Flow chart completion in the IELTS Reading section is thought to be one of the simplest question types in theory. When it comes to solving it, however, it can get somewhat tricky. Students have been fooled by the simplicity of the flow chart question type. While solving this question type, I advise you to be careful. Many hints lead you to the correct answer. However, many traps are hidden that can confuse you.
In this question type, you will be given information based on a particular timeline or a sequence of events.The information will in boxes that will be connected by arrows that depict a series of events. You have to fill out the information in the boxes that have blanks in them.
In the beginning, we take an example and analyze the steps taken to solve flow chart completion.
Cells use the glucose from food to generate ATP (adenosine triphosphate), the molecule that powers many activities in the body. By limiting food intake, caloric restriction minimizes the amount of glucose entering cells and decreases ATP generation. When 2DG is administered to animals that eat normally, glucose reaches cells in abundance but the drug prevents most of it from being processed and thus reduces ATP synthesis. Researchers have proposed several explanations for why interruption of glucose processing and ATP production might retard aging. One possibility relates to the ATPmaking machinery’s emission of free radicals, which are thought to contribute to aging and to such age-related diseases as cancer by damaging cells. Reduced operation of the machinery should limit their production and thereby constrain the damage. Another hypothesis suggests that decreased processing of glucose could indicate to cells that food is scarce (even if it isn’t) and induce them to shift into an anti-aging mode that emphasizes preservation of the organism over such ‘luxuries’ as growth and reproduction.
Questions 1 – 2
Complete the flow-chart below.
Choose NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS from the passage for each answer.
Write your answers in boxes 1-2 on your answer sheet.
How a caloric-restriction mimetic works
We first read the question to know what the writer wants us to find out. We also look at the next sentence to get a clearer picture to confirm the flow of information. The first question states, ‘less 1 ………… is processed’. Read the next question statement to understand the flow of information. It is easy to identify that the keyword in the question statement is ‘production of ATP’. We now can scan for the keyword in the passage. We come across the following sentence ‘By limiting food intake, caloric restriction minimizes the amount of glucose entering cells and decreases ATP generation.’ From this sentence, we find that the reduction of glucose is linked to the decrease in ATP. Therefore, the answer is ‘glucose’.
The second question states ‘Theory 1: cells less damaged by disease because fewer 2 ………… are emitted’. Here, the question statement is long enough to guess the keyword- ‘Cells less damaged by disease’. We find the following sentence- “One possibility relates to the ATP making machinery’s emission of free radicals, which are thought to contribute to aging and to such age-related diseases as cancer by damaging cells.’ From the sentence, we can see that the missing words can be best filled by free radicals. Therefore, the answer to the question is ‘Free Radical’.
This question type assesses your ability to understand the flow of information or how different process or events are linked to one another. To solve this question, you must have a good understanding of linking word and comparative statements. If you can find relations using these devices, this will be the easiest question type for you.