IELTS Listening Practice: Sentence Completion

Sentence Completion for IELTS Listening

This IELTS listening practice is based on sentence completion or gap fill questions. Read through the sentences, predict what types of answers you need for each gap and then listen to complete the sentences. Pay attention to the number of words possible for each answer. This is similar to listening in section 2.

Why we have festivals

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

  1. Festivals are useful to ……………… the cultural traditions of different countries.
  2. The majority of festivals can be traced back to a cultural ………..
  3. Festivals are a time when …………….. are put aside.
  4. Although countries have different festivals, their ……………. is often the same.


A festival is an event which is celebrated collectively. Festivals are mostly celebrated to propagate the cultural heritage of nations. Most festivals have their origins in a cultural belief which has been passed down through the generations. Festivals help to promote solidarity and the patriotic spirit in society by bring people closer together in harmony as they celebrate the festival. During this time, differences are forgotten and the national cultural identity predominates. By celebrating international festivals, it helps to promote tolerance, reduce racial conflict and encourages the acceptance of cultural diversity in a country. While there are marked differences in the way festivals are celebrated all over the world, there is a similarity in the purpose that the festival serves.

  1. propagate
  2. belief
  3. differences (the answer must be plural)
  4. purpose


Recommended Lessons

IELTS Listening Practice: Space Exploration Sentence Completion
IELTS Listening Practice: Mammoths Picture Multiple Choice
IELTS Video Lesson: Listening practice for Time

Map Completion for IELTS Listening

You may have to fill in points on a map in IELTS listening section2. This means you will be given a picture of a map to complete. When you must decide the answers to numbers on a map, the answer will come in order but that doesn’t mean it will be simple.

Always prepare the map by looking at the locations of each number and predicting what language you might hear to find the answers. Make sure you check the title of the map to help you predict answers and language.

Map Completion

Complete the map below using no more than two words for each question.

Bedford Surgery

Map Building Plan


Welcome to the Bedford Doctor’s Surgery. As you are a new patient, please listen to the information about our practice to learn about our surgery and the facilities available. To enter our surgery you will need to go up the stairs to the first floor so if you are disabled and need wheelchair access, you will need to call us to organize this. Once you enter the surgery, please go straight to the reception room on the left and sign in with our receptionist. You’ll also be able to wait for the doctor here. If you need the toilets, you’ll have to go back down to the ground floor which isn’t shown on the map and belong to the company renting that floor. If you have a large bag or a coat, you may want to leave them in the cloakroom which is located at the other end of the building. For the cloakroom, turn right once you get up the stairs and go straight ahead, it’s a small room at the end of the corridor.

The two doctor’s surgeries are situated just to the right of the stairs both with a lovely view over the town, one of them used to be the old waiting room. We also have a radiology unit which is next to the cloakroom and a laboratory for blood work just beyond the radiology unit. For patients who will be traveling by bus, there’s a bus stop just a few doors away from the surgery and for those of you coming by car, please park outside our main doors.

1. reception / reception room (left of the stairs)
2. cloakroom (right of the stairs at the end. You must spell this correctly to get the answer)
3. surgery (directly right of the stairs – the speakers says two surgeries so this is for number 4 as well. The speaker said that one of them used to be a waiting room – this is in the past, not now – a typical IELTS trap).
4. surgery
5. radiology unit (next to the cloakroom – if you didn’t get cloakroom, then you will have a problem to get this correct. You will need both words for a correct answer)
6. laboratory (next to the radiology unit)


Form Completion for IELTS Listening Practice

It is a common to be asked to fill in a form for Section 1 in IELTS listening. It is also the easiest type of question in the listening test.In section 1, there are two speakers exchanging information on a social topic. It is often a phone conversation.

Check what type of information you need to listen for and be careful of traps. Common traps are when the answer is given and then changed by one of the speakers.

This is a practice listening for filling in forms and is useful for IELTS practice.

Form Completion

Write no more than three words and/or numbers.

Oxford Orientation Summer Course

Name: (1) Maria ………………………………………
Date of Birth: (2) ………………………………………………….
Country of Origin: (3) …………………………………………….
Subject: (4) …………………………………………………….
Number of places: 1
Course Dates: (5) ………………………………………….
Accommodation: (6) shared ………………………………..
Flight Number: (7) …………………………………………………
Email Address: (8) ……………………………………………………


Hello, this is the Oxford Orientation Summer Course booking office. How can I help you?
I’d like to book a place on a summer course this summer.
Certainly, let me take some details and then I’ll reserve a place for you. What is your full name?
It’s Maria Bueno.
So that’s Maria Beno – BENO?
No, actually it’s BUENO.
When were you born?
I was born on September 12th, 1985.
And which country do you come from?
I’m from Spain.
Well, we’ve got two different courses this summer. We’ve got the orientation for art history and museums and also one for photography. Which one would you like to book for?
The latter, please.
And is that just the one place for the photography course?
Yes, that’s right.
The course you’re interested in runs twice this summer, from June to July and again from August to September. Which one suits you best?
I think the August to September.
That’s fine. Just a few more details and then we’re done. The accommodation we offer on the course is all shared so you can choose from a shared room, a shared flat or a shared house.
Oh definitely not the shared room. I’d prefer the shared flat if you have one.
OK. What I need now are your flight details and also your email address.
Well, I’m coming on Iberia Lines flight IB316 arriving on July 29th. And my email address is
Well, that’s you booked then for a summer course starting in August. Is there anything else I can do for you?
No, that’s all. If you could just email me confirmation of my booking, that’s would be great.
I will do. Thank you. Goodbye.

1. Bueno (capital letter not needed)
2. September 12th, 1985 / Sept 12 1985 / 09/12/85
3. Spain
4. photography
5. August – September / August to September (capital letter not needed)
6. flat
7. IB316



IELTS Listening: Table Completion Practice, click here

Summary Completion: IELTS Listening Practice

IELTS Listening Summary Completion Exercise

The difficulty level of this exercise is typical of IELTS section 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