IELTS Sentence Completion: Life on Earth

This is a short reading passage to practice sentence completion questions. It’s quite an easy passage to give you all a chance to practice.

Life on Earth

Life on Earth started around 3.8 billion years ago and has since evolved and diversified through the process of natural selection to be adapted to almost every environment possible. There are currently an estimated 1.9 million animals, plants, and other forms of life on Earth.

Life can be found in every nook and cranny/niche of the globe, from the extreme environments of deep sea hydrothermal vents and the freezing conditions of the Polar Regions to the lush habitats found at the equator.

Looking back through time, by means of the fossil and phylogenetic record, we can see that the Earth has been home to many more species than are alive today. Taking a historical perspective shows that life is constantly evolving, with the success and dominance of different groups waxing and waning over time.

The diversity of life is truly amazing, but all living organisms do share certain similarities. All living organisms can replicate, and the replicator molecule is DNA. As well, all living organisms contain some means of converting the information stored in DNA into products used to build cellular machinery from fats, proteins, and carbohydrates. 

Questions 1-4

Complete the sentences. Choose no more than three words and / or a number from the passage for each answer.

  1. The world has been developed and changed by ……………………………… for over 3.8 billion years.
  2. The past history of the species that used to exist on earth can be found through the …………………………………………. record.
  3. The coming and going of specific groups and species can illustrate to us that life is forever ………………………………………. .
  4. Without ……………………, life forms would not be able to replicate.

You can download the passage and questions pdf here: IELTS Reading Life on Earth


Click to get the answers: Answers

  1. natural selection

developed and changed = evolved and diversified

  1. fossil and phylogenetic (spelling must be correct)

past history = looking back through time

  1. evolving

coming and going = waxing and waning

forever = constantly

  1. DNA

life forms = living organisms

All reading exercises on have been written by myself to help you prepare for your IELTS test for free.   



To practice more IELTS reading and other parts of the test, see the main pages below:

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  1. Hi liz
    Thank you for you tutorials. They are really very helpful
    I got my ielts result today and scored L 7.5 R 7.5 S 7 W 6
    Thanks alot…

  2. Jenil Patel says:

    where is answers???

  3. Sagnik Datta says:

    Are these passages same for general and academic IELTS?

    • Most of these passages are similar to academic IELTS. But GT students can still benefit from them because the question types are the same in both tests, which means you both develop the same reading skills and techniques.

  4. Ahmed Bassam says:

    Is the word “AND” considred as a word ? for example, when I been asked to write max. three words, does I count “AND” in FOSSILE AND PHYLOGENETIC as a seperate word?

  5. I got 4/4 . it’s a good test ,thanks so much

  6. Hello Liz!
    Thanks a lot for your great lessons.
    I got 3/4
    Practice is important and I’ll try to improve my results.

  7. hi liz thanks for your effort but i want to ask about the shape of the test is coming like your question ..or harder because i can answer most of your test but in other blogs i find more it very hard and i can not answer a lot of question

  8. Abdul Jalil says:

    Miss, will I lose points if my answer is partially correct ? and how much ?

  9. Amigna Joshi says:

    HI Liz,
    I was going through this lesson and I have query regarding very first question. Instead just natural selection I expected by… The process of natural selection… But found wrong.. So now please explain why so? As it has been asked to write no more than three words, so I thought process of natural selection is the perfect answer…

    • “the process of natural selection” is 5 words. You can’t write “process of natural selection” is 4 words.

      • Zalan Mahmood Ayaz Khan says:

        what about “natural selection process” ?

        • When you have a sentence completion question, the finished sentences MUST be grammatically correct. If you use the answer “natural selection process”, you would also need to write “the……” which isn’t possible to use because it would be 4 words.

  10. Thank you so much for your great lessons.
    I need a complete book for prepositions after nouns,adjs etc with examples in sentenses. Thanks a bunch Liz.

  11. Olajumoke says:

    I got 4/4. This site is really helpful. Hoping to get a band score 7 in each module. My exam is approaching.

  12. I got 4/4. However, is this a typical GT test or Academics ? Do the answers always follow sequential orders?

    • The types of questions and techniques are the same for GT reading. However, the passages will not be academic based and are considered easier.

  13. Thank you very much.Got 4/4.

  14. Malebogo Kgoboko says:

    Thank u,I got 3/4 and I’m motivated. Looking foward to more exercises.

  15. kanchana says:

    i want to check my essay and getting online speaking test

  16. Thinks liz . it’s really helping me .

  17. Hi Liz,i couldn’t find the answer if the reading passage.Thanks

  18. Jose K Thomas says:

    It was really inspiring.thank

  19. Hi Liz,
    I got 4/4. Thank you for your helpful exercises. God bless you

  20. Its really helpful …..thanku liz

  21. Liz, plz deal with some egs: on “complete each sentence with the correct ending from below”

  22. Thank you very much ma’am, your site really helps.

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