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IELTS Short Answer Questions: Reading Practice

IELTS short answer questions for reading require you to locate answers in the passage. Skim read the passage and then spend time preparing the questions. Pay attention to question words which will help you understand what type of words you need for your answer. The answers for short answer questions always come in order in the passage. This is a reading practice lesson created for IELTS students.

The History of Easter Eggs

Easter eggs, also called Paschal eggs, are special eggs that are often given to celebrate Easter or springtime. The practice of decorating eggshell is ancient. Ostrich eggs with engraved decoration that are 60,000 years old have been found in Africa. In Europe, it was traditional to use dyed and painted chicken eggs at Easter, but a modern custom is to substitute chocolate eggs, or plastic eggs filled with confectionery such as jelly beans.

easter egg reading practice

Easter eggs are a widely popular symbol of new life in Bulgaria, Poland, Romania, Russia, Ukraine, and other Central European countries where they are concealed in the garden for children to find. Eggs, in general, were a traditional symbol of fertility and rebirth. Some magic rituals, these days, often use eggs to promote fertility and restore virility (of the body and mind); and to foresee the future.

Questions 1-3

Answer the questions below. Choose no more than two words from the passage for each answer.

  1.  What is another name for Easter Eggs?
  2. What type of eggs were formerly used at Easter  in Europe?
  3. What did eggs represent on the whole?


Click below to reveal the answers.

  1. Paschal eggs (No capital letters are needed in IELTS listening.)
  2. chicken eggs
  3. fertility   rebirth (no “and” is needed as you can have only two words as your answer)
Vocab Builder
  •  another name = also called
  • oldest tradition = many generations ago
  • in general = on the whole
  • were a symbol of = represent

All reading exercises on ieltsliz.com have been written by myself to help you prepare for your IELTS test.   



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  1. http://Khan says

    Believe me or not! i fall in love with the way she is explaining things and with the way she doing things for others
    thanks alot

  2. Great job @Liz, insights are do helpful. I’m preparing well for my ielts exam in Dec.

  3. http://Rose says


  4. http://Rose says

    Please is slash / counted as a word

  5. http://Pat%20lmonikhe%20Success%20Bola says

    Liz, you are simply fabulous. I had my speaking (GT) yesterday in Nigeria. All levels studied were your materials. It helped me a lot.
    I am sitting for the listening, reading and Essay tomorrow, l have been glue all day online at Liz. Thanks for the free services.
    Keep increasing dear.

  6. http://Gabriela says

    Hi Liz
    Are these examples put together by you or are they passages from actual IELTS tests / approved practice materials? And if they are done by you, are they following the correct IELTS guidelines?
    In the official exam, can you have give an answer such as “fertility rebirth”, without using any connection? Can we simply list words?
    Confused by the fact that I had to answer in no more than two words, I answered “new life”, which made a hell of a lot more sense to me than the suggested answer.

    • http://Liz says

      If you wish to buy IELTS tests, you will need to buy the IELTS Cambridge test books from 1 to 12. You can get them online or in a bookshop.

  7. http://Adel says

    I wrote “fertility & rebirth” –> so I exceeded the words count.

  8. http://Nidar says

    I got same answer in mind. Thank you for clearance.

  9. http://Rumana says

    Could I write this type of name in all capital letters suppose, Mc Donald as MCDONALD

  10. http://Deepika says

    Hi Liz,

    How to answer Short Question types in reading and listening?
    Do they have to be grammatically correct?
    For example,
    Where is Anna going? (audio played: She says that I’m going to office)
    Is it correct to say ‘Office’ or ‘to her office’ or ‘to office’?(3 words allowed)
    Same is the case for reading.
    Please help.

  11. http://M.Nikitha%20reddy says

    hey liz all 3 r crct thank you.

  12. http://Matthew says

    Hi Liz,

    Can one use capital letters throughout his listening test?

  13. http://alozie says

    thank you so heavy

  14. http://Nma says

    Hi Liz.
    Can I use capital letters all through my reading answers,just like in listening. Is it allowed?

  15. http://Michelle says

    I got 3/3. Thankyou for your effort, Liz!

  16. http://Fatemeh says

    Hi Liz,

    I got 3/3. Thank you.

  17. http://Noumi says

    Dear mam,
    Good day
    Thanks so very much for your materials, its very helpful

  18. http://Shoaib says

    Mam the reading section or the practise papers you have provided are very easy. I think in ielts reading their is a much complex one. Can you please help with the link

  19. http://Pooja%20Bodnapu says

    Thank you for all your help Liz. I have a suggestion for the reading section exercises. I feel it would really help if you give us a time limit for all the reading exercises so we can finish them in the required time. That would make the practicing much more effective. Please do consider this suggestion . Thank you.

    • http://Liz says

      Thanks for the suggestion. I like it. I’ll see what I can do over the next few months. I’m a bit overloaded with work at present.

  20. http://Ece says

    Hello Liz,
    I did not understand how come the answer of the third question is fertility rebirth.
    We do not care the “and” between these two words. Is it possible in the Ielts exam?
    Thanks in advance.

  21. http://Larry%20Chou says

    Hi, how can I get your materials? The Copy/Paste function doesn’t seem to work

  22. http://ahmad%20ghunaim says

    Thank you so much

  23. http://Jaffar says

    Liz – Your website is simply awesome. I am glued to it since morning going through contents on reading section of the IELTS test. Great work. I believe your study materials will help me a lot to get the best scores.
    Also, I have one question on the above sample test- What if I just answered fertility alone? Will I be given marks?

  24. http://Fahim says

    Dear Liz medam ,
    Thanks for your help. Your efforts are absolutely worthy to us.
    Medam i want plenty excersice for reading test with different types of question such as T/F/NG , matching heading etc…so please suggest me any website or any book from where i can get more excersice. Thanks.

  25. http://RK says

    Sorry found the ans in the thread.

  26. http://julia says

    In no 3, Can I write fertility, rebirth? ( I mean with comme)

  27. http://Peace_0n_Earth says

    I have got 3/3 within 4 minuets of timeframe.however I capitalised all answers like PASCHAL EGGS. is it ok?

  28. http://Maliheh says

    Is it wrong to only write “fertility” for question no. 3 ?

  29. Dear Liz,

    The answer to the question 2 should be singular…Paschal egg?


  30. Hii liz i need a speaking partner can u arrange it i have an exam on 11 of december.

  31. http://naveen%20nouman says


    Can we write the whole word in capital for listening and reading instead of following punctuations? if I write all answers in capital letters what happens?

  32. http://Ann says

    I haven’t understood the usage of capitals and lower case letters for starting letters of a word. You explained P is capital for Paschal because it is the first letter. Isn’t it because it’s a proper noun?
    Also shouldn’t C be in capitals for chicken in the second answer as it is the first word? Why are we penalized for this?

    • http://Liz says

      The word “chicken” is not the first word of a sentence because there is no sentence. This is not sentence completion, it is short answer questions. Completely different requirements. Try to learn more about how to answer the different types of questions in reading.
      All the best

  33. http://Kate says

    Hi Liz. Is this text an example for general training? Thanks!

    • http://Liz says

      This is a similar level of GT reading passage 3. Both GT and academic reading have the same types of questions, so just choose the easier reading passages on my blog for your practice.

  34. http://Amina says

    Dear Liz Thanks for all you recommendations…. Dear Liz I want to now correct answer for third one. Thanks in advance..

    • http://Liz says

      Always check the answer keys for the answers. You can find number 3 here: Eggs, in general, were a traditional symbol of fertility and rebirth.

  35. For Question No.3, the answer is fertility rebirth. If my answer is rebirth only it this correct or wrong?

  36. http://meg says

    Hi Liz, Thanks for the test. I should have read more on the instruction. No more than 2 words.

  37. http://simon%20ang says

    hi Liz just want to know since the answer at no.3 question is fertility rebirth , Is this considered as 2 words without “and”?

    • http://Liz says

      “fertility rebirth” are just two words. Sorry, I don’t understand your question.

      • http://simon%20ang says

        what i mean if you put fertility rebirth, is it correct?it seems not a logical answer… in the paragraph, it says fertility and rebirth. so are we allowed to alter it?

        • http://Liz says

          You are asked to find two words and to answer a question. So, you should provide two words. You have not been asked to complete a sentence. Each type fo question has different requirements for the answer. Read about the question types and learn more.
          All the best

  38. http://wadud%20dewan says

    Hey, liz, Recently I’m start my ielts exam preparation, so please say me, How to improved for reading part i want to overall 6 so how to get it, please kindly your excellent information.
    I’m from Dhaka in Bangldesh, IDP or British council which is better to ielts, so i expect your information ….

  39. http://je says

    Can I just write Fertility ; rebirth ?

  40. http://fatema says

    Why not ostrich egg is correct for Q 2

    • http://Liz says

      Because this sentence – “Ostrich eggs with engraved decoration that are 60,000 years old have been found in Africa.” does not relate to Easter.

  41. http://Hendrick says

    can we put a comma between fertitily and rebirth?

  42. Hi Liz,

    Is rebirth not the same as new life? please explain

    Kind Regards

    • http://Liz says

      New life can’t be used as an answer because it was given in the passage in relation to specific countries not in general.

      • http://Tej says

        Hi Liz,
        For Q2 why not the answer is Chocolate eggs?
        Thank You

        • http://Liz says

          The question is about “formally used eggs” – this means “in the past”. The chocolate egg: “a modern custom is to substitute chocolate eggs”. This means the problem you have with this question is understanding the English word “formally”.

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