IELTS Listening Practice: Building the Eiffel Tower

This IELTS listening practice is based on sentence completion questions and diagram labelling. You need to prepare all questions before listening.

For the sentence completion, check what type of answer you need for each question and underline key words that will help you identify the answer when you hear it. For the diagrams, read the instructions carefully to find the type of answer you need.

IELTS Listening: The Eiffel Tower

Questions 1-5

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

  1. In 1884, two …………… came up with the concept of building tall tower.
  2. The plan was for the tower to be ……….. feet in height.
  3. Assembly of the supports took ……………. to finish.
  4. During construction, precision of work was measured to …………. of a millimetre.
  5. The construction team has responsibility for ……………. to ………… workers.

Questions 6 – 7

Label the diagram below with the correct dates using no more than one word and/or numbers.IELTS Listening Eiffel Tower



Click below to reveal the answers:

  1. engineers / chief engineers (either answer is correct)
  2. 1000
  3. 22 months (the number can be written as a hyphenated word. The word “months” must be plural.)
  4. a tenth (“a” is needed for the answer to be correct. All sentences must be grammatically correct when completed)
  5. 150    300 (both numbers are needed for the correct answer. No punctuation is required between them)
  6. 15 March 1888 / 15th March 1888 (the full date is required)
  7. 12 March  1889 / 12th March 1889 (the full date is required)

The plan to build a tower 300 metres high was conceived as part of preparations for the World’s Fair of 1889. Two chief engineers in Eiffel’s company, had the idea for a very tall tower in June 1884. The tower project was a bold extension of this principle – equivalent to the symbolic figure of 1000 feet.

The assembly of the supports began on July 1, 1887 and was completed twenty-two months later. All the elements were prepared in Eiffel’s factory located  on the outskirts of Paris. Each of the 18,000 pieces used to construct the Eiffel Tower were specifically designed and calculated, traced out to an accuracy of a tenth of a millimetre and then put together forming new pieces around five metres each. A team of constructors, who had worked on the great metal viaduct projects, were responsible for the 150 to 300 workers on site assembling this gigantic set.

Photographic evidence at the time showed the four stages of the construction of the Eiffel Tower. The first photo was taken after the construction of the first floor on the 15th March 1888 and the following photos were taken over a period of about a year. The constructions were finally finished on the 12th March 1889 which is when the last photo was taken. On the narrow platform at the top, Eiffel received his decoration from the Legion of Honour.

read more about the Eiffel Tower Construction 

  • conceived = thought up / planned
  • bold = daring / courageous
  • construct = build
  • calculated = measured
  • traced = copied
  • on site – at the location of the building
  • gigantic = huge
  • finished / completed


More IELTS Listening

IELTS Listening: 25 Essential Tips

IELTS Multiple Choice Tips

IELTS Listening: Numbers Practice

IELTS Listening: All Lessons, Tips and Practice

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  1. Dear Liz
    Special thanx for your helpful tips🙏🏻💗
    I jus followed all the instructions and im so pleased
    You share a great enegry during uour teaching👌🏻
    I hope you can get the posetive feedback from the students in your life
    Good luck😘

  2. In the last two questions we are instructed to write only a one word which means 1888 is a one word or a one number answer but in the answers you write data/day/year which means a three word. I don’t get this
    please explain me this point

    • You didn’t read the instructions properly:

      Label the diagram below with the correct dates using no more than one word and/or numbers.

      Can you see the instructions? You can write one word and numberS (plural). Always read the instructions very carefully.

  3. Dear Liz,

    Thank you so much for every single help you did. you are amazing women.

    My question is; i didn’t get used to write all the answers in capital letters, i practiced to use them but it makes me late in writing, what should i do with the answers in Reading and Listening? is it wrong if i used all in small letter or use the capital letter only in the beginning of a name ? could you advice me please?

  4. Dear Liz,

    I bought your Writing Task 2 advance videos. I will like to know if you have advance videos on Writing Task 1 and Reading.

    I am rewriting my IELTS in less than a month and need this to be the last shot at it. I always get let down in my IELTS writing. Speicifcally I think Task 2.

    Thank you always

    • Sorry, I don’t have more advanced lessons ready. My next advanced lesson will hopefully be Speaking Part 2.

  5. It is the first time that I hear you speaking slowly. Thank you for your great efforts.

  6. Hi Liz
    Thank you for posting the practice lessons
    I want to know should I write answers in all capital letters for e.g : CHIEF ENGINEERS, this you mean to say?

  7. Hi Liz

    Is ‘Chief Engineers’ same as ‘Chief engineers’?


  8. Sayek Ahmed Chowdhury says

    Hi liz
    I couldn’t understand how it’s one word.
    (12th March 1889)

  9. Mostafizur Rahman says

    Hello Liz,
    I lose my pace with the audio in sentence completion part of IELTS. Do you have any advise for it? If I can get this part done, I may score between 7.5 and 8.5 in listening.

    Kind Regards

    • You need to follow the order of the questions and identify key words in questions and the recording. Some key words will be paraphrased. Today, I’m posting a tough listening exercise that will challenge this aspect of listening.

  10. Dear Liz,
    Thank you for this amazing website. For question no. 4, is it okay if we write 1/10 instead of “a tenth”?
    Cheers 🙂

  11. Faryal Shaukat says

    Hey Liz!
    “Eiffel received his decoration from the Legion f Honour”.
    Why have they used his instead of its in the sentence?

  12. Indranil says

    Is 15th March 1888 is similar with “15/03/188”. Can I write the second one as answer and will that be a mistake?

  13. hey liz, i have a query regarding answers of diagram lablelling, it was written in instruction that no more than 2 words and or number but in answer of diagram labelling 2 numbers are used i.e 12 and 1889 ??? kindly clear this confusion
    thanks and regards

  14. Manoj Chaudhari says

    hi Liz,
    This is my first time to give IELTS exam, I have follow your all lessons, and I am understand your each word clearly, but when I listen record, many time I can not understand word clearly, please can you suggest me.
    Thanks & Regards,
    Manoj Chaudhari.

  15. Hi Liz,
    can i pause the recording while writing answers during the exam?

    • No. You do not control over the recording. The recording will be played only once in the test. You need to practice a full authentic listening test at home before the real test. You must practice a real test under exam conditions in your home.

  16. Chiqui Manzon Espinal says

    Hi Liz, I answered question number 4 as ‘a 10th’ instead of ‘ a tenth’. Could my answer be marked incorrect? As the instruction says, No more than two words and/or numbers. ‘a’ is considered as a word and 10th is a number.

  17. Attique Ur Rehman says

    Hi liz
    i have found your work is very immense and remarkable.

  18. Good evening Liz,
    i want to ask you about questions no. 6 and no. 7, it is asked using no more than one word, but they are already answered 3 words “12 March 1889”. I answered by writing 12 only. Did i get them wrong?

    • You really need to read the instructions more carefully.
      Questions 6 – 7: Label the diagram below with the correct dates using no more than one word and/or numbers.
      You can see that you can have one word and numbers – plural “s”. This means more than one number. So, 12 March 1889 is one word and two numbers – fine. Please watch the full video on this page:

      • Mohammad Abdus Salam says

        Hi Liz, It’s really a great help for the IELTS test takers. Thanks for your wondeful presentation.

  19. Good evening Liz,

    Does writing back-up or backup make difference? I keep doing similar mistakes, as well as writing midday instead of mid-day.

  20. Hi liz,
    Thank you so much for your help!
    In the IELTS Test, Could we listen to this type of listening only once or others two or three?

  21. Hello Liz,

    I cannot thank you enough for the information you’ve shared here, I’ve scored overall band of 7. Except for writing task which I’ve secured a band of 6, else were 7 band.
    Writing task score was less as I did not prepare for any topics and only watched your videos.
    My advice for all is to please practice mock essays else time management will be difficult.
    Liz, I thank you once again 🙂

  22. Liz, please, give more of those awesome listening exercises!
    Your lessons are among the most useful tools that I’ve ever found on internet to improve.

  23. Dear Liz,
    Could you send me you IELTS tips on my e-mail. I’d like to print them, but i can’t copy them from your website. Thank you!!

  24. Arun Rajput says

    I wrote 1/10th instead of A tenth, technically both are correct but which is correct when writing in IELTS?

  25. I got 6/7 on this topic, but whenever I have practiced, I couldn’t find any answers.

  26. Hello Liz,

    For the dates of constructions , instruction is to use no more than one word and/or number.
    So don’t you think answer should be 15-03-1888 and 12-03-1889 ?
    15th March 1889 would not be counted as 3 word ?

    Let me know the correct format.


  27. Dear liza ,

    thank you so much for your help , i try to downlod lessons and answer but it disable
    could you make it enable and downlodable

    thanks again

  28. Hi Liz

    Thank you for all this useful practice videos about the listening part.
    I’d like to print out all these test to practice in a more appropriate way. So, could i download these papers?

    Thak you in advance for your answers,
    Keep sharing your knowledge with us 😉

  29. Hi Liz,
    I am unable to play this. Could you please help me how to hear it?


  30. 1. As the question states that one word and one number so what about the answer
    15 march 1888
    2.Yous asked to keep the first letter capital so,what about the case for the answers stated above are correct?

  31. Hi mam Liz my name is usman Ali & i am preparing my IELTS test from your web & Youtube chanel & i dont know how to express my thanks to you because you provide us great opportunity .
    GOD bless you
    Take care

  32. khalid Hamdy says

    Dear Liz
    in listening i find difficulty in differentiating P and B when we are asked to complete a name or postcode ……can you please help ?

  33. Thaaaaank you alottttttt

  34. Hi Liz,
    I can score at least 26/40 from listening. i’m not good for multiple choice questions. What should I do? I’m going to do IELTS in 13th February. Help me Please.

  35. Perhaps that’s your great attempt for humanity, I think its helpful for those who plan for a better dream for ielts.

  36. Hi Liz,
    In number 4 my answer was 10th is the answer wrong or right?

    thankyou for your help 🙂

  37. Hello Liz,
    Thank you for your website. It’s really helpful. I am preparing for Ielts exam and my minimum requirement is 7.5 in each part which I think very tough for me. I’m very nervous about reading. I always find it difficult and can’t finish it within 20 minutes. Would you please suggest me how to increase the speed.? I think I will sit for ielts in January 2016 from Ireland. Is there any difference if I attended ielts from Bangladesh or Ireland. ? Some people says it’s easier in own country as the examiners are from tat country.
    If I get confused about the instructions like” no more than one word or/and numbers “and answer the question in numbers only like 15/03/1988 , then will it be correct. .?

    Thanks again for your valuable time and effort.
    May Allah be always with you.
    Sabrina, Ireland

    • Asslamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullah!
      Dear Sabrina,
      Hope, you are well enough by the blessing of Allah SWT.

      I am studying MSc in Islamic Finance with Scholarship. Now, preparing myself for the IELTS exam (Malaysia) and most probably, I will sit for the exam by the end of January 2016. Noteworthy to say, I also have the same expectation about the score like yours.

      Therefore, I think, as our goal and time period is same then, we may help each other in this regard and get benefit from. As such, I will be happy enough to have your email address to contact for. Thaks in advance.

      Jazakallah Khoiron.

      Best regards.
      Tanin, Malaysia

  38. Poonam mehta says

    Hello ma’am
    I have heard paper for working people( General)is of higher difficulty than for academic
    Is it so.please tell me

  39. gopal singh says

    How i can download audio, giving answer for these seven questions?

  40. Keep up the good work !

  41. Mohamed Ellethey says

    In Brief,
    thanks for your great efforts in helping all those who searching for such help. Really Allah Bless you.

  42. Questions 6 and 7 recquire no more than one word/numbers.

    The answer has three words/numbers (15 March 1988)

    I´m confused because I would never answer like that because of the question´s order.


    • Read the instructions carefully. “One word and/or numbers” – it is plural. That means you can have one word and many numbers.

  43. Hi Liz!

    In question #2 my answer is “a thousand”. Will it consider a correct one?

  44. It is useful but I can’t find the answer. Can you please help e to find the correct answer?

  45. Abdul Ghaffar Nizamani says

    Hi Liz
    I just want to appreciate your efforts for IELTS preparation. Your website is amazingly informative regarding IELTS and its preparation. I would like to thank you for this tremendous work, because this is a kind of torch for someone who is walking the dark. People like me who cannot afford the preparation expensive will always benefit from your site, and will pray for your good health and happiness. In a nutshell I would say that you are IELTS Angel for us all.
    Abdul Ghaffar Nizamani

  46. hi Liz! is 15th of March 1888 and 12th of March 1889 not allowed? “of”

  47. Good Evening ,Liz
    Just Wanted you to know that,You are the best in what you do .
    Khaled Sedeek
    English Tour Guide

    • Thanks. I’m glad you like my blog 🙂

      • You are so welcomed ,Am very grateful for you ! You simply has a very simple way which make things look easier .Am going to my GT exam in Nov ,and i have tried lots of videos till i found yours .Yes it helps a lot especially your British accent which i strive to learn too
        Thank you
        Best Regards
        Khaled 🙂

        • You’re welcome. I’m glad the lessons are useful. I’ll try and post more letter models and lessons for GT students in the future.

  48. Hi Liz,
    Thanks for the answers. Actually the error with the audios was temporary and solved.
    Enjoy your time and Good Luck!

  49. Hi plz can u give me some tips to getting 6.5 band in IELTS, I still got 5.5 band

    • Tips will not change your score if you are scoring around 5.5 in the four skills. You need to improve your English language to improve your score.
      All the best

  50. Dear Liz,

    I came across your YouTube videos quite by chance after viewing so many other videos and sites, and I have to say you are the best. After visiting your website I feel less stressed and more relaxed due to your excellent tips and teaching method which have been quite helpful. The love and passion you have for teaching is so obvious and impressive which made me to recommend your site to my other friends, They also feel excited about your site and are getting a lot of help. I have two questions:

    1. I am living in Canada, how can I buy your videos which are for sale?
    2. None of the listening practice test are working on my IPad, how can I have the records?

    Wish all the Best and Good Luck!

  51. HI LIZ

  52. Hi Liz,

    Many thanks for the lesson.

    Is it correct to have the word ‘thousand’ instead of 1000 in the second question. Because in this case I’m largely used to writing words, not figures. I don’t know why but I produced it automatically )

    Kind regards

    • It is usual to write numbers as digits not words. I can’t say if you would lose marks but I wouldn’t take a chance.
      All the best

  53. hi Liz
    I am finding your blog very usefull.I got overall a band of 6 hoping on 8th octomber i will hit score 7.

  54. melissa.cabrera says

    Hi Liz,

    I’m bit confuse for a type of question that needs two answers like question #5, is it okay to write 150/300 or 150,300? How do I separate the answers? Will have my exam this coming October.


  55. many thank I am staying now unavailable internet conection. Thank a lot for your lesson.

  56. it’s a trick qn for 6 and 7.That is a word and/ or numbers.I ve just written a word and a number

    • It is a question which tests your ability to read and follow instructions. The instructions tell you to write a date. Always read the instructions fully. The instructions also say “no more than one word and/or a number” which means it is possible to have only a number. You must learn to follow and understand instructions. See my 25 tips lesson on the listening page of this blog to learn more. This is the reason many students lose points in their real test.
      All the best

  57. Muhammed Shamsuddin says

    Thank you madam

  58. Hi Liz,

    Is it common in the real test situations asking for a specific date with no more than 2 words/number? In this case is always the full date required or simple the year is considered right?


  59. Hi Liz,
    Many thanks for the listening lesson. I’ve answered 1/10 instead of a tenth on question no.4. Not sure if this is acceptable for examiner?


  60. Dear Liz
    Can we assume the full date as ” one word and numbers “?
    It is a good point for me as I may write only ” year”, and could lose marks.
    Thank you very much for your lessons.
    Best regards

    • The answer contains two numbers and one word. The instructions allow for one word and numbers (plural). You must have the full date for this to be correct. Always look at the word count.
      All the best

  61. Thank you Liz,

    You are very helpful.

  62. Hi Liz

    Thanks will do take note of that.I am finding your blog very useful, I am writing my IETLS on the 8th of October.


  63. Hi Liz

    My answers are as follows

    1) Chief Engineers
    2) one thousand
    3) twenty-two months
    4) A tenth
    5) 150 and 300

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