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IELTS Listening:
Tips for Summary Completion Question

You will be provided with a few sentences summarising the audio clip. Though these sentences are taken from the audio, the vocabulary that are used in the clip and in the text may not be the same. You know IELTS examiners almost always use synonyms and paraphrases as a trick to test you vocabulary skill.


Apart from vocabulary, there are many other issues that you need to bear in mind when you address a summary completion question in IELTS listening test. At first take a look at the example from an actual test question:


IELTS Listening Summary Completion Question

Source: Cambridge English IELTS Past Papers

In the example above, you are asked to complete the summary by filling the gaps. You are not allowed to write more than two words for each answer. At the end of the listening test, you will transfer your answere in the boxes (31 - 34) of answer sheet.

Solution Tips for a Summary Completion

  • Look at the instruction sentence carefully. There might be some guidelines about how many words you are allowed to use for each answer. 

  • You know you will get 30 - 45 seconds before the audio clip begins, use this time wisely by taking a quick look at the summary text. This strategy will help you get an understanding of the summary in advance before you start listening. 

  • Identify the keywords in the summary that the speaker might be using frequently.

  • Find out the word types (noun, adjective, verb, adverb etc.) that you might need to fill the gaps.

  • Try to predict the words that you might need to answer the questions and also think about the possible synonyms that you are going to listen. For example, if there is a sentence in the text like "football is the most favorite game all around the world", you might hear it as "wherever you go on earth, you will find no other sports that can beat the popularity of football."

Don't forget to check this resource:

Essential grammar and vocabulary for IELTS

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