Ielts Test Practice  
Study where and when you want...

An Ielts reading exercise that teaches...

One Ielts reading exercise common to most Ielts books (and tests) is the less than favourite paragraph, or section heading, exercise. 

You know, as far as an Ielts reading exercise goes, I can't see what the trouble with this section of the test is. On this page, you'll do an exercise designed to help you get over your fear of this section of the Ielts test and get on with improving your score.

Note: If you've just entered this site and want to follow this Ielts reading practice from the beginning, click on the link at the left of this page marked READING and follow the links.

Now, when dealing with paragraph or section headings, there are few things you should know before doing your Ielts reading exercise...

  • First

What do you need to do in this section?
In this task there is a list of identified headings. The headings may be identified with Roman numerals (i, ii, iii, iv, v) or numbers. Headings refer to the main idea of the paragraph or section and you must match the heading to the paragraphs or sections of the text to which they agree. The sections of the text are marked alphabetically and you must write the number of the heading in the box of the section of the text it matches. (sample below)

  • Second

There are more heading choices than needed!
Remember, one or more paragraphs or sections may already be matched for an example on the test. Elimination doesn't work here as the number of choices are more than the number of answers needed. You will need to develop some recognition skills (shown below) to help you in choosing the right section headings.

You can expect to see texts with technical writing or maybe even instructions having clearly defined sections and order. Although the material may be unfamiliar, you should still score well on this section by applying the following principles when you practice and especially when you test.

The following Ielts reading exercise will improve your score.
Below is a typical section or paragraph heading Ielts reading exercise. In this instance you will have to place the Roman numeral (i-vii) next to the paragraph headings as shown below the following text. The first paragraph heading has been
completed as an example.

Choose your answers from the following list of possible headings.

Kangaroos and humans






Man's influence on Australia

Changes in Climate

Mating rituals


Physical description

Long term outlook

Before you do the exercise remember the following.

  • skim for gist

  • scan for detail

  • vocabulary clues (synonyms & antonyms)

  • ask what it's NOT talking about

  • do more than one paragraph before answering


Ielts Reading Exercise


The word Kangaroo was adopted into Standard English where it has come to mean any member of the family of kangaroos and wallabies. The belief that it means "I don't understand" or "I don't know" is a popular myth that is also applied to many other Aboriginal-sounding Australian words. Male kangaroos are called bucks, boomers or jacks; females are does, flyers, or jills and the young ones are joeys. The collective noun for kangaroos is a mob, troop, or court.


Kangaroos have long been regarded as strange animals. Early explorers described them as creatures that had heads like deer (without antlers), stood upright like men, and hopped like frogs. Combined with the two-headed appearance of a mother kangaroo, this lead many back home to dismiss them as travellers tales for quite some time

Kangaroos have large, powerful hind legs, large feet adapted for leaping, a long muscular tail for balance, and a small head. Like all marsupials, kangaroos have a pouch called a marsupium in which their young complete their development after birth.


Kangaroos are large herbivores, feeding on grass and roots, and they chew cud. All species are nocturnal and crepuscular, usually spending the days idling quietly and the cool evenings, nights and mornings moving about and feeding, typically in mobs.


Along with dingoes and other canids, introduced species like foxes and feral cats also pose a threat to kangaroo populations, as they do most populations of native animals. Kangaroos and wallabies are apt swimmers, and often flee into waterways if presented with the option. If pursued into the water, a large kangaroo may use its forepaws to hold the predator underwater to drown it. Another defensive tactic described by witnesses is catching the attacking dog with the forepaws and disembowelling it with the hind legs.


A mob may have ten or more males and females. The dominant male (called a boomer) is based on his size and age. A boomer has temporary exclusive access to females in a mob for mating. A boomer may find himself wandering in and out of a mob - checking out the females and intimidating the other males who try to mate with the females within the mob.


Kangaroos have developed in a number of ways to survive in a dry, infertile continent and a highly variable climate. As with all marsupials, the young are born at a very early stage of development after a gestation of 31-36 days. At this stage, only the forelimbs are somewhat developed, to allow the newborn to climb to the pouch and attach to a teat. In comparison, a human embryo at a similar stage of development would be about 7 weeks old, and premature babies born at less than 23 weeks are usually not mature enough to survive. The joey will usually stay in the pouch for about 9 months or (for the Western Grey) 180 to 320 days, before starting to leave the pouch for small periods of time. It is usually fed by its mother until the age of 18 months.


Before white settlement, the kangaroo was a very important animal for Australian Aborigines, both for its meat, its hide, its bones and its sinews. In addition, there were important Dreaming stories and ceremonies involving the kangaroo. Aherrenge is a current kangaroo dreaming site in the Northern Territory. The game of Marn grook was played using a ball made from kangaroo by the Kurnai people.

Heading choices

_i_ Terminology

___Kangaroos and humans

___ Adaptations

___ Diet

___ Predators

___ Courtship

___ Physical description

By doing this Ielts reading exercise, you can see that the information required is typically vocabulary related. Learning synonyms is a useful approach to vocabulary learning. Especially when it comes to this section of the Ielts test.

For instance, in paragraph v, you would need to know the synonym for mate or mating is court or courting. Therefore, the right paragraph heading for paragraph v in this ielts reading exercise is the word Courtship.

To continue with another Ielts reading exercise, simply click on the preceding link.

To return to the page with even more ielts reading exercises plus examples and links to every section of the Ielts Academic Reading Module, click on the preceding link.

**Answers to Ielts Reading Exercise above = i, vii, vi, iii, iv, v, ii