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Everything IELTS Academic - A Comprehensive Guide to IELTS Academic

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  1. Paraphrasing Technique

    Paraphrasing Technique - Two Methods to Paraphrase a Sentence
    1 Quiz
  2. Reading
    Part 1: Everything IELTS Academic Reading
    3 Topics
  3. Part 2: Text Types in IELTS Academic Reading
    3 Topics
  4. Part 2: Questions Forms and Reading Rules
    2 Topics
  5. Part 4: Types of questions and Strategies
    9 Topics
  6. Part 5: Common Mistakes
    2 Topics
  7. Part 6: IELTS Academic Reading Practice Tests
  8. Listening
    Part 1: Everything IELTS Listening
    4 Topics
    1 Quiz
  9. Part 2: Detailing Questions
    3 Topics
    5 Quizzes
  10. Part 3: Summary Questions
    4 Topics
    4 Quizzes
  11. Part 4: Common Mistakes
    4 Topics
  12. Part 5: IELTS Listening Practice Tests
    10 Quizzes
  13. Writing
    Part 1: IELTS Academic Writing Task 1 - Reports
    15 Topics
  14. Part 2: IELTS Writing Task 2 - Essay
    16 Topics
    18 Quizzes
  15. Part 3: Two-task Practice Tests
    6 Quizzes
  16. Speaking
    Part 1: Introduction to IELTS Speaking
    3 Topics
  17. Part 2: A good IELTS Speaking Performance
    2 Topics
  18. Part 3: Common Mistakes in IELTS Speaking
  19. Part 4: IELTS Speaking Practice Tests
    7 Quizzes
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Overview about HMQs

This is a Summarizing form of question. HMQs require you to understand the main idea of the paragraphs in the passage and give each of them a title. The purpose of HMQs is to assess your ability to understand the main ideas of the reading paragraphs.

There are two key factors to consider.

  1. Each paragraph has a separate main idea.
  2. Reading speed plays an important role in answering HMQs. The faster you can read and understand, the more chance you can solve the questions.

This type of question mainly appears in Part 3.

Example of HMQs.


  • Apply all the Reading rules.
  • Do not read all the headings before reading a paragraph. It is unlikely that you will remember the headings, so reading them is a waste of your time.
  • No headings can be used more than once.
  • Most of the paragraphs are written based on the structure main idea –> explanations –> example(s). So, the title of the paragraph can be decided through the content of the first 2 sentences.
  • Skimming and scanning can be useful to solve this type of question.
  • Always double-check your answers because if one answer is wrong, there is a chance that all other answers are also wrong.
  • The headings are normally phrases, not sentences.
  • The title must match the main idea, even though the explanations contain different kinds of information.
  • In some cases, the first 2 sentences do not contain the main idea of the paragraph. This means you need to read through the paragraph to understand the main idea. (More explanations in the step-by-step strategy)
  • Always choose the headings that are closest to the main ideas of the paragraphs.

Step-by-step strategy

Step 0: Look at the questions and identify the type of questions.

Step 1: Read the first paragraph.

  • Pay more attention to the first 2 sentences.
  • Scan through the middle part of the paragraph for explanations.
  • Try to connect any examples to the main idea.
  • Highlight keywords, especially repeated words.

Step 2: Read all the headings and select the one that is closest to the paragraph’s main idea.

  • Read the headings from the beginning to the end.
  • Remember that the explanations may contain information that is not entirely relevant to the main idea. The chosen heading, however, must be compatible with the main idea and the majority of the information provided in the explanations.
  • Mark the chosen heading.

Step 3: Read the next paragraph after choosing the heading.

  • Same as Step 1.

Step 4: Read all the headings and select the one that is closest to the paragraph’s main idea.

  • To avoid making mistakes, read all the headings, including the one that has already been selected for the first paragraph.
  • In case you choose one heading for both paragraphs, you must double-check your answers by rereading the paragraphs and the headings.
  • Mark the chosen heading.

Step 5: Repeat the steps until the last question is answered. Do not forget to double-check the answers after the last question is answered.