Tips And Tricks To Solve Fill Ups In IELTS Reading

The reading module is considered to be one of the difficult modules among students. It is very necessary that students should practice for enough worksheets before appearing for an actual exam where a student is expected to attempt 40 questions in 60 minutes.

This blog will particularly focus on tips and tricks to solve gap-filling questions in the reading module.

Types of Fill Up Type of Questions

➡️ Summary Based Gap Filling

This type of gap-filling is trickier to be solved. In this type of section, a paragraph will be given in exercise with some gaps in between. Students are expected to fill that gaps by locating and finding the answers from the passage. Summary-based gap filling is most common and generally asked the type of fill-ups in reading and it requires much practice. It is given in two types that are: 

A. With help box

B. Without help box

Tricks to Solve

1. First of all, read out the summary in the exercise. Understand it thoroughly and try to learn about the main subject.

2. Predict the answers as you read the summary. For example:- Predict what can be the answer like noun, pronoun, adjective, verb. Predict if it can be a word starting from vowel or not if it followed by which article (a, an, the).

If the summary is given with the help box, you can simply eliminate the answers from the box which does not fit in the particular blank.

3. Find out the location in the reading passage where exactly the main subject is talked about.


Answers can be in the sequence or it can be in the whole passage. In the exercise of one passage, generally, 11 to 14 questions are asked and for gap filling, it can be 6 to 7 questions. So it is suggested that you should read out the passage in sequence and exhaust it paragraph-wise for your all 11 to 14 questions, not for only 6 to 7.

4. If you have found out the correct location, fit out the answers from the location.


Do not look out for exact words as synonyms can be given in the exercise.

5. Once you have got the answer, write it down on the answer sheet directly as the reading module does not give you extra time to transfer your answers on the sheet.


Take care of the spelling and grammar mistakes. Check that the spellings should be clear otherwise the answer will be marked wrong and it should fit grammatically too. 

Also Read: Tips & Strategies To Solve IELTS Reading True/False/Not Given Type Questions

➡️ Sentence Completion Gap Filling Type

It is the type of filling where some sentences will be given and in each sentence, a blank is present which is to be filled correctly. Generally, there are 5 to 6 sentences given, which are to be completed by gap filling.

Tricks to Solve

1. Unlike the summary, all the sentences are not needed to be read first. Read it one by one and look out for it independently.

2. Similarly, predict for the answer of the sentence's gap and try to convert your fill up into a question so that you can get what, where, when of the answer. It will help you in finding the answer.

3. Look out for the location in the passage and again do not look out for exact words.

4. Fit out the answer and write it directly on the answer sheet by taking care of grammar and spelling mistakes.

➡️ Question/Answer Type Gap Filling

In this type of fill-up questions, a reading module has one exercise where gap filling is asked in the type of questions. A question is asked where a student has to write an answer for it. It makes it somewhat easier for students to predict the answer as to when, where, what is directly asked in the question.

Tricks to Solve

1. Read out all the questions. Try to pick out the major keywords from the questions and look out for the keywords in the passage.

2. Wherever you spot any of the keywords, that would be the probable location of that particular question that is to be answered.

3. Get your answer and write it down on your answer sheet directly.

➡️ Table/Flowchart Type Gap Filling

Fill-ups can be asked in one more interesting way and it is in the form of tables and charts.
Table is in the form of rows and columns and always, for each fill-up, one row's or column's information is given full-fledged and a student is to answer another part’s information.

Tips to Solve

1. Read out the whole table and mark the keywords.
Remember- Table’s information may not be in sequence and the whole of the table is to be read first.
2. Find out the location and predict fir the answers.
3. Fit out the correct answer.
4. Write it on the answer sheet.
A flowchart is in the form of a chart where information is followed by arrows and each gap sentence is interlinked with each other. Unlike tables, flowchart’s information is many times in sequence in the passage.

Tricks To Solve 

1. Similarly, read out the whole flowchart and predict the answers.
2. Look out for the correct paragraph where you can find out the possible answers.
3. Write down the answers on your answer sheet.

Also Read: IELTS Reading Tips And Tricks For Flowchart And Table Type Questions

General Do's & Don’ts 

1. Do not ever read the passage first. Read questions thoroughly and take care of the keywords.

2. Take care of spelling and grammar mistakes as earlier told.

3. Common mistake is when sometimes an exact word is given in the passage and you tend to write as it is on the answer sheet but it does not demand such.

For example:- You have got the answer the capital.

Blank is:- Delhi is the ________ of India.

In hurry, you just tend to repeat the answer as the capital.

But remember that the is written in blank itself. It will be marked wrong.

4. Take care of the instructions especially, the word limit. Do not use more words than prescribed.

Confusion arises- When it is written 

Use no more than 2 words and /or a number. Here you can add 2 numbers, 2 words or 1 number and 1 word.

Also remember that one number can be of many digits such as 133 is one number, 35482 is one number.

Similarly, a hyphenated word is counted as one word. For example:- inter-state, one-star etc.

5. Remember that there will be 60 minutes to solve 40 questions. Just utilize your time properly by allotting 1 and a half minute for each answer.

6. There is no transfer time for answers in the reading module unlike listening where 10 minutes are given.

The reading module is somewhat difficult but it is not at all impossible to solve all the questions within the prescribed time limit. Fasten your speed by keeping in mind the above tips and tricks to solve fill-up type questions for reading passages.

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