Reading: Unit 5: Locating Information


A common question type in the IELTS Reading
Test is locating information. With locating information questions, you need to read the
text in order to find specific information, such as a reason, an example, or an explanation.
Let’s look at an example of this task now. On your test paper, you’ll see a reading
passage followed by the locating information questions. Let’s look more closely at the
questions now. Always remember to check the instructions
first. In this example, the instructions tell you that the reading passage is divided into
four parts. These parts are labelled, A, B, C, or D. Now look at the questions. You need
to read the question and then go to the text and find the paragraph or section that contains
this information. Let’s try to do question 1. So, we need
to find the particular species that the researcher is interested in. I think this is important,
the particular species. So I guess there is a particular animal that the researcher wants
to study. Let’s try to remember that when we read the text. So now let’s try to find the paragraph that
contains the information about the species that the Professor is interested in. This
is paragraph A. Now you don’t want to read this paragraph in detail, you’re just trying
to scan the text to try to find an animal species. No, there’s nothing here about
animals. We learn about the equipment and the researchers and where they’re from,
but we’re not told about any animal species here. So let’s move on to paragraph B. Now if we look at this paragraph, we can see
that there is an animal mentioned, a giant squid. But is this the species that Professor
Marshall is particularly interested in or is it just an example of what researchers
have been able to study in the past? I’m not sure that this is the information that
we’re looking for. Let’s keep reading to see if we can find the right answer. Let’s look at paragraph C now. And we can
see that there is an animal mentioned here, the seal. And we’re told that the researcher
is especially looking at seals that live in this environment. And if we look at the question
again, we can see that this is the information that we were asked to locate. So the answer is C because that’s the section
of the text where I located the information for question number 1. So, that answer is
correct. So let’s recap what we know about the locating
information question format. As the name suggests, in this task you have to find or locate the
paragraph in the text which contains the information given in the question. When you write your
answer, you only need to write the letter for that paragraph. Then, write your answer
on the answer sheet, being careful to write it in the correct place. And just a few more tips about this format.
Firstly, the same paragraph may contain information for more than one question, so don’t worry
if this happens – you can choose a paragraph more than once. Second, you may not need to
use all the paragraphs. Some paragraphs may not contain any answers. Third, the information
that you need to answer a question will only be located in one of the paragraphs. And finally,
this is a test of your ability to read a text quickly, so you’ll need to skim and scan
to find the information that you need. So now that I have described how to do locating
information questions to you, why don’t you take some time to read over
this summary. I should point out that this is one way to do this task which we think
is effective, but it is not the only way. After that, I’m sure you’re ready to do
some practise to help you build some more skills around answering these questions.

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