Table Completion IELTS Listening

This is the third of five kinds of questions that require you to fill in the gaps in a listening text.

1. Table Completion Question Type Explained

For table completion, you will summarize information in categories. Completing a form can sometimes involve a lot of numerical information; for example, place, time, and price.

This is a very common question type, especially in Part 1. You will hear many kinds of conversations and other audio recordings. Occasionally, you will be given a word bank from which to choose your answers.

2. This is how the question will appear on your question paper:

Table Completion Practice and Tips

3. Tips Before You Listen

Here are some tips that will help you before you listen to the audio:

  • Read the instructions carefully! Don’t write any more words and numbers than what the instructions allow you to write. If you do, your answer will be incorrect, even if you technically have the correct answer.
  • You will have time to read the notes before the recording plays. Notice if the gap requires a word or a number.
  • You will need to listen for specific details and key words.
  • Mark key words from the sentences, so you can listen for them.
  • Think of synonyms for these key words that you might hear.
  • Based on the form, predict the topic and possible content of the audio you are about to hear.
  • Reading the headings and subheadings will give you a good idea of what you need to listen for.
  • Be sure to also read the lines of the form that have no gaps. This will help you keep your place in the audio as you listen.
  • If you have a word bank, the answers may be listed randomly, in no particular order.

4. While you Listen

Here are tips to consider as you are listening:

  • The gaps will be in the same order as the information you hear.
  • Write numbers in numerical form to prevent spelling mistakes.
  • Write the EXACT WORDS you hear in the audio recording.
  • Focus on the main points which a listener would normally record in this kind of situation.
  • It is allowed and advisable to write your answers in all capital letters. They are easier to read, and you can avoid incorrect capitalization, which would be marked incorrect.
  • Check the progression of questions carefully. The questions will not necessarily go from left to right in the table.

If you have trouble with a question, make an educated guess and move on. You don’t want to lose your place in the audio and risk missing even more questions. Don’t leave any answers blank, even if you have to guess.

5. Ready to try a sample question?

First, read through the form quickly, paying special attention to the words and numbers around each gap. Then, click play and listen to the audio to find the answers. During the actual exam, you will only be able to hear the audio once, so try to answer the questions as you listen one time. Of course, since you are practicing, you may listen to the audio multiple times to become more familiar with the question type and how to answer it.

Ready? Here are the questions.

You will hear a man and a woman discussing their opinions of a course they recently completed. First you have some time to look at Questions 21-30.

Table Completion Practice and Tips

Now, listen to the audio and answer the question.

IELTS Listening Table Completion Practice and Tips

  1. 21.
  2. 22.
    July 16
  3. 23.
    (course) syllabus
  4. 24.
  5. 25.
    course delivery
  6. 26.
    standard of teaching
  7. 27.
  8. 28.
    oral presentation
  9. 29.
  10. 30.
    student support

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