Reading Question Types Series

IELTS Lessons, written by Sam Morgan and Tom Speed

In today’s post we are going to practice summary completion, True, False, Not Given, and sentence completion questions.

We also have other Reading Test practice lessons for you:

Reading Test Practice 1 Short Answers and Headings
Reading Test Practice 2 Matching Sentence Endings
Reading Test Practice 3 Matching Headings and Sentence Completion
Reading Test Practice 4 True / False / Not Given

Summary Completion

The summary completion task requires you to complete a summary of a part of the reading passage. You must use words from the passage to complete the summary.
IELTSTutors Tips:
  • Step 1: Read the instructions carefully. Remember that every IELTS test is different, so the instructions might be different from the example given below.
  • Step 2: Skim through the summary to get an idea of the topic.
  • Step 3: Decide which section(s) of the passage the summary covers.
  • Step 4: Read through the summary in detail.
  • Step 5: Predict what kind of information is missing and where in the text you can find it.
  • Step 6: Predict what part of speech you need to use. Noun, verb, adjective, etc.
  • Step 7: Scan the part of the text you think contains the answer. Find the answer and make sure it fits into the summary grammatically.
  • Step 8: Double check your spelling. Bad spelling loses points!

Let’s try the tips on the Summary Completion question below.

Questions 1-5

​Use no more than 3 words from the passage for each answer.
It is thought that Morris dancing integrates elements of 1. and Italian dances which were brought to England in the sixteenth century. These dances were originally performed for the nobility but there is evidence that by the 1650s the 2. were performing their own Morris dances. The turbulent seventeenth century saw Morris dancing initially 3. by a religious government and then brought back by the king. Social upheaval caused by the 4. in the later eighteenth century caused a loss of interest in Morris dancing. Morris dancing was almost extinct by the late 1800s and had become little more than a 5. as it was no longer regularly practiced.
See our answer guide

1 – medieval folk dance(s)
In paragraph 2 the text states ‘it (Morris Dancing) may have acquired elements of medieval folk dance‘. Here ‘acquired’ and integrates‘ have the same meaning.
 
2 – (working) peasantry
The text tells us that ‘By the mid-17th century, the working peasantry took part in Morris dances’. ‘Took part’ is a paraphrase of ‘were performing’.
 
3 – suppressed
Still in paragraph 3, we learn that ‘The Puritan government of Oliver Cromwell, however, suppressed Whitsun Ales’. ‘Religious government’ is a general reference to ‘the Puritan government’.

4 – industrial revolution
Paragraph 4 states ‘Morris dancing continued in popularity until the industrial revolution and its accompanying social changes’. The summary uses the phrase ‘social upheaval’ rather than ‘social changes’.

5 – (local) memory
Again in paragraph 4, we see ‘by the late 19th century Morris dancing was fast becoming more a local memory than an activity.’ Remember that ‘the late 1800s’ in the summary is the same as ‘the late 19th century’. 

The History of Morris Dancing in England

Picture
(1) While the earliest (15th-century) references place the Morris dance in a courtly setting, it appears that the dance became part of performances for the lower classes by the later 16th century; in 1600, the Shakespearean actor William Kempe Morris danced from London to Norwich, an event chronicled in his Nine Daies Wonder (1600).

(2) Almost nothing is known about the folk dances of England prior to the mid-17th century. While it is possible to speculate on the transition of “Morris dancing” from the courtly to a rural setting, it may have acquired elements of medieval folk dance, such proposals will always be based on an argument from silence as there is no direct record of what such elements would have looked like. In the Elizabethan period, there was significant cultural contact between Italy and England, and it has been suggested that much of what is now considered traditional English folk dance, and especially English country dance, is descended from Italian dances imported in the 16th century.

(3) By the mid-17th century, the working peasantry took part in Morris dances, especially at Whitsun. The Puritan government of Oliver Cromwell, however, suppressed Whitsun Ales and other such festivities. When the crown was restored by Charles II, the springtime festivals were restored. In particular, Whitsun Ales came to be celebrated on Whitsunday, as the date was close to the birthday of king Charles II.

(4) Morris dancing continued in popularity until the industrial revolution and its accompanying social changes. However, by the late 19th century Morris dancing was fast becoming more a local memory than an activity. D’Arcy Ferris, a Cheltenham based singer, music teacher and organiser of pageants, became interested in the tradition and sought to revive it. He first encountered Morris dancing in Bidford and organised its revival. Over the following years he took the side (Morris dancing group) to several places in the West Country, from Malvern to Bicester and from Redditch to Moreton in Marsh. By 1910, he and Cecil Sharp, the famous revivalist of English folk music and dance, were in correspondence on the subject.

(5) Several English folklorists were responsible for recording and reviving the tradition in the early 20th century, often from a bare handful of surviving members of mid-19th-century village sides. Among these, the most notable are Cecil Sharp, Maud Karpeles, and Mary Neal.

(6) Boxing Day 1899 is widely regarded as the starting point for the Morris revival. Cecil Sharp was visiting at a friend’s house in Headington, near Oxford, when the Headington Quarry Morris side arrived to perform. Sharp was intrigued by the music and collected several tunes from the side’s musician, William Kimber; not until about a decade later, however, did he begin collecting the dances, spurred and at first assisted by Mary Neal, a founder of the Espérance Club (a dressmaking co-operative and club for young working women in London), and Herbert MacIlwaine, musical director of the Espérance Club. Neal was looking for dances for her girls to perform, and so the first revival performance was by young women in London.

(7) In the first few decades of the 20th century, several men’s sides were formed, and in 1934 the Morris Ring was founded by six revival sides. In the 1950s and especially the 1960s, there was an explosion of new dance teams, some of them women’s or mixed sides. At the time, there was often heated debate over the propriety and even legitimacy of women dancing the Morris, even though there is evidence as far back as the 16th century that there were female Morris dancers. There are now male, female and mixed sides to be found.

(8) Partly because women’s and mixed sides are not eligible for full membership of the Morris Ring, two other national (and international) bodies were formed, the Morris Federation and Open Morris. All three bodies provide communication, advice, insurance, instructionals (teaching sessions) and social and dancing opportunities to their members. The three bodies co-operate on some issues, while maintaining their distinct identities.

“Morris Dance” wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morris_dance, Accessed 14.8.2017


​True/False/Not Given

In this question type you are asked if statements are true, false or not given, based on the information in the text. Do you remember our tips for this question type? Refresh your memory below.
IELTSTutors Tips:
  • Step 1: Read the instructions carefully.
  • Step 2: Skim through all the statements to get an idea of the topics you will need to look for.
  • Step 3: Read the first statement again carefully. Underline the key words.
  • Step 4: Skim the passage to find the part which refers to the information in the statement.
  • Step 5: Read the part of the text relating to the statement very carefully. Compare it with the statement. Decide if the information in the statement is true, false or not given. If you cannot find any information that directly matches the statement, then it is not given. Base your answers on what you read in the text only, your personal knowledge of the topic area is not important here so don’t make assumptions about the information in the text.

Let’s put these tips into practice.


​Questions 6-10

Are the following statements true, false or is the information not given?

​If a statement is true select True
If a statement is false select False
If the information is not given in the passage select Not Given

6. The revival of the Morris dancing in the late nineteenth century is attributed to D’Arcy Ferris.
True
False
Not Given
7. D’Arcy Ferris’ Morris Dancing Group was very popular in the West Country.
True
False
Not Given
8. Sharp began to collect Morris dances in 1899.
True
False
Not Given
9. May Neal encouraged the collection of the dances by Sharp.
True
False
Not Given
10. In the 20th Century there were more male Morris dancers than female dancers.
True
False
Not Given

View Our Answer Guide

6The revival of the Morris dancing in the late nineteenth century is attributed to D’Arcy Ferris.
True: The text tells us ‘He (D’Arcy Ferris) first encountered Morris dancing in Bidford and organised its revival.
 
7D’Arcy Ferris’ Morris Dancing Group was very popular in the West Country.
Not Given: The Dancing Group performed at many places in the West Country (paragraph 4), but the text does not say if the dances were popular.

8Sharp began to collect Morris dances in 1899.
False: Sharp collect tunes in 1899 (paragraph 6), but only started collecting the dances ‘about a decade later’.

9May Neal encouraged the collection of the dances by Sharp.
True: Paragraph 6 informs us that Sharp was ‘spurred and at first assisted by Mary Neal’. ‘Spurred’ (verb) is a synonym of ‘encouraged’. Remember to write new vocabulary down and practice it!
 
10In the 20th Century there were more male Morris dancers than female dancers.
Not Given:  Although paragraph 7 says that ‘several men’s sides were formed’ and that ‘there was often heated debate over the propriety and even legitimacy of women dancing the Morris’, the text does not say if there were more male than female Morris dancers. If you answered True here, be careful of making assumptions about the information in the text. 


Sentence Completion

These questions ask us to complete the sentences. Let’s look at the tips we can use to help us.
Step 1
Skim read the passage. Try and get the general meaning of each paragraph. Don’t read every word, don’t worry about unfamiliar vocabulary. Some people like to make notes at the side of the text about the ‘gist’ (general meaning) of a paragraph, however, for this sort of text it is probably not necessary. Skim reading the text first will allow you to come back and easily find the answers for questions in step 3.
 
Step 2 
Carefully read the instructions for the questions. How many words can you answer with? Remember spelling and grammar is important!
It seems like a simple thing to do but many candidates don’t read the instructions or misunderstand the instructions and so answer questions incorrectly. Make sure you understand what you have to do before you write any answers.
 
Step 3
Read the questions. You skim read the text in step 1 and so you should have an idea where in the text the answer should be found. Locate the answer and write it. Remember:
  • Synonyms of words in the questions will help you to find answers in the text.
  • Make sure you don’t write too many words.
  • Make sure the words you write fit into the grammar of the sentence.
  • Check your spelling.

Now we are ready for the questions.

Questions 11-15

Use no more than 1 word from the passage per answer.
11. The beginning of the twentieth century saw several new Morris dancing groups .
12. By the fifties and sixties, male, female and sides were becoming more common around the country.
13. Many people at the time questioned the of women performing this traditionally male dance.
14. Sides containing women are still not for entrance into Morris dancing’s main governing and organizing ring.
15. The three main bodies in the world of Morris dancing provide in which members can receive expert tuition and choreography.
Open to See our Answer Guide

​11 – The beginning of the twentieth century saw several new Morris dancing groups formed/founded.
In paragraph 7, ‘the first few decades’ is paraphrased as ‘the beginning’.
 
12 – By the fifties and sixties, male, female and mixed sides were becoming more common around the country.
The sentence in paragraph 7 is paraphrased: ‘In the 1950s and especially the 1960s, there was an explosion of new dance teams, some of them women’s or mixed sides.
 
13 – Many people at the time questioned the propriety of women performing this traditionally male dance.
From paragraph 7: ‘At the time, there was often heated debate over the propriety and even legitimacy of women dancing the Morris’. ‘Heated debate’ is paraphrased as ‘Many people… questioned’. ‘Dancing the Morris’ is paraphrased as ‘performing’.
 
14 – Sides containing women are still not eligible for entrance into Morris dancing’s main governing and organizing ring.
In the final paragraph we learn that ‘women’s and mixed sides are not eligible for full membership of the Morris Ring’. ‘full membership’ is paraphrased as ‘entrance’.

15 – The three main bodies in the world of Morris dancing provide instructionals in which members can receive expert tuition and choreography.
The text says ‘All three bodies provide communication, advice, insurance, instructionals (teaching sessions) and social and dancing opportunities to their members.’ ‘Teaching sessions’ include ‘tuition’ and ‘choreography’. Remember that ‘teaching sessions’ cannot be an answer since the instructions tells us to use 1 word only.

​How did you do with today’s practice? Let us know in the comments below.

For more practice, go to lesson 6 of the Reading Practice Series!

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