An Ielts reading exercise that teaches...
One Ielts reading exercise common to most Ielts books (and tests) is the less than
favourite paragraph, or section heading, exercise.
You know, as far as an Ielts reading exercise goes, I can't see what
the trouble with this section of the test is. On this page, you'll do an exercise designed to help you get over
your fear of this section of the Ielts test and get on with improving your score.
Note: If you've just entered this site and want to follow this Ielts reading practice from the
beginning, click on the link at the left of this page marked READING and follow the
Now, when dealing with paragraph or section headings, there are few
things you should know before doing your Ielts reading exercise...
What do you need to do in this section?
In this task there is a list of identified headings. The headings may be identified with Roman numerals (i, ii,
iii, iv, v) or numbers. Headings refer to the main idea of the paragraph or section and you must match the heading
to the paragraphs or sections of the text to which they agree. The sections of the text are marked alphabetically
and you must write the number of the heading in the box of the section of the text it matches. (sample
There are more heading choices than needed!
Remember, one or more paragraphs or sections may already be matched for an example on the test. Elimination doesn't
work here as the number of choices are more than the number of answers needed. You will need to develop some
recognition skills (shown below) to help you in choosing the right section headings.
You can expect to see texts with technical writing or maybe even
instructions having clearly defined sections and order. Although the material may be unfamiliar, you should
still score well on this section by applying the following principles when you practice and especially when
The following Ielts
reading exercise will improve your score.
Below is a typical section or paragraph
heading Ielts reading exercise. In this instance you will have to place the Roman numeral (i-vii) next to the
paragraph headings as shown below the following text. The first paragraph heading has
beencompleted as an example.
Choose your answers from the following list of possible
Kangaroos and humans
Man's influence on Australia
Changes in Climate
Long term outlook
Before you do the exercise remember the
skim for gist
scan for detail
vocabulary clues (synonyms &
ask what it's NOT talking
do more than one paragraph before
Ielts Reading Exercise
The word Kangaroo was adopted into
Standard English where it has come to mean any member of the family of kangaroos and wallabies. The belief
that it means "I don't understand" or "I don't know" is a popular myth that is also applied to many other
Aboriginal-sounding Australian words. Male kangaroos are called bucks, boomers or jacks; females are does, flyers, or
jills and the young ones are joeys. The collective noun for kangaroos is a mob, troop, or court.
Kangaroos have long been regarded as
strange animals. Early explorers described them as creatures that had heads like deer (without antlers),
stood upright like men, and hopped like frogs. Combined with the two-headed appearance of a mother kangaroo,
this lead many back home to dismiss them as travellers tales for quite some time
Kangaroos have large, powerful hind legs, large feet adapted
for leaping, a long muscular tail for balance, and a small head. Like all marsupials, kangaroos have a pouch
called a marsupium in which their young complete their development after birth.
Kangaroos are large herbivores, feeding on grass and roots, and
they chew cud. All species are nocturnal and crepuscular, usually spending the days idling quietly and the
cool evenings, nights and mornings moving about and feeding, typically in mobs.
Along with dingoes and other canids, introduced species like
foxes and feral cats also pose a threat to kangaroo populations, as they do most populations of native
animals. Kangaroos and wallabies are apt swimmers, and often flee into waterways if presented with the
option. If pursued into the water, a large kangaroo may use its forepaws to hold the predator underwater to
drown it. Another defensive tactic described by witnesses is catching the attacking dog with the forepaws and
disembowelling it with the hind legs.
A mob may have ten or more males and females. The dominant male
(called a boomer) is based on his size and age. A boomer has temporary exclusive access to females in a mob
for mating. A boomer may find himself wandering in and out of a mob - checking out the females and
intimidating the other males who try to mate with the females within the mob.
Kangaroos have developed in a number of ways to survive in a
dry, infertile continent and a highly variable climate. As with all marsupials, the young are born at a very
early stage of development after a gestation of 31-36 days. At this stage, only the forelimbs are somewhat
developed, to allow the newborn to climb to the pouch and attach to a teat. In comparison, a human embryo at
a similar stage of development would be about 7 weeks old, and premature babies born at less than 23 weeks
are usually not mature enough to survive. The joey will usually stay in the pouch for about 9 months or (for
the Western Grey) 180 to 320 days, before starting to leave the pouch for small periods of time. It is
usually fed by its mother until the age of 18 months.
Before white settlement, the kangaroo was a very important
animal for Australian Aborigines, both for its meat, its hide, its bones and its sinews. In addition, there
were important Dreaming stories and ceremonies involving the kangaroo. Aherrenge is a current kangaroo
dreaming site in the Northern Territory. The game of Marn grook was played using a ball made from kangaroo by
the Kurnai people.
___Kangaroos and humans
___ Physical description
By doing this Ielts reading exercise, you can see that the information
required is typically vocabulary related. Learning synonyms is a useful approach to vocabulary
learning. Especially when it comes to this section of the Ielts test.
For instance, in paragraph v, you would need to know the synonym for mate or mating is court or courting.
Therefore, the right paragraph heading for paragraph v in this ielts reading exercise is the
To continue with another Ielts reading
exercise, simply click on the preceding
To return to the page with even more ielts reading exercises plus examples and links to every
section of the Ielts Academic Reading Module, click on the
**Answers to Ielts
Reading Exercise above = i, vii, vi, iii, iv, v, ii