Master Note Taking question on IELTS Reading

IELTS Reading Note taking questions

Students, in general, have displayed discomfort with attempting the note take question type in the IELTS reading section. It is understandable, given that this question type has traps hidden in plain sight. Although it can be easy to understand, it is not easy to attempt. Like other question types, there way ways around traps for students to follow and get an excellent score.

To attempt note-taking question on IELTS Reading, read the questions to know what they are asking us for. Then scan through the passage to identify and locate where the potential answer might be.

Format of the Note-taking question on IELTS Reading

This question type has two formats in the IELTS reading section. The first one gives you sentences with a word blanked out. You must fill that word from the given passage. The second format of the question paper is where you will get some question statements with a list of answer choices. The question statements must be matched with the best fitting answer choices.

How to solve note-taking in the IELTS reading section?

Let’s take a sample passage as an example

The marriage of Pierre and Marie Curie in 1895 marked the start of a partnership that was soon to achieve results of world significance. Following Henri Becquerel’s discovery in 1896 of a new phenomenon, which Marie later called ‘radioactivity’, Marie Curie decided to find out if the radioactivity discovered in uranium was to be found in other elements. She discovered that this was true for thorium. 

Turning her attention to minerals, she found her interest drawn to pitchblende, a mineral whose radioactivity, superior to that of pure uranium, could be explained only by the presence in the ore of small quantities of an unknown substance of very high activity. Pierre Curie joined her in the work that she had undertaken to resolve this problem, and that led to the discovery of the new elements, polonium and radium. While Pierre Curie devoted himself chiefly to the physical study of the new radiations, Marie Curie struggled to obtain pure radium in the metallic state. This was achieved with the help of the chemist André-Louis Debierne, one of Pierre Curie’s pupils. Based on the results of this research, Marie Curie received her Doctorate of Science, and in 1903 Marie and Pierre shared with Becquerel the Nobel Prize for Physics for the discovery of radioactivity.

Questions 1-2 Complete the notes below. 

Choose ONE WORD ONLY from the passage for each answer. 

Write your answers in boxes 1-2 on your answer sheet.

Marie Curie’s research on radioactivity 

∙ When uranium was discovered to be radioactive, Marie Curie found that the element called 1 ………… had the same property. 

∙ Marie and Pierre Curie’s research into the radioactivity of the mineral known as 2 ………… led to the discovery of two new elements.

Solving the first question of note-taking

To start solving, we read the questions to know what they are asking for. The first question reads ‘When uranium was discovered to be radioactive, Marie Curie found that the element called 1 ………… had the same property.’ It is our understanding from looking at the question that the question asks for an element that was discovered to have to same properties as uranium. To find what element, we scan through the passage to discover lines that might reveal the finals answer. The following lines indicate the answer: ‘Marie Curie decided to find out if the radioactivity discovered in uranium was to be found in other elements. She discovered that this was true for thorium.’ Here the answer is directly given. So the answer to the first question is ‘Thorium.’

Solving the second question of note-taking

Moving on to the next example,  we read the next question ‘Marie and Pierre Curie’s research into the radioactivity of the mineral known as 2 ………… led to the discovery of two new elements.’ In this question, we have to find out which radioactive element led to the discovery of two new elements. As with the first question, we scan the passage for lines which might contain the answer. ‘Turning her attention to minerals, she found her interest drawn to pitchblende, a mineral whose radioactivity, superior to that of pure uranium, could be explained only by the presence in the ore of small quantities of an unknown substance of very high activity. Pierre Curie joined her in the work that she had undertaken to resolve this problem, and that led to the discovery of the new elements, polonium and radium’ From these lines, we find that the answer to the second question is ‘Pitchblende’  as it perfectly fits the criteria for the answer requirements. 

Purpose of Note Taking in the IELTS Reading Section

This question type tests you on your ability to understand details or the main idea of a given passage. You also need to be aware of what words might fit into a gap. To achieve this, the examiners introduce reading passages with sentences that indirectly or directly lead you to the answers.

How to solve Matching Heading question on IELTS Reading section?

To read the next lesson,
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