In the IELTS listening test, you may have to complete a flowchart, table, notes, a summary or a form. In this post, we will look at how you should answer these types of questions in more detail.
It is really important that you read the instructions of the questions carefully, often when people do not read them and follow them correctly they lose marks. When you are asked to complete questions, you will also be enlightened as to what information you can put into the gaps.
For example, you may be asked to:
Write NO MORE THAN ONE WORD for each answer
Write NO MORE THAN ONE WORD AND/OR A NUMBER for each answer
Write NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS for each answer
If your answer does not follow the instructions given, it will be marked as incorrect.
As the answers require you to follow strict instructions about how many words or numbers you can use in your answers, you may need to change the verbs to nouns, nouns to verbs or verb-adverb combinations to other words.
- Once the ingredients had been added the mixture was pliable.
- When you add the ingredients you will see the mixture start to change.
- After adding the two main ingredients, the mixture was ready to be stirred.
Each example gives you the same idea, using different words. The listening test will test your ability to use language to show your understanding.
You must also be aware of synonyms and paraphrasing, as the words used in the listening test may say for example ‘travel’ and on the paper say ‘excursion’.
Completing A Flowchart
You may see a flowchart that requires you to listen to the recording and then fill in the missing words.
Look at the flowchart below, would you be able to guess the missing words before listening to the recording?
Example Flowchart Question
Write NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS for each answer.
Answers at the bottom of the page.
Notes are often numbered or organised with bullet points. They may also be organised by heading and subheading followed by the organised information.
You would hear information that will allow you to complete the notes by filling in the missing information.
Example Notes Question
Write NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS AND/OR A NUMBER for each answer.
History of The Acropolis
- A temple to the goddess 31. …………………………
- A symbol of culture and 32. ……………………………………..
- Full of decoration, the Parthenon was home to a detailed 33. ……………………………. above the columns.
- The Parthenon had been built for 34. ……………………… years.
- The Parthenon was attacked during 35. …………………….
- Later on, Lord Elgin wanted to remove the 36. ………………………………….. and take them to England.
Completing A Table
You may be asked to complete a table, with gaps for you to complete. The headings in the table will tell you the type of information you will hear and need to listen for. You may have a gap fill table or a task to complete a table with a list of words in a box to choose from.
To complete a table you will need to write words that you hear in the recording during the test. You will be given a number of words and/or numbers to write in the instructions.
Example Table Question
You would hear information during the test that will allow you to complete the table by filling in the missing words/numbers.
Complete Questions 5-8.
Write NO MORE THAN ONE WORD AND/OR A NUMBER.
Trains To Berwick
Completing A Summary
Summaries are seen often, from recommending a book, movie or even a restaurant, we summarise the events. When you see a summary question in the listening test, it will look similar to other summary exercises you have seen, including gap-fill questions. The summary answers do require you to show that your answers are grammatically correct.
You will hear information that will allow you to complete the summary by filling in the missing information.
Before listening to the sound clip you should read through the paragraph and try to predict the word that would be suitable for each gap.
Example Summary Question
Complete the summary below.
Choose ONE WORD ONLY from the passage for each answer.
How To Write A Speech
This is the second most important thing you need to do when you are creating your speech. The first thing you should do is understand what your 37. …………………………….. will be. How do you plan on getting people’s attention? You need to think of something that will link to the 38. ……………. this is the idea that you are trying to sell or the point you are making to your audience. The next thing you need to include is the 39. ……………………….. this would be the main points you are getting across. Next, you would have a call to action, telling them what you want them to do. Finally, you will 40. …………………………. and link this back to the opening.
Answers at the bottom of the page.
Completing A Form
You have probably filled out many forms during your life, for courses, official documents or job applications. In the listening test, you may see a form with missing information, which includes names, dates and numbers.
You would hear information in the test that will allow you to complete the form by filling in the missing information.
Before listening to the sound clip during the test you should read through the form and try to predict the word that would be suitable for each gap.
REVIEW AND STRATEGY
TIP >> Read the instructions and questions before you start listening to the recording. What are you being asked to do? Familiarise yourself with the questions and think about the context.
TIP >> Look at the information/options you have been given and highlight any keywords.
TIP >> Listen carefully for information but be wary of distractors.
TIP >> Be aware of paraphrasing and synonyms.
TIP >> If you do miss an answer or were not sure, then it is ok to take a guess. This is better than leaving a blank space and you never know, you might answer correctly!
Flowchart Answers >>
B – cornstarch
C – smooth
D – slime
E – solid
F – liquid
Notes Answers >>
36. marble friezes
Summary Answers >>
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