1. Introduction to IELTS Listening Summary Completion Questions


A summary which means a short description consists of opinions and/or key information about a specific topic. Therefore, to face up to IELTS Listening Summary Completion Questions, you should make the most of two essential skills including summarising and paraphrasing skills. 


You, of course, will be listening to the recording and at the same time, will be filling in the gaps for those questions that sum up a segment of the audio. Nonetheless, the speaker will use different words from the Summary Completion Questions but with the same meaning. In other words, you need to read questions to get the best understanding, then listen to the recording with synonyms & paraphrases describing the summary and try to figure out details to complete the blanks. 


ielts listening summary completion

summary completion ielts listening

You need to bear in mind that preparing a good strategy, practicing day by day, and taking some tips into account will help you pass IELTS Listening Summary Completion Questions.


2. IELTS Listening Summary Completion Questions Strategies


2.1. Read the instructions carefully


Don’t rush to jump immediately into the summary because the word limit will importantly decide whether your answers are accepted or not. Underline or highlight the requirements for how many words you are allowed to write as soon as you see it. 



Write ONLY ONE WORD for each answer.

Write NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS for each answer.



2.2. Read the summary and Identify keywords


Now, look at the title of the summary (if any) to be aware of the topic you are going to hear. Then, move to the summary below and identify keywords with underlined or highlighted marks to take notice of when you need to fill in gaps. 


ielts listening summary completion strategies


While getting the general idea of the summary, try to think of some synonyms or paraphrases that the speaker may use in the audio. For example, with the sentence “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.” in the recording.


2.3. Predict the answers


Within 30 seconds to prepare before the audio plays, you also should guess the word types (noun, verb, adjective, preposition, etc.) of each gap so as to limit the possibilities or hesitations. 


ielts listening summary completion questions strategies


Or, you can make further predictions based on the meaning, grammatical structure, etc. For instance, for the summary above:


  • Question 27: an essential criteria for learning (determination, motivation, inspiration, etc.)


  • Question 28: a skill needed for both studying and working (organisation, time management, etc.) 


  • Question 29: a format of the course


  • Question 30: a place


2.4. Listen and fill in the blanks


It’s time to listen to the recording and check your understanding and all the preparation steps. Pay attention to the keywords around the gaps to know when the answers are coming.


2.5. Double-check answers


Your answers must be correct in terms of meaning, grammar, and spelling at the same time. Therefore, take advantage of the last 10 minutes to check those in detail to maximise your score.


>>> Read more: Strategies and tips for IELTS listening short answer questions


3. Tips for IELTS Listening Summary Completion


ielts listening summary completion tips

  • The examiners occasionally want to test your ability to identify linking words of contrast such as but, sorry, except for, apart from, etc., so be careful with those words and information around it
    (e.g. ““The cost to build Sydney Opera House was estimated at $7 million. However, the final bill came to $102 million and it was largely paid for by a State Lottery.””)


  • Give answers for all blanks with both certain and uncertain answers


  • The words you are allowed to write will be one of the most fundamental criteria in the test, so make sure you have checked the instructions carefully (NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS)


  • Utilise your summarising and paraphrasing skills to deal with this question type


  • Based on grammatical structure, collocations, or context, you can guess or check your answers


  • Signposting words or phrases like “Let’s move on…”, “Let’s take a look at…”, or “Firstly, …”, will help you locate the information of each question more easily


  • Do multitasking: read, listen, and answer at the same time. Don’t separate those aspects of your process will be broken down


  • Use your time wisely and don’t be stuck in one question for too long


IELTS Listening Summary Completion Questions may be tough with multiskills and multitasks needed, but with good preparation and daily practice, you can dominate this question type. Install IELTS TEST PRO to learn and practice more!