Although it seems to be tricky to complete this type of question, you can conquer it with a maximum band score on the condition that you prepare an appropriate strategy and several useful tips listed in this article.


1. Introduction to IELTS Reading Table Completion Questions


With IELTS Reading Table Completion Questions, you will see a table with a number of incomplete phrases requiring you to fill in the gaps based on the information of paragraphs or summaries in the reading passage. All you have to do is to look for the specific information in the text and opt for proper words or phrases to make a complete meaning for each question. 


The order of the Table Completion Questions may be either horizontal or vertical. For that reason, taking a look at the table from the start to understand the order of the questions plays an important part in locating the answers more effortlessly.


IELTS Reading Table Completion Questions


(horizontal table)


table completion questions in ielts reading

(vertical table) 


Examiners, through IELTS Reading Table Completion Questions, want to test your:


  • skimming technique to get the general information in the table


  • scanning technique to search for specific information in the reading text 


  • reading in detail for meaning


  • ability to identify and understand keywords, synonyms and paraphrases


Let’s get started with our free IELTS online test to pass the exam on your first attempt.


2. IELTS Reading Table Completion Questions Strategy


2.1. Read the instructions carefully


Before attempting any blanks in the table, you need to make sure you won’t exceed the word limit.


2.2. Read the table and Identify keywords


Tables will be set out in different forms, so you need to figure out which order the table is (horizontal or vertical) in order to follow the flow of the reading passage and locate the answers more easily. 


While doing so, remember to highlight or underline keywords for each Table Completion Questions. Focus more on unchangeable words (names, dates, places, time, etc.) and think about synonyms or paraphrases for changeable words owing to their flexible expressions. Also, watch out the names of each category in the table and the title (if any). 


table completion ielts reading



2.3. Predict the answers


It is worth anticipating the expected answers by looking at the information in the table to identify the word type or part of speech of each gap (noun, verb, adjective, adverb, etc.) and grammatical structure.


ielts reading table completion strategy



2.4. Locate keywords in the reading passage and read around in detail


Based on the keywords identified and synonyms, paraphrases you have thought of in advance, you need to locate those in the text to find the answer for each gap by reading thoroughly the sentence containing keywords and ones before and after it as well. 


2.5. Cross-check the information with each gap to give the final answer


It is indispensable to check the information you have carefully read in the text with the questions in the table so that you can come out with the final answers.


2.6. Double-check the answers


Make sure that the answers will be correct in terms of grammar, spelling, and meaning at the same time.


>>> Read more: IELTS Reading Flowchart Completion


3. Tips for IELTS Reading Table Completion Questions



ielts reading table completion tips


  • Analyze the table on the basis of the order: 

– Horizontal order: left to right

– Vertical order: top to bottom


  • It’s worth identifying the part of speech and make a guess for each gap so that you can save time later


  • Move on to the next question if you struggle to find the answer to a question. The answer you are looking for may appear when you do others


  • Don’t try to understand the whole reading passage by reading it at first because it will be time-consuming and you may not finish the test in time


  • Take your time to transfer the answers to the answer sheet while completing the task because the 1-hour time span in total for the IELTS Reading test doesn’t allow you to have extra time for checking and transferring them. 


It is hopeful to see the benefits that these strategies and tips can bring to you, test-takers, when facing IELTS Reading Table Completion Questions. To learn more on other question types for skills, visit our website and install IELTS TEST PRO app now to set off your IELTS journey!