carefully and focus on the word limit of a fill-up.
  • Read whether numbers can be the answer? If yes, then one can find numbers too.
  • Read the sentences or questions carefully before moving towards the passage.
  • While reading the questions, try to understand the content or main topic out it. It will help you further, in reading the passage.


  • Do not fill the gap with more words than prescribed. Otherwise, the answer will be marked wrong.
  • Do not use numbers unless directed to do so.
  • Do not use short forms unless written in the passage.
  • Do not panic if some difficult or unfamiliar words come across your way as you have not read the passage yet. Also do not look for exact words as there will be synonyms.

III. General Strategy for Reading Module:

  • Skim & Scan the Information

It is very important for a reader to read the passage carefully not quickly. Many students go with a myth that a mere glance at the paragraph will help to solve these tables and flowcharts as if one is able to locate the synonyms.

But my dear friend, maybe, it will help you to solve a flow chart or a table but a passage comes with 13 to 14 questions and a table or a flow chart can have five to six blanks in it after solving these five to six blanks haphazardly, you will be left with no choice to read the passage again for solving other questions of the same passage.

IV. Reading Tips & Tricks for Flowchart & Table Questions:

  • Flowchart: For a flow chart, it is easier to go on matching a synonym of 1st sentence only and start reading from that sentence afterward in the passage. Ongoing, as you read, the process will be clear and you will be able to solve the questions.
Reminder: Do not forget about the word limit and other questions of the same passage. One can go for locating and writing for the other answers too.
  • Table: For a table, while reading the questions first, one has to keep in mind the major keywords of all the sentences given. Go on for reading the passage, and whichever keyword you will strike in between, you can locate and write the answer.

Reminder: Do not forget that questions will not be in order as the information in the passage and also take care of the word limit.

Understand the Demand of the Question:

A very useful trick to solve the questions carefully is to correctly understand the demand of the question.

How to Understand:

  • Read the question thoroughly.
  • Understand what is the content and subject in it.
  • Try to make a question out of it about how, when, why, what. For example, Human beings need for their survival. As you read you can frame a question:

What do human beings need for their survival?

 For example: In the above sentence, the demand of the question is placed like Where do all suitable candidates are invited?

  • The other way to understand the demand is to know what kind of part of speech is the question demands.

Whether it is a noun, adjective, or a verb?

For example: In the above sentence:

If one has framed the question as to what, it itself means that a noun is demanded.

  • Also, the answer can be estimated by the last word following in the sentence. For example:

In the above example sentence, till blank is ending with An, it means the blank will fill up with a word starting with a vowel. It may be not an alone clue but somewhere it will help you to find some of these words.

Also, a question which can be framed out of it is Where some activity can be pursued?

Also, a word can be understood from the question that where means a place is needed to be found in the passage.

V. How to Fill in the Answers?

  • Do not forget about the word limit.
  • Do not use synonyms of the word as in the passage. Write exactly what is written in the passage.
  • Check your answers grammatically too.
  • Avoid spelling errors.
  • Do not repeat the words.

For example: Sometimes articles are written in the question and mistakenly a student writes the article again.

For example, A passage reads as a 5-week training program will direct the candidates towards keeping a check on passengers and about their working in an air- duct.

The answer is clear an air-duct.

But while writing the answer, one has to write air-duct only. An air-duct will be marked wrong.

  • Identify the type of word to fill the gap or the demand of the question. For example, the question demands a noun, a verb, or an adjective.

Go on for the IELTS reading module with a positive attitude and do not forget to follow a correct approach while solving the paper.


Dr. Roma 

Content Writer