Sentence Completion Questions

In this post, we will look at sentence completion questions in the listening test.

Similar to short-answer questions, sentence completion questions are designed to assess your ability to find specific information. You will have to choose the right words or keywords from a text to complete a sentence. The words will be in the text and when you write them, they must be grammatically correct

The questions will paraphrase the information from the recording, or a speaker in the recording may paraphrase, so you will have to use your knowledge of synonyms, noticing any keywords and terms. Recognising and using synonyms shows the examiner that you have good vocabulary knowledge. Paraphrasing is a skill that is needed in all parts of the test.

A question might paraphrase an idea during the recording.

For example;

  • The trip we went on was meant to last five days.
  • The journey we took was supposed to be for just less than a week.
  • The place we visited first was beautiful.
  • The area we toured, to begin with, was stunning.
  • The shuttle bus took us from the hotel into the town.
  • We were provided with free transport to the metropolis.

Examples of Synonyms

Money = cost / price / cash / pay

Location = area / district / neighbourhood

Transport = carriage / transportation / shipment

Journey = adventure / expedition / exploring

An effect = consequence / development

A cause = motive / purpose


Grammatical Accuracy

Each sentence must be grammatically correct and complete with the word limit expressed in the instructions. Don't use more words than you are allowed according to the instructions in the question. 

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.

Always read the questions before you listen to the recording and predict the type of words you would be able to use. 

For example;

The Great North Run is on .....................................

Possible answers

An adverbial time phrase: The Great North Run is on - every year, once a year, in the summer.

A prepositional phrase that expresses a place: The Great North Run is on - in Newcastle, in the North-East, in the North.


Exercise 1

Read the questions first before you listen to the recording.

Write NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS AND/OR A NUMBER for each answer.

1. Running in the race was the well known male runner ..................................

2. The race was on in the ....................................

3. This is the ........................................

4. Taking part in the race are ................................................

Answers at the bottom of the page.


Exercise 2

For most of the sentence completion questions you have to complete the end of the question, but there are other questions that will ask you to fill in gaps in other places. This could be at the beginning or the middle of a sentence

Read the questions first before you listen to the recording.

Write NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS for each answer.

1. Prince Harry came home with three .................... ......................... people.

2. Prince Harry thinks that to him we are all the same and the people he worked with know him as ......................... ................................... not just as a prince. 

3. They want an ................................. to ............................... to themselves that they are the same people. 

4. Prince Harry wants to make sure that the mood is ........................................... and that the everyone .................................. it. 

Answers at the bottom of the page. 


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!


Answers >>

Exercise 1

1. Mo Farah

2. the North East

3. the 36th Race

4. different nationalities

Exercise 2

1. seriously wounded

2. Captain Wales

3. opportunity / prove

4. electric / enjoy


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