IELTS READING Diagram Label Completion Tips

IELTS READING Diagram Label Completion Tips

IELTS READING Diagram Label Completion Tips

Diagram Label Completion Question Type Introduction

In this question type, you are given a diagram or plan. Your task is to complete the labels according to the text. The diagram may be a process or a plan of something, a technical drawing, or a description of something from the natural world.  

Common Problems

The main problem with these questions is students focus too much on the diagram and try to understand everything about it. Unfamiliar diagrams can cause panic and lose you time. This is not a test of your technical knowledge but a test of your reading skills. You should try to understand generally what is happening in the diagram, but the relationship between the text and the diagram is more important.

Another big problem is failing to locate the paragraphs that contain the answers quickly and losing time reading the whole text.

Students also lose marks in this section by writing the wrong number of words or spelling words incorrectly.

What are the do’s and don’ts to be followed while labelling a diagram?

Diagram labelling is one of the simplest forms of fill in the blanks. In fact, If you see a diagram labelling question in the IELTS reading test, it is understood that you are going to score well if you follow certain tips and tricks. It is very rare to see students facing a problem with diagram labelling unless they are not sure of what they are looking for.


1. Always read the instructions carefully. This will give you a clear idea of what is expected of you. Furthermore, you will also understand the word count which is very important while attempting the test.

2. Follow quick reading methods like skimming and scanning to understand the context and to answer the questions confidently.

3. Follow the order of the questions to get the answers in a quicker way.

4. Generally, you will notice that for diagram labelling questions, a clear title will be seen. This title will give you the clue to locate the answers.

5. Depending on the structure of the part which has to be labelled, you can predict what exactly you are looking for. So, always observe the given diagram carefully and then search for the related word.

6. Understand that synonyms are critical when answering the reading test. Synonyms give us an idea because of which the answers can be easily found in the text.


1. Never confirm the answer without referring to the context. In short, do not answer without reading properly.

2. Do not overlook the spellings. As the IELTS test is an English proficiency test, spellings are very important. If you get the spelling wrong, then even though the answer is correct, it will be marked as an error.

3. Do not avoid reading the word instructions. It is observed that much test-takers neglect this fact and they write the answer in more than the instructed number of words.

4. Do not read the entire paragraph extensively at the start of the question type. Refer to the part of the text that gives the related information which will help in labelling the diagram.

Step by Step Tips:-

Step 1:

Look at the diagram. Use filled information in the diagram to get an idea of your answer.

Step 2:

Preview the text to form an idea of what could lie where.

Step 3:

Decide what key information you will need to complete the blank.

Step 4:

Scan the text for the appropriate paragraph or section.

Step 5:

Read the specific information more carefully and decide on the best word or words to fill the blank.


1. Check how many words you are supposed to write, it will tell you in the question. In the example above you can only write ‘one or two words’, any more than this and you will lose marks. Remember that numbers count as one word and hyphenated words like ‘state-of-the-art’ count as one word.

2. Identify the type of word (noun, verb, adjective) you need. This will help you find the correct answer.

3. The answers do not always come in the same order that the paragraphs are in.

4. Do the easiest questions first. You are more likely to get these correct. If you cannot find the answer to a difficult question, move on and come back later.

5. Try to predict the answer before you read the text. This will help you find the correct answer.


1. Check how many words you can write.

2. Study the diagram and try to understand generally what is happening. Don’t spend too much time doing this.

3. Highlight keywords or labels.

4. Identify the types of words required and try to predict the answer.

5. Scan the text and identify where the information is located.

6. Read in more detail to find the answer.

7. Check spelling.

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IELTS READING Diagram Label Completion Tips

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