Cause and Effect Questions in the IELTS Reading Test

This section will help you to answer true/false questions better in the reading test by showing you how to avoid traps. 

Many candidates don’t try to understand what they’re reading - they just try to match parts of the passage with the questions. 

This means they don’t notice the cause and effect language in the passages which can completely change the meaning of the questions. 

Look at the following cause/effect phrases:

[to result] in     [to result] from as a result of
[to lead] to [to cause] because of
because consequently as a result
[to be] due to  [to bring] about  


In the reading test, cause and effect type questions usually come in two forms:

i) Sentence completion:

Boiling the liquid for more than 30 minutes leads to .......(1).......

ii) Table completion:

  Cause Effect 
 Boiling the liquid for more than 
 30 minutes e.g.:
.......(1)....... 

 

 

 

Exercise: Read the following passage and answer the questions:

Recently the scientific community has been very excited about new discoveries relating to the properties of the wonder drug Zymotropin. Zymotropin was borne out of previous experiments with happiness enhancing pharmaceutical products such as Dextragiggleathene and Tetrasidesplitopin.

Extensive research into the effects of these two compounds on terminally depressed rodents brought to light several interesting patterns of behaviour. Firstly, male rabbits who were given 40 miligrammes of Dextragiggleathene twice a day after breakfast and dinner showed signs of hyper-activity and playfulness, whereas in females it took 65 mg before any sign of conviviality was witnessed. As a result of these findings, researchers at Smile & Guffaw Ltd. decided to mix the compound with the drug Tetrasiesplitopin – formerly used in tests on British males who were chronically suicidal for no apparent reason.

Unfortunately, raucous singing accompanied immediately afterward by mild seizure was the initial effects of a 50-50 mix of these two compounds. Because of this doctors decided to cut down on the amount of Tetrasidesplitopin and instead use a 75-25 mixture – this was because of the fact that certain properties therein might have been responsible for the over anxiousness caused in many patients. After another round of controlled testing, it was discovered that the new drug resulted in joviality rarely seen in grown men born north of Buckinghamshire. 

Questions 1-3 Complete the following sentences with a short phrase:

  1. Hyper-activity in male rabbits resulted from ………………………………………… .
  2. …………………………………… because they were repeatedly trying to kill themselves.
  3. As a result of the over-reactions in the first round of testing, Smile & Guffaw ……………………………………………………… .
Cause  Effect
.......(4).......  due to their irregularities in hormone levels                
 A 50/50 mix of the Tetrasidesplitopin & Dextragiggleathene .......(5)....... 
.......(6)....... resulted in Zymotropin


Check the answer key below:

Questions 1-3

1. Hyper-activity in male rabbits resulted from 40mg of Dextragiggleathene twice a day.

2. British men/males were used because they were repeatedly trying to kill themselves.

3. As a result of the over-reactions in the first round of testing, Smile & Guffaw decided to mix in 
Tetrasidesplitopin 50-50.

Cause  Effect
Tests on women weren't successful  due to their irregularities in hormone levels                
 A 50/50 mix of the Tetrasidesplitopin and Dextragiggleathene led to better results in males
Previous tests in happiness
enhancing drugs
resulted in Zymotropin

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