IELTS Listening Practice: Sports Festival

IELTS summary completion and sentence completion practice for listening about the topic of sport.


  • Spend time reading through the questions for the summary and sentence completion because the audio will cover all questions.
  • Pay attention to the title and key words in the questions.
  • Predict the type of answer you will need to listen for (grammar will help you).
  • Notice that the instructions (word count) changes as the type of question changes – pay attention to this.
  • Be ready to move from one set of questions to another. Identify a key word that will help you to know when to move questions.
  • Remember that some key words can be paraphrased.

Mongolian Sports Festival

Questions 1 – 3

Complete the summary using no more than one word and/or a number.

Naadam is a festival of three sports in Mongolia: (1)……………….. horse racing and archery. This festival is traditionally for men and takes place during (2)……………….. Previously, women were unable to (3)………………. in the festival but now they can take part in two out of the three sports.

Questions 4 – 6

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

  • 4) Historically, this festival was used to generate ………………….
  • 5) People don ……………………………… for the festival.
  • 6) Each year the celebration is held between ……. and ……………….


Answers & Vocabulary

Click below to see answers:

  1. wrestling
  2. midsummer (one word)
  3. participate or compete (two possible options)
  4. warriors or skillful warriors (must be plural) or skillful men
  5. colourful clothes or traditional clothes or distinctive clothes (three possible options but no more than two words possible for the answer)
  6. 11 13 July / 11th 13th July (you must have both numbers and the month. The month does not need to start with a capital letter. See this page regarding the use of capital letters: IELTS Listening Tips)

Naadam is a traditional games festival in Mongolia comprising of three sports: Mongolian wrestling, horse racing and archery. It is otherwise known as “the three games of men” because traditionally men were the only ones who could compete.  It is held over midsummer throughout the country. Nowadays, women are able to participate in archery and horse racing but not wrestling. The name “Naadam” means “festival or feast of sports”.

In ancient times, the Mongolian great kings and military generals used to train their warriors and the warriors’ main battle tool, horses, through this competition. While competing and feasting, those three manly traditional sports have been used to create skillful men for centuries.

During the festival, Mongolians dress in colourful and distinctive traditional clothes and ride their most beautiful horses. Official festival celebrations take place throughout the country between 11th and 13th July annually.  The Naadam celebration in Ulaanbaatar, the capital of Mongolia, is the most marvelous.

Useful Vocabulary
  • comprising of = made up of / consisting of
  • wrestling – a sport of holding and throwing an opponent to the ground
    • mongolia_naadam_10
  • archery – using a bow and arrow to hit a target
    • Naadam_women_archery
  • compete = participate / take part in
  • to be held / to take place
  • in ancient times = historically
  • manly = activities suited to a man
  • generate = create
  • to dress = to don (this is formal verb)
  • marvelous = spectacular (this synonym is used only in this context)


Naadam Festival Information

Watch a great video about this wonderful festival in Mongolia. The person giving the information is Mongolian and does make mistakes with English but she still has a wide range of interesting vocabulary and can explain her ideas clearly.

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Below is some excellent vocabulary that was used in this video:

  • delighted
  • preparing warriors for combat
  • huge
  • great noise / shouting
  • rush
  • testing not only speed but endurance
  • bare feet
  • saddle
  • cheering
  • sharpness
  • brings the community together
  • harsh weather
  • lifts the spirits of everyone

You may consider her accent difficult to understand in parts but her vocabulary, as you can see above, is very strong and flexible. She is able to explain her ideas and concepts very clearly.

I hope you enjoyed this lesson. Let me know if there any special customs or celebrations in your country that you wish me to make a lesson for. Liz

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  1. Randa Harbi says

    Hello Teacher,
    I wanted to ask about the last answer (11th, 13th July), is it okay to use comma where the “and” is?
    also is 13th considered as word or a number? cause i solved it as (11th, 13th of July), is it wrong?
    thank you!

    • 11th = one number
      13th = one number
      13th July = one number and one word
      11th 13th July = two numbers and one word
      11th 13th of July = two numbers and two words (this is beyond the word limit)
      You don’t need to use a comma because it isn’t needed. If you want to use it, you can. But don’t add extra words. Generally, just writing the numbers and/ore words is enough for the listening test.

      • Randa Harbi says

        I see,
        the question says no more than two words and or numbers, so the two stands for both the words and numbers together?
        sorry I can’t quiet catch the meaning behind it.

        • Sorry, my mistake. I didn’t check the page. The instructions say “no more than two words and/or numbers.” Your answer would have been within the word and number count, but still marked wrong because it is incorrect English.
          The error with your answer is not because although English people say “the 10th of July” it is never written that way. The “of” is only for spoken English, never written English. Dates are written “10th July” but pronounced “the 10th of July”. Sorry for not explaining properly before.

  2. Hello Liz ,
    Thank you for these useful exercises . I feel happy to get all the questions correct

    You have done a great job

    • I’m glad you feel you are doing well. Make sure you also move on to real practice tests from the IELTS Cambridge test books as they contain real past papers. Good luck!

  3. Danielbaby says

    Hey Liz!
    I recently did an ielts test and have 2 questions about format on listening. For this test there was a section asking for one word and/or a number

    – The first answer was a full date like 08/11/1997. But I didn’t know if this counted as separate numbers, therefore I answered: “November 8” to comply with the instruction

    – for another question the answer was “Flat 22A” but I didn’t know if the “A” next to the number would count as another word so I answered “Flat 22”.

    Are these answers correct? What is the correct way of writing dates? And will numbers with letters count as one number?

    • 08/11/1997 is one number. It is a connected number, not separate numbers such as 08 11 1997. If the apartment is Flat 2A, then that is the answer. In English, if someone asked me what is the number of my house, I might say 36B.
      You’ve asked very good questions and I’m sorry you had this confusion.
      I’ve add this information to my IELTS FAQ page which contains loads of answers to queries about IELTS in all sections:

  4. Saurabh Jain says

    Hello Liz

    Thank you for helping us. If I write answer to the first question as “WRESTLING,” , i.e. comma after the word, will it be considered wrong?

  5. Assumpta says

    Colorful attire
    11th. 13th July
    My question is number two mid_ summer is it advisable to write it like that?

  6. Shalindi says

    skillful men
    colorful clothes
    11 13 July

  7. Gustavo says

    Hey Teacher,

    I am not able to open any youtube links which you mention into your activity pages. When clicking on the link the following message is shown “content is protected !!!” .

    Do you have any clue what I should do?

  8. Miguel peña says

    I think It helps me to undertand this type of quiention.

  9. Zavi says

    Hi Liz,

    I got quiet confused,

    The instruction was to use not more than one word,

    this was my answer

    1) Wrestling
    5 )Colourfull
    6) 11 13 July

    and when i checked the answers, i saw 2 letter words given as answer.

    Please can you throw more light on instances where we can use more than 1 word even when the instructions says 1 word.

    thank you

    • Where there only one set of instructions on the page above or two sets of instructions? Did you read it carefully?

  10. Mazen says

    Dear Liz,

    I would just like to say that your material is very beneficial for IELTS preparation.
    They are somewhat more challenging which allows you to enter the IELTS exam well prepared.

    Thank you for your tremendous effort!


    • I’m glad they are useful.

    • Tinotenda Muzah says

      I agree with your point there (there are somewhat more challenges which allow one to enter the IELTS exam well-prepared) Thank you, Liz, thank you very much. On this one, I got 3 correct 🙆.

  11. sirajuddin Mohammed says

    1. Wrestling.
    2.Mid summer
    3. Participate.
    5.Beautiful horses
    6. 11th July to 13th july.

  12. Aniraa says

    Hi, Liz

    Thank you for this great exercise about Mongolia. I have never imagined to answer the question about Mongolia, while during the IELTS preparation. Your lessons are so useful and accurate. There are helping me a lot.

    Love from Mongolia.

  13. Forever Lover says

    Hi Liz,

    Thank you for the lessons.

    My question is about the verb “to don” in the audio file above. “to don” means ” to dress”, however, I rarely hear that people use this word in daily life. How come IELTS use the words that rarely used and make it difficult for the listeners?

    And also, the time given to students for quick look at the questions, before listening is too short. I cannot catch all the questions before the audio starts. Is there any tip for this part please?

    Thanks a lot

    • This lesson is not an IELTS test. It is a lesson I made. All my practice materials are made by myself. It is normal to use the word “don”. However, it is only used in certain circumstances. With my lessons, you read the questions before pressing play.
      These lessons are for you to develop skills. They are not tests. Use them appropriately for your self-learning.

      • I was confused about “don” and also it’s said no more than 2 words and or numbers but answer is 11 13 july. it is 3, isn’t it?

        • “11 13 July” is one word and two numbers which is allowed by the instructions given.

  14. Hi Liz,

    Thank you for doing this video specially about Mongolia
    I have a complicated question, what if people have total 6,625 is it suppose to band score 7 or 6 ?

    Anyway, much appreciated that what have you done !

    From Mongolian Girl,

  15. Hi Liz,

    Thanks for all your efforts, they are very helpful. My question is rather trivial but why is “Mongolian wrestling” not a possible answer for the first question? I thought it was important to write Mongolian because it is a specific type of wrestling. I’m looking forward to hearing from you..

    • The instructions only allow for one word. If the instructions had two words, you could have written that. Always follow the instructions for IELTS.

  16. Shekhar Iyer says

    Hello Liz,

    I’d like to make a suggestion, if I may: As you know, before anyone can ask you a NEW question, it is best to look it up to see if it’s already been answered. However, this becomes cumbersome when there are, for example, 100 comments on an article. My suggestion: could you speak with the web-developer to include the SEARCH option? That way, we could use the search function to quickly check if a particular keyword appears and locate the answer. Will save both of us time 🙂

    Thank you for reading.


    • There is a search box in the right hand column of this site. However, it only works for pages, not comments.

  17. Thanks Liz, preparing from this website doesn’t seem like a pain.
    It’s fun and how time passes by I never know.


    • Thanks for your message. I’m so pleased. I really want people to enjoy the process of preparing for IELTS as well as feel more confident 🙂

  18. Seira says

    Hi Liz,
    Thanks for sharing your knowledge. I have one question, which, after googling, made me more confused with the answers. Could you please help me here?
    For answer #6 – 11th 13th July, I had written 11th 13th of July. Although for using the word ‘of’ I have read the comments above, but in the audio it uses ‘of’, it says ’13th of July’.
    Secondly, as I prefer writing my answers in capital, can I write 11TH 13TH JULY, with the ‘TH’ in capital. Also can I write ‘TH’ suffixed to the top right of the number.


    • 1. This is about understanding English. We say “of”, but we never write it.
      2. You actually don’t need to use “th” at all. Instead just write the numbers.

  19. Kuldeep says

    Please check my answers:
    1. Wrestling
    2. mid-summer
    4. skilful men (spelling: is skilful correct?)
    5. clothes
    6. 11th-13th July

    • The answers are given on the page above. ALL my lessons provide links to answers.

  20. pooja narang says

    Hi Liz ,
    No words to express the greatness of your work .
    Incomparable expert advise you are giving to people here .Thanks .
    A question please : I have seen lot many practice pages for section 1, 2 listening , but cannot find practice link for section 3 and Section 4. As these are most complex . Kindly help

    • My listening lessons are created by myself to give students extra free practice. To practise each section of the test, it is best to use authentic IELTS tests. You can buy them in the IELTS Cambridge test books from 1 to 12 and you can find a free test on the British Council website.

  21. Usaid Ali Lazzal says

    Dear Liz,
    question 5 says: people don colorful clothes for the festival, is the word ‘don’ either an typo or does it specifically means something?

    • Did you look up the word in the dictionary? Please do so.

    • Akhil H Gada says

      Google search is a very powerful dictionary. Search by using “{search-term} means”, and Google will display in search results. Example: “don means” or “equanimity means”.

  22. Hi Liz,
    Would 11th / 13th OF July be the correct answer, seeing as it’s grammatically correct?

  23. Safak Duzgun says

    How about if I answered : ” July 11th 13th”

    • As explained in the answer key – it’s fine. You need both numbers and the month.

  24. Jitendra says

    Hi Liz,
    I am going to appear in the IELTS General exam 14th of Oct and I am learning a lot from your guidance and tips.

    Your work on IELTS training is commendable.

    Thanks a lot!



    • Of course you can. IELTS speaking isn’t a memory test. Look at your notes and at the cue card as often as you want.



  27. How can we estimate the true answer of multiple choice question because sometime they speak all option which are given in answer
    Have you any trick regarding this???

    • Your aim is not to match words. Of course the options will be mentioned but they will be in the negative or later rejected by the speaker. Don’t aim to match words.

  28. Rugaya says

    Hello Liz,
    Your courses are marvelous.
    What if i didn’t hear the answer clearly, can i predict the meaning correctly and get the score though?

    • I’m not sure what you mean exactly. At the end of the listening test, you will be given 10 mins to transfer your answer to the answer sheet. At that time, if there are gaps on your answer sheet, just try to guess and answer and write it in – you don’t lose points for wrong answers.

      • Rugaya says

        I mean if the meaning maches with the right answe, will i considered correct?

        • Your answer must be correct. It can’t be a synonym. It must be the correct word.

  29. AgossV says

    great videos..loved practice everyday for my IELTS test
    Thank you Liz

  30. Büşra Üstün says

    Hey Liz! Are you here? I am so mad with you! Your last video had been shared 1 year ago! Please share more. You are the most spectacular human I have ever seen! Belive me you are the perfection. I need to meet and get to know you. God bless you beauty!

    • Funny 🙂 The truth is that I’ve been very sick this last year and also lost my filming studio. I’m slowly getting better but I won’t be able to make videos until the end of the year – and that is only if I am lucky. As soon as I’m well enough, I’ll put a new video up 🙂 I miss making the videos.

      • Good luck with your health. I’m sure you have lots of blessings from the people you have helped. I will be looking out for your new videos 🙂

  31. Lu zihao says

    The instruction said that no more than a word is used,but why is answer number 5 is two words?

    • The questions are in two parts. Did you check the instructions for both parts?? See below:

      Questions 4 – 6

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

  32. Does all the answers for listening section comes in order?Does Questions for listening are in order according to the listening part or the questions are randomly asked ?

  33. Nabeel Mazahr says

    please create such a page in which we fill OUR answers and it checks itself

  34. Dama Amarnadh says

    Hello ….! Liz,
    What does the meaning of 6 am to mid night?
    Could it be 6 am to 12 am or else 6 am to 12 pm?
    Can you please solve my doubt:

  35. syamnadh says

    Hi Liz madam,
    I am really privileged to get access to your precious resources, thanks for ur immense and selfless effort to create and maintain your iconic blog.
    —- In the list of words mentioned in the vocabulary part, I’m afraid, is the word “marvellous” spelt wrong?

  36. Ramsimran Singh says

    Hello Liz,

    Trust things are fine at your end.

    I have one question related to Listening i.e Is there any halt between the all four sections of listening recordings?

    Ramsimran Singh

  37. Zooka says

    I am preparing for IELTS …
    Very Good Job You Have done .
    I am much Impressed by You
    Thank You Liz
    One Thing That I want to ask that is band score is only for listening test ?

  38. Sreelatha rajesh says

    Can we use two words or two numbers in question 4-6

  39. Hello and regards Liz. I have questions about dates. If we want to write dates with capital letters, then how can we write them ? Please, also advise about commas.
    11TH, 13TH JULY? or can we write only 11, 13 JULY?
    Thanks beforehand

  40. Renato says

    Hi Liz.

    In Question No. 5. I wrote “colorful” because that is the spelling we normally use. Will that be considered as correct?

  41. the instruction in the question is very clear , just used one word, however, the answer in 4-5-6 are two words.
    how we can use them in one word??

    • Questions 1-3 and questions 4-6 are not the same. Each type of question has different instructions. Read the instructions carefully!
      All the best

  42. Hello Liz
    For Q.1, it says ‘Mongolian wrestling’ in the recording, but your answer has been given as ‘wrestling’. Is it still correct to write ‘Mongolian wrestling’? Or is the speaker just describing the three sports as Mongolian?
    Your help is truly appreciated!! 🙂

    • Firstly you can only write one word as your answer. Secondly, it already gave the word Mongolia so it is unlikely you also need to write Mongolian.
      All the best

      • Hello Liz
        I just didn’t read the instruction properly. I guess I have to be way more careful in my real test. Your answers to our questions are so clear! Thank you! 🙂

  43. Sanjay (from Saigon) says

    Hello Liz,
    Could you please explain the following.
    Why is the answer “skillful warriors” is acceptable for the question 4. We heard only “skillful warriors”. Now I have seen a video where you said we need to write exactly what we hear. Do you remember an example you gave? Please check below.

    Audio segment: Children must be be accompanied by an adult at all times.
    Question: No children are allowed without _____
    (1) an adult
    (2) an accompanying adult

    You said answer 2 is wrong, and answer 1 is correct. Because that is what we heard. So if this is the case, how can “skillful warriors” become an acceptable answer? (Although it is really correct but this is not what we heard). Please explain. I highly appreciate.

    Thank you,

    • Because the word “accompanying” was never used in the audio. Only “accompanied” was used which doesn’t fit. However, in this lesson all the words were used: warriors or skillful warriors (must be plural) or skillful men. I explained that you can’t alter the form of the word and in this lesson no word was altered.
      All the best

  44. Muhammed Shamsuddin says

    Hi Liz really its a tremendous lesson. In Bangladesh also have a traditional occasion known as Bangla Nababarsa . May u can make a lesson on this.

  45. Ruqaiyya Amin says

    hi mam Liz just started reading your given passages they are really helpful for me.

  46. Instead of ‘colourful clothing’, is it correct to write ‘colourful clothes’ ?
    Thanks a lot.

  47. Hi Liz,
    In case of question no. 1, I have heard “Mongolian wrestling” as “Mongolian racing”, as I have no idea about Nadeem festival. Moreover, the whole section does not provide me any information whether it is wrestling or racing. So, please tell me is it OK, if I am going to write it as “Mongolian racing” instead of “Mongolian wrestling”?

    • This is a listening exercise not a writing exercise. The idea is to practice listening for the IELTS test, not learn knowledge. All answers must be written as shown. You can read the transcript to check your answers and mistakes.
      All the best

  48. Muhammed Shamsuddin says

    Hi liz, I am confuse about question no 6. There is an instruction no more then one word or a number. But answer is 11 13 July . It seems two number and one word to me. plz kindly explain me

    • You need to read the instructions more carefully: “Complete the sentences using no more than two words and/or numbers.”. It states “numbers” plural. That means you can write more than one.

  49. Muhammed Shamsuddin says

    Hi Liz. This is Shamsuddin from Bangladesh . Really it’s a useful website for IELTS seeker. There are lots of opportunity for practices. You are really a tremendous teacher and it’s true you are my best teacher. Again thanks a lot for doing this task .

  50. Hey Liz, Thanks a lot for such a helpful sites. When we have to answer 2 questions in one sentence, is coma necessary between the answer like 11, 13th July?
    And I want to sit for IELTs very soon and you are my only teacher for me. I just practice at home and follow your Blog. I also practice Cambridge’s books, is it sufficient for me? During practice, I got 7-7.5 sometimes 8 in listening and reading but I am not satisfied with my writing as there is nobody to check it. Actually I am Bangladeshi and now at Malaysia with my Husband. Some of my friends suggest me to sit in Bangladesh, what do you think if I do it in Malaysia. Is it affect my score?

    • You don’t need to think about grammar or punctuation if you write two independent words (numbers) for an answer). You only consider punctuation and grammar with sentence completion. It makes no difference which country you do the test in. You must decide what is most convenient for you.
      Good luck!

  51. Justyna says

    Dear Liz,
    I am wondering if I would put ’11TH 13TH JULY’ as an answer if that would be correct? (of course I will answer for all previous questions using capital letters). I am waiting for your answer, my exam is on Saturday. Best regards

  52. Its a very helping video…thanks for sharing Liz..

  53. Hai
    I had written ielts 3 times and I am getting a only 6.5 for writing but I need a score of 7. How can I achieve it. I don’t know were I am going wrong and loosing my score. I am very depressed about it. Pls give your valuable suggestions.

    • In this situation, I can only suggest that you buy one of my in-depth essay writing lessons to see if you are following all the correct techniques for each paragraph: Unfortunately, I only have two writing task 2 lessons at present and task 1 will come later.
      All the best

  54. Xue Zhang says

    I have a question. 5) People “don” ………… for the festival. What does “don” mean?

    • All words are explained in the Useful Vocabulary tag – it is with the answers and transcript, please take a look.

  55. ankush says

    hey liz u r doing a great job. i am doing ielts in an ielts centre and after consulting ur lesson i am getting almost 35 to 37 scores in listening, thanks alot

    • That’s really great news. I’m so happy when students can improve their score 🙂

  56. Romeo says

    This is incredible lesson. I find this lesson is really fascinating and appealing. I would like you to make a lesson when it comes to custom. Actually, I live in Myanmar (Burma) which is well-known among the tourists due to the fact that its natural resources as well as politics. You probably know about water festival which is one of the most popular customs not only local people but also among tourists. It seems to me that it is lovely culture and fun. For this reason, I would like you to make a lesson for that. Could you make a lesson for that, please if you don’t mind? Thank you teacher. You are remarkable teacher.

    • Thanks. It’s a great idea. Although I have never celebrated the Water Festival in Burma, I have celebrated it in Laos with a local family. I will put it on my list of lessons to make 🙂
      All the best

  57. Hi Liz,

    Do I still score if I use paraphrase answers?

    • You must write the words you hear in the recording. You can’t alter the words.

  58. zeynab says

    thanks alot dear liz

  59. thankyou litz for the great job u r doing.pleas post more for listening and reading ideas .

    • I’m really glad you enjoy these lessons. Yes, I will definitely put more up 🙂

      • Rocky says

        Very educative for ielts listening purpose.. Plz add more which helps in listning skills,expecially for listening 3rd nd 4th section.

  60. Catherine says

    Hi Liz,
    For the questions under the listening practice Mongolian Nadaam Festival, question 4. Can the answer also be “skillful men”?. And question 5, shouldn’t the preposition “in” appear before colourful dressing?

    • I’ve add that answers as another option. For the verb “don”, it is used without a preposition. “to don clothing”.

  61. Angel says

    I answered skillful men in question 4. would that also be correct?

  62. Cobby says

    Hello Liz,

    Can i apply for an admission in a university in Australia With ONLY IELTS or there are other requirements i am going to Need??

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