Ielts reading passage 2 – heading matchings


We will look at a passage 2 today of the Cambridge Ielts 16 book. We will look at heading matchings.

Here are the readability statistics from Grammarly:


Word length 4.6

Sentence length 15.1

Readability score 64

Your text is likely to be understood by a reader who has at least an 8th-grade education (age 13-14) and should be fairly easy for most adults to read.

Before all reading, do two things:

a. Look at the title of the text – ‘The Step Pyramid of Djoser

b. Apply your world knowledge to predict the contents of the text.

Here are the headings. Look at the words I have highlighted. What can you predict about these elements in a text:

List of Headings – below are the headings.

“The areas and artefacts within the pyramid itself” = can you predict what this would look like inside the pyramind?

“A difficult task for those involved’ = what words could suggest that something is difficult?

“A king who saved his people” = how would ‘saved’ be written differently? (as a story?)

“A single certainty among other less definite facts” = what words describe ‘single’ or the opposite of this?

“An overview of the external buildings and areas” = what is an overview of something? What would this look like in words?

“A pyramid design that others copied ” = how could you express this word differently, as a paraphrase?

“An idea for changing the design of burial structures” = what words can you use to describe ‘design’?

“An incredible experience despite the few remains” = what other words can you use instead of this?

“The answers to some unexpected questions” = how would this be written as a synonym or as a longer piece of text?


Here are some tips you can use:

Headings Question: this question requires you to place a heading based on the main idea of paragraph

1. Quickly scan through the headings and underline key words in choices. 
2. Do the shortest paragraphs first. 
3. Go to Paragraph: Read First and Second sentence. 
4. Find answer that captures the main idea/controlling idea of paragraph. TOPIC Sentence. 
5. IF still cannot find answer read the last sentence. 
6. Key to this question is being able to pull out the controlling idea from the topic sentence. 

ALISTAIR BROWN: As a writing and speaking examiner for more than 10 years, I bring a lot of experience. I have seen the frustrations that students have with IELTS from a career where I have actively guided and corrected students’ studies. I am looking for the most effective ways to teach IELTS as I understand students’ needs.