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

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  1. good day maam,is it okay to paraphrase in the listening test if the words are long

  2. Though the speaker is very clear, this one is quite tough for me. Thank you liz

  3. Dear All

    As a foreign learner of English, It’s really tough. Isn’t it ?

  4. hi liz!
    please tell how much time we have in between each section to read the question?

  5. This one was quite tough for me. The dates were a bit confusing as was the 4th answer because so many similar words and options were given. About the 2nd answer, could you please explain how we can figure out the number of words required when we have 3rd century B.C. something like this sort of date? I was wondering if it should be late 3rd century B.C. because we are allowed three words. Also is the terracota army a proper noun? Should it be capitalized? Thanks a lot 🙂 I enjoy your topic choices immensely.

  6. Noha Faisal says:

    Hi , i saw that warriors are the same meaning of soldiers , but i wanna inquire if I put warriors instead ,, will it be wrong ??

    • You must write the word giving in the recording. Any other word is marked wrong. “warrior” has the same meaning but is not given in the recording so it’s wrong.
      All the best

      • Noha Faisal says:

        Thank you dear .. however , it has been given in the recording but not at the specific order to be answered as a suitable one .

  7. I find sentence completion very difficult and just wanted to know that, do we get the same level of difficulty in actual exam as well? and what would be the best approach to answer these questions.


    • Hi,

      The level of difficulty in this exercise is similar to section 4 of the listening test. However, don’t forget that section 4 is the most difficult section so all other sections will be easier. Make sure you practice some listening from the IELTS Cambridge Books 1-9 – they are real past exam papers published by IELTS.

      For sentence completion, predict the type of word you need to listen for (noun, verb, date, number, adj etc). Make notes while you are listening – you can do this in the test. Answers usually come in order so follow the order of the questions. Also, listen out for paraphrases. For example, in the first question “in order to” is a paraphrase for “purpose” – this will lead you directly to the answer. Spend time reading through the transcripts of each listening exercise and learning paraphrases.

      • I noticed the answers given are equal to more than three words and one number?? is this an over site?

        • There are no answers more than three words and one number. You will see that one answer is divided by “/” which means that I have shown you two different answers that are accepted as being right. You should have one of them. You can’t write more than three words and one number.
          All the best

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