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How to solve the reading question: "Table completion"


Task description

You will be provided with an incomplete table which summaries or paraphrases information given in the reading text. The information in table form may be organised differently from the way in which it appears in the text, for example chronologically instead of in order of importance. The task is to complete the gaps in three words or fewer.

How to approach this task

  • Look at the table and decide which is the most useful way to read the table.
  • Glance at the other information given in the table to get an idea of what information you will be searching for when you read.
  • Decide what key ideas you will need to search for as you skim the reading text.
  • Decide also what information you will need to complete the first gap.
  • Read that reading passage more carefully and decide on the best word or words to fill the gap. Remember that you will need to use the appropriate form of any verbs

It's time to practice!

Complete the table in the link below: 

Complete the table below. Using ONE WORD from the passage for each answer.


Positive aspects

Negative aspects

% of help received

Rio de Janeiro

  friendly inhabitants

  more 1______ lifestyle


  People don’t have so much 2______

  Has reputation for 3______


Amsterdam and New York

• richer

People ...

  have little 4______

  don’t pay attention to 5______

Amsterdam: 53% New York: 44%

How to solve this test?

  • Quickly look for words and phrases in the passage which mean the same as words and phrases in the table (for example: not many = fewwell-known = famous), then read around those words carefully.
  • Copy the words from the passage into the table exactly as you see them.

Keyword table for this practice test:

Keywords in Questions

Similar words in Passage

Rio de Janeiro: more 1____ lifestyle

The study concludes that people are more helpful in cities with a more relaxed way of life such as Rio.

People don’t have so much 2____ 

The results show that cities where people have less money generally have friendlier populations.



Question 1: (Rio de Janeiro: more 1____ lifestyle

  • In this question, you have to find the keywords: Rio and lifestyle.
  • Find the synonyms of these keywords in the reading passage: lifestyle = way of life
  • The Q1 form is adjective so the correct answer is relaxed.

Question 2: (People don’t have so much 2____ 

  • In this question, you have to find the keywords: Peopledon’t have so much.
  • Find the synonyms of these keywords in the reading passage: People =populations ; don’t have so much = have less
  • The Q2 form is noun so the correct answer is money.

Now continue this technique with another questions. This may seem like a lot of work and in the beginning it will take a little time. But once you have practised this many times, you will be able to find your answers really fast and with much better accuracy and that will improve your score.

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