How To Do IELTS Listening Sentence Completion Questions

Remember, the IELTS listening test has 4 parts each with 10 questions and lasts for 30 minutes in total. After that you will then have 10 minutes to move your answers to the answer sheet provided.

      - Part 1 is a general conversation between 2 people.

      - Part 2 is a monologue with just one person talking about a general topic.

      - Part 3 is an everyday conversation between 2-3 people.

      - Part 4 is one speaker giving an academic lecture.

Sentence completion in the IELTS listening test is often more difficult than it ought to be.  This is how one might appear:


Below is my step by step guide on how to do IELTS sentence completion questions:

1. Read all of the question instructions carefully and check if there is a word limit.

2. Take a moment to understand the meaning of the sentences given.

3. Predict what the answer might be. Is it a phone number a name, a verb and so on.

4. Listen closely to the recording and fill in the gaps.

5. Check quickly for spelling and grammar.

Tips and Tricks

The sentences you are given are not the same as the sentences you will hear in the recording. The sentences are paraphrases of what is said in the recording. Your job is to listen of for words or phrases in the recording that would complete the sentences appropriately.

You can normally guess the word type that is required to fill the gap, this gives you an additional clue of what you should be listening out for.

Complete the sentences using the exact words, phrases or numbers that you hear in the gaps on your question paper, and double check your spelling as you will not gain marks for incorrectly spelt words.

Pay close attention to the words that come immediately before and after the gap as they can give additional clues as to when the correct answer might be mentioned.

A Few More Ideas To Help:

Sometimes between recordings there is an opportunity for a short break. Avoid using this time to check previous answers and instead use this to read ahead and understand the upcoming multiple choice questions.

Don’t get ‘held up’ on one question if you are not sure, make your best guess and be ready for the next question.

If you hear words such as, ‘even though’, ‘but’, or ‘however’ then this can be a sign that the meaning of a sentence is going to be modified in some way which may affect your choice.

And finally, make sure you are clear on the the steps you are going to go through when answering each IELTS listening question type. Practicing the steps will give you confidence and help you remain calm on test day AND hopefully boost your score!

Free IELTS Listening Samples And Practice Tests

A full online version of the listening test from the British Council.

Another full test test to try here from IDP.

How To Do IELTS Listening Part 1, Part 2, Part3, Part 4

1 Comment

  • JobJP

    Reply Reply March 15, 2020

    Could you help me with the IELTS listening all 4 parts

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