前面我们提到，在传统的中国初高中英语考试中，选主旨大意的题目是以单选题的形式出题的，大家比较熟悉。另外正确选项比较明显，大家都知道要在四个选项中选择为概括的那个，另外三个干扰性都以细节为主，所以能很好排除。但在雅思的heading中，是以列表的形式，即一个list, 给出的选项数量要大于段落数量，所以有干扰项。大的难点在于，所给的选项大多不再是完整的句子，而是以短语为主，更有大量选项只有两三个单词，如the biological clock, enough food at last等。
剑六文章“The Advantages of Public Transport”
In the UK, travel times to work had been stable for at least six centuries, with people avoiding situations that required them to spend more than half an hour travelling to work. Trains and cars initially allowed people to live at greater distances without taking longer to reach their destination. However, public infrastructure did not keep pace with urban sprawl, causing massive congestion problems which now make commuting times far higher.
这一段的首句讲的是上班时间长短的问题，出现了关键词travel times to work, 后一句话讲的是上班时间变长了，关键词commuting times, 因此正确的heading选项是Ⅶ increases in travelling time.
It was once assumed that improvements in telecommunications would lead to more dispersal in the population as people were no longer forced into cities. However, the ISTP team's research demonstrates that the population and job density of cities rose or remained constant in the 1980s after decades of decline. The explanation for this seems to be that it is valuable to place people working in related fields together. 'The new world will largely depend on human creativity, and creativity flourishes where people come together face-to-face.'
第一句话是telecommunications对人口分布的影响，但是第二句转折了，所以要看however后面的内容。主旨句是倒数两句：it is valuable to place people working in related fields together, 所以答案应该是Ⅲ The benefits of working together in cities。值得注意的是这一段很多同学会被第一句话中telecommunications这个很明显的词迷惑，容易选择干扰项Ⅵ The impact of telecommunications on population distribution, 所以一定要看转折处，首尾句有一定的迷惑性，我们稍后会讲到。
剑六文章“Motivating Employees under Adverse Conditions”
There is an abundance of evidence to support the motivational benefits that result from carefully matching people to jobs. For example, if the job is running a small business or an autonomous unit within larger business, high achievers should be sought. However, if the job to be filled is a managerial post in a large bureaucratic organisation, a candidate who has a high need for power and a low need for affiliation should be selected. Accordingly, high achievers should not be put into jobs that are inconsistent with their needs. High achievers will do best when the job provides moderately challenging goals and where there is independence and feedback. However, it should be remembered that not everybody is motivated by jobs that are high in independence, variety and responsibility.
首句意思为如果matching people to jobs, 即让人做合适的工作，会带来回报。所以对应选项为Ⅷ ensure employees are suited to their jobs。
The literature on goal-setting theory suggests that managers should ensure that all employees have specific goals and receive comments on how well they are doing in those goals. For those with high achievement needs, typically a minority in any organisation, the existence of external goals is less important because high achievers are already internally motivated. The next factor to be determined is whether the goals should be assigned by a manager or collectively set in conjunction with the employees. The answer to that depends on perceptions of goal acceptance and the organisation's culture. If resistance to goals is expected, the use of participation in goal-setting should increase acceptance. If participation is inconsistent with the culture, however, goals should be assigned. If participation and the culture are incongruous, employees are likely to perceive the participation process as manipulative and be negatively affected by it.
首句意思为管理者应该确保员工有明确目标并收到对自己工作表现的评价，所以对应选项为Ⅶ establish targets and give feedback。
剑八文章“Land of the Rising Sum”
It is remarkable that large, mixed-ability classes could be kept together for Maths throughout all their compulsory schooling from 6 to 15. Teachers say that they give individual help at the end of a lesson or after school, setting extra work if necessary. In observed lessons, any strugglers would be assisted by the teacher or quietly seek help from their neighbour. Carefully fostered class identity makes pupils keen to help each other - anyway, it is in their interests since the class progresses together.
This scarcely seems adequate help to enable slow learners to keep up. However, the Japanese attitude towards education runs along the lines of 'if you work hard enough, you can do almost anything'. Parents are kept closely informed of their children's progress and will play a part in helping their children to keep up with class, sending them to 'Juku' (private evening tuition) if extra help is needed and encouraging them to work harder. It seems to work, at least for 95 per cent of the school population.
如果只看首句，大家很容易被compulsory schooling迷惑，错选Ⅲ The success of compulsory education。
剑九文章“Is anybody out there?”
Ever when we make these assumptions, our understanding of other life forms is still severely limited. We do not even know, for example, how many stars have planets, and we certainly do not know how likely it is that life will arise naturally, given the right conditions. However, when we look at the 100 billion stars in our galaxy (the Milky Way), and 100 billion galaxies in the observable Universe, it seems inconceivable that at least one of these planets does not have a life form on it; in fact, the best educated guess we can make, using the little that we do know about the conditions for carbon-based life, leads us to estimate that perhaps one in 100,000 stars might have a life-bearing planet orbiting it. That means that our nearest neighbours are perhaps 100 light years away, which is almost next door in astronomical terms.
首句主要意思为人类对于其他生命了解还非常有限，如果只看首句，很容易选择干扰项Ⅵ Knowledge of extra-terrestrial intelligence。
Eg: 剑九文章“The development of museums”
It could be claimed that in order to make everything in heritage more ‘real’, historical accuracy must be increasingly altered. For example, Pithecanthropus erectus is depicted in an Indonesian museum with Malay facial features, because this corresponds to public perceptions. Similarly, in the Museum of Natural History in Washington, Neanderthal man is shown making a dominant gesture to his wife. Such presentations tell us more about contemporary perceptions of the world than about our ancestors. There is one compensation, however, for the professionals who make these interpretations: if they did not provide the interpretation, visitors would do it for themselves, based on their own ideas, misconceptions and prejudices. And no matter how exciting the result, it would contain a lot more bias than the presentations provided by experts.
For the Inuit the problem is urgent. They live in precarious balance with one of the toughest environments on earth. Climate change, whatever its causes, is a direct threat to their way of life. Nobody knows the Arctic as well as the locals, which is why they are not content simply to stand back and let outside experts tell them what's happening. In Canada, where the Inuit people are jealously guarding their hard-won autonomy in the country's newest territory, Nunavut, they believe their best hope of survival in this changing environment lies in combining their ancestral knowledge with the best of modern science. This is a challenge in itself.
只看首句得知主旨与Inuit有关，但无法选择，因为两个选项都出现了关键词。快速扫第二、三两句，无转折，是对首句的支持，可忽略。读到第四句，可在两个选项中选出正确选项The reaction of the Inuit community to climate change。