Summary Completion: IELTS Listening Practice

IELTS Listening Summary Completion Exercise

This exercise is typical of IELTS section 3 and 4. First read through the summary and predict the types of answers you need for each gap.

The Terracotta Army

Complete the summary using no more than three words and /or a number.

Questions 1-5

The terracotta army was made in order to 1.  …………………… the emperor after this death in his afterlife. This funerary art has been estimated to be from the 2. ………………. and was discovered in 1974 by the 3. …………………… The majority of the sculptures were 4.  …………. and 5. ………….. sculptures of cavalry horses were also found.

The Terracotta Army is a collection of terracotta sculptures depicting the armies the first Emperor of China. It is a form of funerary art buried with the emperor in 210–209 BC and whose purpose was to protect the emperor in his afterlife.
The figures, dating from approximately the late third century BC, were discovered in 1974 by local farmers in, Xi’an. The figures vary in height according to their roles, with the tallest being the generals. The figures include warriors, chariots and horses. Estimates from 2007 were that the three pits containing the Terracotta Army held more than 8,000 soldiers, 130 chariots with 520 horses and 150 cavalry horses, the majority of which remained buried in the pits nearby. Other terracotta non-military figures were found in other pits, including officials, acrobats, strongmen and musicians. (from wiki)
  1. protect
  2. third century BC / 3rd century BC
  3. local farmers
  4. soldiers
  5. 150
Vocab Builder
  • to depict =show
  • purpose = aim / function
  • vary = differ
  • warrior = soldier
  • majority = greater part
  • figures = people


Recommended Lessons

IELTS Listening Practice: Sentence Completion
IELTS Listening Practice: Short Answer Questions

Short Answer Questions: IELTS Listening Practice

Short Answer Questions

Read through the questions before you listen to the audio. Predict the type of answer you need to listen for and underline any key words that might help you find the answer. Also prepare paraphrases as this is the key to IELTS.

Dashwood Sports Center

Questions 1-5
Write no more than two words and/or a number.

1. What time does the center open?
2. What kind of sports equipment does it sell?
3. How long do you have to return faulty items?
4. Who can give advice?
5. What time does it close on Tuesdays?

So let me show you round our Sports Center. As you can see, it is set in lovely grounds where you can find outdoor tennis courts as well as a swimming pool. The center itself opens daily at 9am and closes at 6pm. To the right here you can see the reception where you can book courts and find more information about the sports center. Further along to the right, just after the reception room, you will find the restaurant which opens at 11am and serves brunch, lunch and light snacks in the afternoon before it closes at 4pm. To the left, opposite the reception, there’s a small shop which sells sports equipment. I’m afraid it’s rather pricy but the quality is excellent as it sells only professional equipment. If you do decide to treat yourself to something, make sure you check it as soon as you get home as you’ll only have three days to get a refund if there’s anything wrong with it. If you go straight ahead, you’ll come to our advice desk. Now it’s only open for a short time each day around lunch time when one of our ex-pros, John Roberts, comes to give help to anyone who needs it. Oh and before I let you go to have a look around on your own, I just have to mention that on Tuesdays we have late night opening until 9pm. Well, that’s all. I hope you enjoy your time here and if you need me at all you can find me in reception.

1. 9am
2. professional / professional equipment
‘…there’s a small shop which sells sports equipment. I’m afraid it’s rather pricy but the quality is excellent as it sells only professional equipment.’
3. 3 days
‘…you’ll only have three days to get a refund if there’s anything wrong with it.’ (faultly = anything wrong with it)
4. John Roberts (capital letters not needed)
5. 9pm
‘…on Tuesdays we have late night opening until 9pm’. This question was a trap because a closing time was given at the beginning of the audio but you can’t answer question 5 before question 2, so you need to wait for another answer to come. Also the information at the beginning was about a daily closing time not specifically on Tuesdays. This is a very common trap in IELTS.



More Short Answer Question Listening Practice, click here

IELTS Listening Practice: Sentence Completion

This IELTS listening practice exercise is a gap fill (sentence completion) question and the level of this lesson is similar to section 4 of the real IELTS listening test – it is an academic lecture with one speaker using academic language.

Sentence Completion Question

Complete the following sentences uses no more than two words and/or a number.

Comet Landing

1.1. Philae’s goal is to collect information about the makeup of the comet’s surface and also to capture ………….. of the surface.
2. Philae could have missed the landing because of an ………………. in Rosetta’s orbit.
3. The time delay between Rosetta and the controllers on Earth was ……………….
4. The lander found its own way down to the comet after release as there was no ………… on the lander.
5. There is an element of ………. in landing in a good location on the comet.
6. The lander can drill ……………… into the exterior of the comet for stability.


Rosetta spacecraft released Philae lander which landed successfully on a comet on 12 November 2014 at 08:35 GMT. The Philae lander achieved the first-ever controlled touchdown on a comet nucleus. The aim of Philae is to obtain the first images of the surface of the comet as well as make the first in situ analysis to determine the composition of the comet.
An inaccuracy of a few millimetres per second in Rosetta’s orbit could have resulted in Philae completely missing the comet. The descent, monitored from Esa’s mission control in Darmstadt, Germany, lasted about seven hours. Because the comet is about 510 million km from Earth, communication between Rosetta and controllers takes about 28 minutes each way. As a consequence, confirmation of the landing came through just after 16:04 GMT.
There was no steering of the lander down to the comet’s surface. Once released, it was on a path of its own. A certain amount of luck was needed for Philae to land in a nice spot. When the lander hit the surface, harpoons were fired to be used as anchors, although they do not appear to have anchored the craft as intended. The lander also has footscrews to drill into the surface of the comet to keep it secure. Now it’s on the surface of the comet, Philae can get to work. Drills, ovens, cameras and sensors onboard Philae will analyse everything from the surface composition and temperature to the presence of amino acids – essential building blocks in the chemistry of life. (from BBC news)
  1. images
  2. inaccuracy
  3. about 28 minutes / about 28 min
  4. steering
  5. luck
  6. footscrews
  • nucleus = center / core
  • in situ = in position
  • to determine = establish / conclude / decide
  • composition = makeup / consistancy
  • an inaccuracy = mistake / error
  • to release = liberate / let go
  • to anchor = fasten / secure
  • to fire = to discharge / shoot
  • intended = planned


Recommended Lesson

IELTS Listening Practice: Table Completion
IELTS Listening Practice: Picture Multiple Choice
IELTS Video Lesson for Listening: Names

IELTS Listening Practice: Time

It is common to be asked to listen for a time in IELTS listening section 1. This lesson gives you practice in listening and writing down times.

Recommended Lessons

IELTS Listening Video Lesson: Predicting Answers
IELTS Listening Video Lesson: Names
IELTS Listening Practice: Picture Multiple Choice
IELTS Listening Practice: Selecting from a List

IELTS Listening Practice: Table Completion

Table completion is a common type of question in IELTS listening. Spend time preparing the headings and the predicted content of the table. Pay attention to the number of words possible for the answer. This listen exercise is similar level to section 4 of your IELTS test.

Now listen to the recording and write down the answers as you listen. Answers are given below.

Questions 1-5
Write no more than three words for each answer.

Introduced species of the British Isles

  Non-native Animal            Origin               Habitat         Usual Diet      
1. …………………. North America 2. …………. 3. …………..
rainbow trout North America 4. ………… 5. ………….


Islands, such as the British Isles, can be adversely affected by the introduction of non-native species. Many species have been introduced to Britain during historical times. Some species have been introduced with no adverse consequences. However, others have had a severe impact both economically and ecologically.

One good example of an invasive species is the gray squirrel which, at the turn of the 20th century, was introduced into South Africa, Ireland, and England from North America. On mainland Britain, it has almost entirely displaced the populations of native red squirrels. Schemes have been introduced to control the population in Ireland to encourage the native red squirrels. In the wild, gray squirrels can be found living in large areas of mature, dense woodland. These forests usually contain large amounts of dense understory vegetation that provides them sufficient amount of food sources and favorable shelters. On very rare occasions, when their usual food sources are scarce, gray squirrels will eat insects and small birds. However, in general gray squirrels exist mainly on nuts and seeds. They even have a high enough tolerance for humans to inhabit residential neighborhoods and are known to raid bird feeders.
Among those species which have been introduced with little harm to the local ecosystem is the rainbow trout which is native only to the rivers and lakes of North America but its value as a hard-fighting game fish and tasty meal has led to its introduction throughout the world. Rainbow trout are gorgeous fish, with coloring and patterns that vary widely depending on habitat, age, and spawning condition. They are members of the salmon family and, like their salmon cousins, can grow quite large. They prefer cool, clear rivers and lakes and survive on insects and small fish.
Taken and adapted from:,

1. gray squirrel
2. mature dense woodland / dense woodland / woodland / forest
3. seeds and nuts
4. rivers and lakes (lakes rivers)
5. insects and fish / insects small fish


Recommended Lessons

IELTS Listening Practice: Picture Multiple Choice

IELTS Listening Practice: Picture Multiple Choice

This lesson is a picture multiple choice. It is one of the most difficult types of listening questions in your IELTS listening test. This particular listening lesson is similar to the type of question you might get in Section 4 – the most difficult section in the test.

The listening practice below is mainly aimed at students who are band score 7 and above.  For students under band score 7, you can use this listening exercise to improve your vocabulary and listening technique when I post the answers tomorrow. Now prepare both question and picture options before listening and answering the question.


1. Which type of mammoth is this lecture going to focus on? Choose the correct letter, A-C.

mammoth picture

 Picture from Sunday Times Magazine, 20/04/2014.

Answers and Vocabulary

Please click below to reveal vocabulary, transcript and answers:


mammoth = prehistoric animal now extinct similar in shape to an elephant
physiology = make-up / structure
prominent = major / outstanding
parts of an elephant and mammoth = tusks, trunk, large ears
huge / colossal = enormous / extremely large

There is evidence of much change and development in the mammoth. We can see the Ambelodon 20 million years ago, the Stegodon 12 million years ago and finally the Stegotetrabelodon which existed somewhere between 7.5 to 4.5 million years ago. There seem to have been a number of changes in the physiology of the mammoth, the most prominent were in the height, the size of the ears and the shape of the head and tusks. Today, I’m going to be focusing, on the one most of us associate with the ‘so-called’ classic shape and size of a mammoth and which is most known for its huge curving tusks and colossal size.
‘Today, I’m going to be focusing on….. which is most known for its huge curving tusks and colossal size.’


IELTS Video: Listening practice with numbers

It is common in IELTS to be asked to listen for a number. The most common numbers that IELTS use are the numbers 15 / 50. Many students have a problem with hearing the difference between these numbers.

Watch this lesson to test yourself on listening for these difficult numbers and also review the pronunciation.


IELTS Listening: List Selection

IELTS listening practice for list selection which is a type of multiple choice.

A Museum Visit

Question 1
Choose three letters, A-G.

What three things are not allowed in the museum?

A. camera
B. bags
C. food and drink
D. phone
E. pens
F. notebooks
G. coats



Click below to reveal answers:


A, C, D (any order). You must have all 3 correct for one point.

A = ‘… won’t be able to take your camera into the museum…’
D = ‘…that goes for phones too’. This means that the same rule for cameras also applies to phones, both are forbidden.
C = ‘If you’re in need of refreshments, you’ll have to make your way to our cafe as you can’t bring your own inside’. Refreshments = food and drink (paraphrase)

The answer can’t be B because you are able to choose if you want to leave your bag in the locker room or not. This means it is not forbidden.

There are a few things which you will need to know before you come to the museum. You won’t be able to take your camera into the museum as photos are forbidden which means that that goes for phones too. If you want pictures of the exhibitions can you’ll have to buy the museum guide book which has information as well as pictures of most of our famous exhibits. If you have a bag and you don’t want to carry it round with you, then you can store it in the locker room on the ground floor near the entrance. You’re welcome to walk around with your notebooks to sketch or make notes on our displays. If you’re in need of refreshments, you’ll have to make your way to our cafe as you can’t bring your own inside. Well, that’s the list of does and don’ts. Hope you enjoy your visit.


IELTS Multiple Choice Tips

This video offers more listening practice and tips for this type of listening in IELTS.


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