Sentence Completion Questions in IELTS Reading

When you get sentence completion questions you must fill in the miss word or words with an appropriate word(s) taken from the reading passage. The completed sentence must be grammatically correct. This is a common type of question in IELTS reading. Below is a reading exercise for these types of questions, it is not an IELTS test paper. The passage is a similar level to academic reading.

Skim read the passage below and then spend time reading through the sentences in each question. Preparing paraphrased for words and think about what type of word you need to find to fill in the gap. Remember that answers do come in order.

Water Pollution

Clean and plentiful water provides the foundation for prosperous communities. We rely on clean water to survive, yet right now we are heading towards a water crisis. Changing climate patterns are threatening lakes and rivers, and key sources that we tap for drinking water are being overdrawn or tainted with pollution. NRDC experts are helping to secure safe and sufficient water for people and the environment by:

  • Promoting water efficiency strategies to help decrease the amount of water wasted;
  • Protecting our water from pollution by defending the Clean Water Act and advocating for solutions like green infrastructure;
  • Helping prepare cities, counties and states for water-related challenges they will face as a result of climate change; and
  • Ensuring that waterways have enough water to support vibrant aquatic ecosystems. Qs
    Complete the sentences below with the correct word(s) taken from the passage. Use no more than three words and/or a number.
    1. The keystone to any thriving society is to have ………………. water.
    2. It can be said that a ………………. is currently imminent.
    3. One way to help keep water clean is by the construction of …………………..
    4. Dirty water can be a ………………. as chemicals and other pollutants enter the water supply.
    5. Due to a lack of ……………….., some of our water resources are at risk of pollution.

Dirty water is the world’s biggest health risk, and continues to threaten both quality of life and public health in the United States. When water from rain and melting snow runs off roofs and roads into our rivers, it picks up toxic chemicals, dirt, trash and disease-carrying organisms along the way. Many of our water resources also lack basic protection, making them vulnerable to pollution from factory farms, industrial plants, and activities like fracking. This can lead to drinking water contamination, habitat degradation and beach closures. NRDC is working to protect our water from pollution by:

  • Drawing on existing protections in the Clean Water Act, and working to ensure that the law’s pollution control programs apply to all important waterways, including headwater streams and wetlands, which provide drinking water for 117 million Americans;
  • Improving protections to reduce pollutants like bacteria and viruses, which threaten Americans’ health and well being; and
  • Establishing new pollution limits for top problem areas, such as sources of runoff and sewage overflows.

Questions 1-5

Complete the sentences below with the correct word(s) taken from the passage. Use no more than three words and/or a number.

  1. The keystone to any thriving society is to have ………………. water.
  2. With the increase in water pollution a ………………. is imminent.
  3. One way to help keep water clean is by the construction of …………………..
  4. Dirty water can be a ………………. as chemicals and other pollutants enter the water supply.
  5. Due to a lack of ……………….., some of our water resources are at risk of pollution.

Answers

Click to reveal the answers below:

Answers
  1. clean and plentiful
  2. water crisis
  3. green infrastructure
  4. health risk
  5. basic protection (protection)

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

Liz

Vocab Builder
  • foundation = keystone / bedrock
  • prosperous = thriving / flourishing
  • key = vital / critical / major
  • tainted = contaminated / polluted  / fouled / spoiled
  • advocating = backing / supporting
  • vibrant = alive / energetic
  • toxic = lethal / deadly / poisonous

 

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Comments

  1. Omme_hashmi says:

    Crisis is plural and the word after it is singular ( water crisis is imminent ) how comes this is the answer????? Can u plzzz clarify?????? Thanx alot

  2. Siddhesh budhkar says:

    Hi Liz,

    I came up with the answer “crisis” for Question #2 will that be accepted or it is mandatory to mention water crisis as it already states in the question that ‘with increase in water pollution ‘.. Please help clarify
    And thanks for your helpful Blog.. 🙂

    • A crisis and a water crisis are not the same thing. So, for this question, you need “water crisis” for the correct answer.

  3. Hi Liz!
    I got 5/5. Thank you for all your practice exercises. 🙂

  4. Hello Liz,

    Thanks for your useful lessons. I have little confusion about choosing words from the topic when many choices are available. I will give some example from the real test.

    Passage: The male platypus has a sharply pointed, moveable spur on its hind foot which delivers a poison capable of killing smaller animals and causing severe pain to humans. …… In the same area of the hind foot where the male has poisonous spur, the female platypus only develops two buds which drop off in their first year of life never to appear again.

    Question: no more than three words from the passage
    For example, on the hind feet the male has a …… while the young female has …..

    For the 2nd space, answer is easy to find: two buds. How about for the 1st space? What choices can be correct?

    • The first space would be “spur”.

      • Thanks for your response. Let me share my ideas.

        In this case, we could answer with different ways too, like ” sharply pointed spur” , “moveable spur” or “pointed, moveable spur”. Am I right? I replied as the same as the third one. But the answer was the second choice. Why? Can the rest choice be correct too?

  5. Hi Liz
    I need help regarding general test as I heard in reading answers are in order but in general test I could not find this .
    Is it ?

    • The reading answers are in order for some question types and not for other question types. This is the case for both GT and academic reading. It depends on the type of question.

  6. Dear Liz,

    I don’t understand how you got the answer to # 2? How can it be “water crisis” ? I couldn’t find that word in the paragraph.

    • It is in the second sentence: “We rely on clean water to survive, yet right now we are heading towards a water crisis.”

  7. sibasis das says:

    Dear Liz,
    Thanks for your questionnaires
    The answer to Q4 is health risk
    Would that be
    biggest health risk.
    Thanks

  8. Thanks alot Ms Liz

  9. Thank you Liz,
    You are really true hero in the sense that you donated your time to help those who are committed to learn.
    we owe you a lot.
    Big thanks.
    Aidrous
    P.s by the way, I got 5/5 .
    I am going to have my second attempt IELTS exam 20th April.
    I will keep you in the loop!

    • Good luck! Make a list of areas that you think are your weakness and spend time working on them before your test.

  10. Cansin bayram says:

    Hi, thank for your website:) It is was really great work study for me because I am working and I can study at office. My score is 3/5 but it is really unbalanced. How can I stabilize?

    Thanks.

  11. I was very surprised with my result. I got 5/5, I cant believe it. I need to practice more. I think I need to do mini passages first and can you tell me where I can find the sources?

  12. Ashis Barua says:

    You’re brilliant and vibrant language teacher.
    I am trying to achieve standard skill in language with you.

  13. May Basco says:

    I was surprised with my score, 4/5. The activity is quite difficult but I guess you really need to focus. Vocabulary and understanding of the passage are really important. Thanks Ms. Liz.

  14. Burhan says:

    Hi Liz,

    4th answer should be “biggest health risk” as mentioned in paragraph.
    Why correct answer is only “health risk” and what if i write “biggest health risk”? Will it consider as correct answer?

    • You can’t have “a biggest health risk” – that’s incorrect English. The grammar in the question explains the answer.

  15. Hi Liz
    For Q.1 I thought the answer was ‘clean’. But it’s actually supposed to be ‘clean and plentiful’. Would my answer still be correct?

  16. Hi there Liz,

    I suppose “a green infrastructure” in number 3 sentence would be alright, wouldn’t it?

    Cheers

    • No. There can’t be an article.
      Liz

      • Thanks Liz for the prompt reply.
        Would this error be due ONLY to the fact that words must be “taken from the reading passage” (where the article is missing)? ‘Cause, in general, “infrastructure” is both a countable and uncountable noun, is it not?
        Sorry for bothering with such trivial matters, it’s just for the sake of better mastering the test’s nuts and bolts 😉
        Stef

        • Yes, it can be used with an article but it’s best to take words as they are written in the passage.
          All the best
          Liz

  17. Hi Liz. I got 4/5. not too bad. I’m thinking of getting only 2/5 or 3/5, quite a difficult round but I was surprised with my score. My only mistake was Q4. I answered biggest health risk. When it should be health risk only.

    What I learned from my mistake is that I should not write everything indicated in the passage. I should check also if the answers were grammatically correct! I will apply that to my exam.. Thanks Liz. such a big help!

  18. You are the best english teacher.

  19. Sharnjeet Singh Jaura says:

    3 out of 5 .

  20. Hi Liz

    i think i have all 5 correct. just one question , for number 5 i have written ‘ protections’ instead ‘ basic protections’ . will that be still correct?

    Be awaiting your reply
    Many thanks

  21. Dear Liz,
    Can we write “biggest health risk” Instead of “health risk” for question 4. ?

    With best regards,

  22. Hi Liz,
    Thanks a lot for your instructions. I am following them from last one day. It’s really helpful.
    Kindly explain me why the answer to the fourth question is “Health risk” ?

    Thank You in advance …

    • Answers come in order and the information for this answer is found in these sentences “Dirty water is the world’s biggest health risk, and continues to threaten both quality of life and public health in the United States. When water from rain and melting snow runs off roofs and roads into our rivers, it picks up toxic chemicals, dirt, trash and disease-carrying organisms along the way.” The answer to the sentence may be provided in more than one sentence.
      Liz

  23. Hi Liz,

    I can’t figure out why water crisis is the answer for number 2? Isn’t risky to alter original word from the passage for able to get the right grammar for the sentence? Pls advise.

    Thanks!

    • Hi,

      The words haven’t been changed, the answer is found in the second sentence in the passage. But I’m very glad you are thinking of these things.
      All the best
      Liz

  24. Hi Lize ,

    Thanks for your hardworking and great efforts ,I found your site useful for preparing myself for IETS ,you are successful to make a good connection with your audiences congratulations.
    Reading frighten me because of lack of vocabulary in my vocab memory ,
    I am advised to studdy diffrent subjects from diffrent sources ,that is fine ,I read alote ,
    However I would like to target ielts reading vocabs ,My time is limit.
    Could you plz advise me.
    Regards,

    Parisa

    • Hi,

      Thanks for your kind comments. It’s certainly useful to read up on various academic topics for IELTS reading but the real key in IELTS reading is learning how to deal with unknown vocabulary, knowing how to tackle each type of question, the speed of your scanning and time management. Work on some of those skills as well as your wider reading.
      All the best
      Liz

  25. Amritpal singh says:

    Hello

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