Sunday, 6 January 2013

Approaching IELTS Academic Reading - Summary Completion

Soft centres – hard profits
Are you being seduced by the sweet industry?

If chocolate were found to be seriously addictive, then the UK would need major therapy to kick the habit. The British lead the world in their love of the cocoa-based treat. As a product, chocolate has a lot going for it, appealing to all ages, both sexes and all income brackets. In 1997, the value of the total UK confectionery market increased by 3% to a staggering £5.2bn, with chocolate sales accounting for 70%, at £3.6bn, and sugar confectionery the remaining £1.6bn.

The UK market has shown consistent growth – increasing over the last decade by around 16%. ‘Chocolate confectionery is a market that seems to be remarkably resilient,’ says Pamela Langworthy, marketing director for Thorntons, the luxury chocolate producer and retailer. It also increasingly transcends national boundaries. In 1997, Swiss Nestle, the largest confectioner, exported over a quarter of its production to more than 100 countries. Nestle has recorded particularly fast growth in confectionery sales in Asia, with the expansion of KitKat into several countries in the region. Eastern Europe provides another promising market. But few markets challenge the UK in terms of current confectionery consumption. In the US, the land associated with excess, each American devours a mere 10kg of confectionery per person a year, whereas UK consumers each manage 16kg. In Europe, where the chocolate market is estimated to be worth over £12bn ($18.5bn), the UK accounts for almost a third of that total, followed some way behind by Germany, France and Italy.

Choose NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS AND/OR A NUMBER from the passage for each answer.

Chocolate - the figures

The chocolate market in the UK in 1997 was worth 1. £5.2bn, having shown a steady increase during the preceding ten-year period. Overall, the manufacturer Swiss Nestle supplies chocolate to over 2. 100 countries and the company has seen rapid sales increases in the markets in 3. Asia. Nevertheless the UK market remains the biggest – surprisingly, British people eat more than 4. American consumers. Within the European market their consumption amounts to 5.  a third of the total revenue.

[Q.1. Look for key words ‘UK’ and ‘1997’. In the summary ‘worth’ = value, so you are looking for an amount of money.]
[Q.2 Look for key word ‘Swiss Nestle’. ‘Over’ in the summary = more than.]
[Q.3 Preposition ‘in’ before the gap means you are looking for a location. Look for a word with a capital letter.]
[Q.4. British people eat more than…this must be another nationality. Look for a word with a capital letter.]
[Q.5. You are looking for a part of the total revenue.]

  • First look at the summary then find the answers in the passage.
  • Don't read the whole summary. It is usually very long. So just look for key words that will help you locate the information in the passage.
  • The answers in the passage follow the question order but they may be scattered around the reading passage.
  • On most occasions the missing information is a noun. You can understand this if there is a/an/the/of/a number etc. before a word.
  • Follow the instructions for the amount of words needed. NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS AND/OR A NUMBER = two words or less/you can use a combination of a word and a number/you can use a number on its own.
  • Copy the words onto your answer sheet exactly as you find them in the passage.
  • Don't try to understand every word you read. The level of difficulty is high.
Sample passage taken from New Insights in IELTS – Workbook p.32


  1. Nice informative post.Learn English in UK for IELTS would be more beneficial to improve language

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