PTE Reading: Re-order Paragraphs

Learn about Re-order paragraphs questions in PTE reading with an overview, recommended strategy and practice questions.

Overview

Re-order paragraphs questions test your ability to understand the organisation and cohesion of an academic text.

Here are some key points about Re-order paragraphs questions:

  • They assess reading skills only.
  • You’ll be presented with 4–5 text boxes in random order. Your task is to put them back in the correct order by dragging them from the left panel to the right panel.
  • The reading texts can be up to 150 words in length.
  • You’ll answer 2–3 Re-order paragraphs questions in the reading test.
  • If you put all text boxes in the correct order, you’ll receive the maximum number of points, but you’ll still receive partial credit if only some of them are in the correct order.

Example question

Here’s an example Re-order paragraphs question related to the topic of research.

To try this question, go to the practice section.

The text boxes below have been placed in a random order. Restore the original order by entering A, B, C and D below.

A  This type of research approach is known as archival research.

B  Some researchers gain access to large amounts of data without interacting with a single research participant.

C  Archival research relies on looking at past records or data sets to look for interesting patterns or relationships.

D  Instead, they use existing records to answer various research questions.

__________

“Psychology” by OpenStax is licensed under CC BY 4.0. A small excerpt was extracted from Chapter 2 and edited. This textbook can be downloaded free from https://openstax.org/details/books/psychology.

Recommended strategy

Here’s my recommended strategy for answering Re-order paragraphs questions.

Before you read

  • Start by quickly skimming the text boxes. This will give you a general idea of what the paragraph is about.

While you’re reading

  • Start by looking for the topic sentence, which is usually a general statement about the topic of the paragraph. The topic sentence is usually the first sentence of the paragraph and generally doesn’t contain pronouns (e.g. this, they) or sentence connectors (e.g. nevertheless, however).
  • Look for words and phrases that signal some kind of transition. For example, if one of the sentences starts with a word like therefore – which is used to introduce a result – can you find some kind of cause mentioned in another sentence? Transition words to look out for include therefore, however, in addition and finally.
  • Pay attention to grammatical relationships between the sentences. For instance, if you find a pronoun like they in one of the sentences, can you find a plural noun in another sentence that they might be referring to?
  • Some paragraphs contain chronological information (e.g. steps in a process or some kind of narrative). This can also help you work out the correct order of the sentences.

After you read

  • Re-read the paragraph that you’ve created with the sentences. Ensure that it makes sense.

NOTE: There’s no negative marking with this question type. If you’re not sure, you should still guess!

Practice questions

Now it’s your turn to practise. Try the Re-order paragraphs questions below using the strategy outlined above.

Question 1

The text boxes below have been placed in a random order. Restore the original order by entering A, B, C and D below.

A  This type of research approach is known as archival research.

B  Some researchers gain access to large amounts of data without interacting with a single research participant.

C  Archival research relies on looking at past records or data sets to look for interesting patterns or relationships.

D  Instead, they use existing records to answer various research questions.

 ✓ ✗

 ✓ ✗

 ✓ ✗

 ✓ ✗



__________

“Psychology” by OpenStax is licensed under CC BY 4.0. A small excerpt was extracted from Chapter 2 and edited. This textbook can be downloaded free from https://openstax.org/details/books/psychology.

Feedback

Click below for the answers.
__________

Question 1

Here’s the correct order:

B  Some researchers gain access to large amounts of data without interacting with a single research participant.

D  Instead, they use existing records to answer various research questions.

A  This type of research approach is known as archival research.

C  Archival research relies on looking at past records or data sets to look for interesting patterns or relationships.

Question 2

The text boxes below have been placed in a random order. Restore the original order by entering A, B, C and D below.

A  For one, these studies require an incredible time investment by the researcher and research participants, and given the nature of longitudinal studies, the results may not be known for years, if not decades.

B  In addition, they also require a substantial financial investment.

C  Many researchers are unable to commit the resources necessary to see a longitudinal project through to the end.

D  As with any research strategy, longitudinal research is not without limitations.

 ✓ ✗

 ✓ ✗

 ✓ ✗

 ✓ ✗



__________

“Psychology” by OpenStax is licensed under CC BY 4.0. A small excerpt was extracted from Chapter 2 and edited. This textbook can be downloaded free from https://openstax.org/details/books/psychology.

Feedback

Click below for the answers.
__________

Question 2

Here’s the correct order:

D  As with any research strategy, longitudinal research is not without limitations.

A  For one, these studies require an incredible time investment by the researcher and research participants, and given the nature of longitudinal studies, the results may not be known for years, if not decades.

B  In addition, they also require a substantial financial investment.

C  Many researchers are unable to commit the resources necessary to see a longitudinal project through to the end.