IELTS Summary Completion Reading Practice

To answer a summary question in IELTS reading, you should skim read the passage and then spend time reading through the summary to predict answers and prepare paraphrases.

Fermented Foods

Fermentation is a process in which an agent [typically bacteria and yeast] cause an organic substance to break down into simpler substances; especially, the anaerobic [no oxygen] breakdown of sugar into alcohol, i.e. the making of beer or wine. Fermentation in food processing is the conversion of carbohydrates (plant foods) to alcohols and carbon dioxide, or organic acids, using yeasts, bacteria, or a combination thereof, under anaerobic (no oxygen) conditions. Fermentation usually implies that the action of microorganisms is desirable, and the process is used to produce alcoholic beverages such as wine, beer, and cider. Fermentation is also employed in the leavening of bread, and for preservation techniques to create lactic acid in sour foods such as sauerkraut, dry sausages, kimchi and yogurt, or vinegar (acetic acid) for use in pickling foods.

Nobel Prize winner Dr. Elie Metchnikoff was one of the first scientists to recognize the benefits of eating fermented foods. His research in the early 1900’s focused on the Bulgarians. He believed the daily ingestion of yogurt was a major contribution to their superior health and longevity.

Bulgarians perfected the art of detoxifying and preserving milk (removing the lactose and predigesting the proteins) and transforming it into yogurt and cheese. For centuries, Europeans used wine as a source of clean, durable water. The Caucasians used Kefir grains for the same purpose: detoxify milk products to make Kefir. Vegetables were also fermented to preserve them from spoilage, such as kimchi in Korea. Most of the pickled products found on our grocery shelves were at one time a fermented product: pickles, saurkraut, and even catsup (a Chinese word for pickled fish brine). However, since fermentation isn’t always a uniform process, manufacturers found another way to make these products.

Questions 1-6

Complete the summary using the list of words (A-J) below. Write the correct letter on your answer sheet, in boxes 1-6

 International Uses for Fermentation

At the start of the 20th century, Dr. Elie Metchnikoff put forward his belief that the 1.  ……………… and good health of Bulgarians could be attributed to eating fermented food each day. By 2. ……………. and preserving milk, they were able to convert it into 3……………… and 4. …………………. In other parts of Europe, fermented 5. ……………… was consumed as a replacement for clean water. Some 6. ……………….. were fermented which gave them a longer lifespan but nowadays this is done by pickling.

A) ingesting     B) yoghurt      C )  longevity     D) pickled products    E) wine    F) food    G) kimchi    H) cheese   I) detoxifying    J) vegetables

  1. C
  2. I
  3. B (any order)
  4. H (any order)
  5. E
  6. J

Passage from healing naturally by



IELTS Reading: Sentence Completion Practice, click here

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  1. Hi liz,

    No words to express to what extent your materials are helping me…

    I am booked for 25th March and gaining a lot more from your study resources

    stay safe and blessed liz

  2. Dear Liz,
    Recognize or recognise? Which spelling will be marked correct in IELTS?

  3. hi Liz,
    I am Grace and trying my best to review IELTs on youtube when i saw your video and got interested on it. I found it very helpfull for revising.
    I am about to start my Reading test practice and while downloading the practice area i have notice that all the tool wasnt for printing. Would it be possible to print them all? please.

  4. hey liz,
    Your site is too good.
    Just wanted to ask, are the reading sections ever repeated?

  5. sujit kumar biswas says:

    Hi dear liz
    i got 6/6 . what should i say without thank you!

  6. Mam I Raman mam your website is very lucrative for me .mam my exam is on 3rd of November mam plz advised me what can i do more for achieving 8 bands

  7. Karen Tayag says:

    Hello Liz…. I’m Karen a Filipino Nurse currently working in Saudi Arabia. I just want to extend my happiness and satisfaction in your site, this is really a great one. I’m planning to take the UKVI IELTS soon. I easily understand your lectures in Youtube. I even do great on the practice test you’ve given. Thank you and may Father God continue to bless you abundantly. 😘😘😘😘

  8. Hi,i have one doubt
    can i use captial letters in reading and listening sections?

  9. Claudia says:

    Hello Liz,

    I’m having a hard time with reading category especially in T,F,NG or Y,N,NG part. Please I need more tips for that. I want to improve my reading category scores so badly. Thank you Liz.
    You are such a blessing. I hope to hear from you soon.

  10. Liz,

    You are a God.

    Nothing more to say.

  11. Kavita Pathak says:

    It was great going through your work. I have a question for you. Will the answers to the question regarding ‘Complete the Summary.’ be always in order from the passage?
    Please answer asap. I have my IELTS exam dis week.
    Thank You!!

  12. I got 6/6.I m jst worried abt Y/N/NG and multiple choice questions bcoz every time I answer,I do mistakes and I have also watched your video tips but I m not getting it.Please help me.

  13. I got 6/6. but I have two option for Q.6 D and J but Finally I selected J option bcoz in passage “Most of the Pickled Products…” and In summary “Some……”. My trick is perfect??

  14. Dear Liz,
    i did a summary completion test on the but i got confused. The question was “Complete the summary with the list of words A-P below.”
    Below the summary there was a table with words listed as A., B. C…..P. The problem is that i answered using the letters (A-P), but when i saw the correct answers, they were written as words not as letters. My question is why should i had written the words instead of letters? Will it be wrong, according to that example, if i use the letters?

    • If the instructions ask you to choose a letter, then your answer will be a letter, not a word. You should use real exam papers to practice reading from the IELTS Cambridge books 1 to 10 in order to avoid author errors.
      All the best

  15. Hi Liz,

    I would like to thank you for this helpful website!! I wish you were in Australia to be my teacher 🙂 Your videos are so clear, thank you very much for helping us to achieve our result! I´m going to my second IELTS, my problem is in the reading part… I find to hard to deal with the time. Hopefully next time I will pass!

  16. khalid Hamed says:


    my scored is 5/6
    my error is number 6 i selected number D
    kind regards

  17. Hi Liz, I just skim the paragraphs and I got 6/6. That’s the power of skimming.

    • Skimming is to read without trying to understand deeply. Scanning is locating information and answers. Well done!

  18. ameen88m says:

    In this type of question,what should be read first questions or passage?

    • For all questions, except matching headings, you should skim the passage first. This is not the same as reading, it is skimming.
      All the best

      • ameen88m says:

        Thanks for your respond
        Actually I am having a serious problem with skimming skill .I need to know what exactly is it . I’ve found millions of definition but none of them seems to be helpful with me .
        when I try to skim a passage I just pass my eyes over it but I can not understand anything. maybe the reason is my lack of vocabularies.
        my exam was sat after 45 days so am confused I need some advice about skimming in specific and reading in general
        thank you

        • When you skim read, you are not trying to understand. Skim reading is to get an idea of the layout and topic not to understand detail. Skimming a whole passage should take about 2 minutes. Then you focus on preparing questions. If you try to understand the whole passage in detail, you will run out of time. IELTS is testing your ability to locate information and understand detail presented in a few sentences – academic skills.

  19. Hi, Liz.
    Please, I find this reading paragraph is very helpful and useful for me.
    please explain ‘,, how wine replaced by the clean water, In my opinion
    I,IS totally different we can not consume wine like water.

    I f you find this email please let me now.


  20. helo Liz,
    my question is: in the exam, will they always give us words to choose from to fill the blanks of the summary? or some some summaries you have to get the words from the passage by your self?

    • There are two types of reading summary questions. For one type, you are given a box of words to choose from for your answers. The other type is when you must choose the words from the passage.
      All the best

  21. farrukh says:

    hi liz.i am preparing GT reading skills.can u plz help me to send some passages for GT

    • Sorry I don’t have any made for only the GT test. All lessons are to develop skills for all reading students. If you want GT reading tests, visit the British council website for IELTS GT.
      All the best

  22. 6 out of 6, thanks

  23. Hi Liz,

    Could you explain to me, why there is answer E for question 5 ? I guess it’s taken from that line: For centuries, Europeans used wine as a source of clean, durable water. But I can’t actually understand why this is related to “fermented” wine as a replacement for clean water.

  24. Hi Liz, I’ve a question in the IELTS reading test how types do we take? all the types or only one ?

    Thanks in advance 🙂

  25. Hi Liz,
    I m just wondering this reading passage about fermented food is for academic or general. To be sure because this passage was very easy to me. I need to get total band of 7 in academic and I already got 6.5 which is not enough for me. Although the rest was not easy at all.
    Thank you so much for your help.
    God bless you

    • This was neither academic or GT. It was just a reading practice to develop skills and techniques. The level would be between passage 3 GT and academic passages.
      All the best

  26. mohamed says:

    Number 6 : why not food ?

    • Food is an uncountable noun which means the verb would be wrong. Grammar will always help you in these types of questions.

  27. Hi, Give some vocabulary for each paragraph… it will help us to learn more
    Thank You!!!

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