IELTS Reading Classification Questions: 3 Steps to Answer Easily


Classification questions will appear in the IELTS Reading test. You need to know what is a classification question, how to answer it, and some tips when you are trying to answer this type of question. Following these techniques will help in boosting your score. Read along to know more.

What are IELTS Reading Classification Questions?

The classification question is a type of question in the IELTS reading section about the relationship between the headings and subheadings in a passage. You need to find out which heading or subheading is most relevant to the text.
You have to choose the heading or subheading that best fits the text.

3 Steps to Answer IELTS Reading Classification Questions

Step 1#

To answer a classification question, first, you have to ask yourself what the question is asking you. Is it asking you to classify something or just describe it? If it’s the former, then make sure you understand exactly what is being asked of you and read the passage carefully.

Step 2#

Once this has been established, make a list of headings and subheadings in order to organize your thoughts. This will help keep track of where everything is within each paragraph so that when answering questions based on those paragraphs later on in the test, there won’t be any confusion about which part goes with which response option (e.g., “this paragraph talks about X but I need an answer relating specifically to Y”).

Step 3#

Finally, choose one answer from among those given in text form rather than using outside sources such as dictionaries or encyclopedias because these tend not only to take longer but also risk losing marks due to their lack of credibility as well as being less relevant than information provided directly within passages themselves!

6 Tips to Answer Classification Questions in IELTS Reading

To answer classification questions in IELTS Reading, you need to know how to define and classify things. Before that, understand the IELTS exam pattern and syllabus. The definition of a classification is an organized list of items or people that are similar in some way. In the reading passages, there is usually one main topic or theme with several smaller points related to it.
Here are 6 simple tips to answer IELTS classification questions in the reading section:

1. Understand the question

Understand the stem, answer choices, and word limit. The stem is usually a sentence or two that asks you to do something, like “Discuss two ways in which…” or “Explain how…and explain why…” The answer choices are given in a list format and there may be more than one correct answer for each question (but only one best answer). Make sure you take note of this information so that you can use it later when answering your own questions!

2. Know how to define and classify things

To answer classification questions, you need to be able to define the word and classify it properly. This means knowing:
• What the word means (its definition).
• How to use it in a sentence. For example: “The main difference between an insect and a spider is their method of locomotion.”
• Synonyms for your chosen term that are likely to appear in an IELTS Reading exam question. For example: “If you have ever seen a spider web before, then you know that spiders weave webs out of silk.” This sentence uses two synonyms from our list above–“web” and “silk”. We can also add another synonym here by saying “spun silk”.

3. Read the passage carefully

When you are asked to classify something, it is important to read the question carefully and then read the passage. You should also understand what a classification question is asking of you as well as how many headings or subheadings there are in the passage. As an example, if one heading says “The author’s opinion on…,” then all other headings must be related to this topic only! Check out the IELTS Preparation books for Self-Study.

4. Make a list of headings and subheadings

Looking at the list of headings, you should be able to see what kinds of things are being classified. For example, “animals” is a category that includes many different types of animals: dogs, cats, and snakes are all different types of animals but they all belong to the same category (the same class). You can use your knowledge about classification to help you decide whether or not something belongs in this category or another one.
You should also make sure that both positive and negative examples are included in your list – for example:
• Dogs are mammals but cats aren’t mammals – dogs belong under mammals; cats don’t belong under mammals because they’re not mammals; therefore Cats are another class altogether!

5. Use a diagram to organize your thoughts

If you’re asked to organize information in an IELTS reading test, consider using a diagram. A diagram is a visual tool that helps you organize your thoughts and make sense of the text. It could be an outline, mind map, or flowchart – whatever works best for you! The most important thing is that it’s easy for you to create, so don’t feel pressured into using something complicated if it doesn’t work for your learning style.
The following example shows how to use a diagram when answering classification questions:
• Draw three boxes on your paper (or screen)
• Label each box with: “small/medium” and “large/huge” (or any other words from the question)
• In each box write down one example from each category
• If there are more than two categories then draw another set of boxes below those already drawn

6. Choose your answer from the text

You will be asked to choose the best answer from among four possible options, so read the question carefully and use your own words to describe each option. Then refer back to the text for support as you explain how you reached your conclusion.


The classification question is a difficult one, but with the best IELTS coaching and practice, you can improve your skills in answering it. Remember that the most important thing is to understand what the question requires of you. If you understand that, then the answer will come naturally!