Fill in the Blanks: Listening

Fill in the Blanks: Listening

Reading Time: 9 minutes

Part 3: Listening

Fill in the Blanks: Listening

Made Easy

  • Type of recording: audio only (not video)
  • Length of recording: 30–60 seconds
  • Number of Missing Words: 4 - 6
  • Number of these tasks: 2 - 3
  • Total Listening Time: 20 - 23 minutes

Fill in the blanks: listening and writing tests your ability to write the correct words in blanks while listening to a recording. This may involve reconstructing partially-heard words from your language knowledge and the context.

You will hear a recording. Type the missing words in each blank.

  • Listening
    up to 12 points
  • Writing
    up to 8 points

Top Strategies for Success in Fill in the Blanks: Listening

Practise these skills

Skimming a text to gain a general idea of the topic. You should do this before you listen to help you focus on the words you might hear.

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Quick note-taking. You might find it easier to type as you listen, but taking notes and completing the blanks at the end is also a good strategy.

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Paying attention to your spelling. Spelling words correctly could be the difference between getting an answer right or wrong in this task.

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Reading at the same time as listening. In this task type, you will need to follow the script on screen so you don’t get lost or miss any words.

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Checking your answers at the end.

• You will need to quickly review your work and make sure the words you wrote make sense.
• Using grammar clues to make sure you typed the correct form of the word (e.g. verb tense, noun, adverb or adjective, etc. …)

  • Practice Tips
    Follow To Succeed

Use online listening gap-fill activities to practise choosing grammatically correct words for blanks in texts.

Find some academic podcasts or lectures online.
• Listen and pause every 20 seconds. While paused, type the last word you heard, with the spell-checker switched off.
• Play each part again to check that the word you wrote makes sense in the sentence.
• When you have finished, check your spelling in a dictionary.

Practise taking notes while listening and also typing into blanks as you listen. Decide which you’re better at, and then use your preferred approach in the test. You will need to type quickly during the test, so practise doing this as much as you can in English.

  • Language focus

Create a word bank for yourself and add the new words you learn.
• Add as many forms of the word as you can, such as noun, verb, adjective and adverb, e.g. distinction (n), distinguish (v), distinct (adj).
• Add synonyms (words with the same meaning), antonyms (words with the opposite meaning) and collocations to the collection to expand your vocabulary range. For example, if you add distinct, you could also add indistinct. Try to make this a daily habit.
• Learn the spellings of the new words.
• Practise being able to guess the spelling of unfamiliar words. Write down words you hear in online videos, academic podcasts and lectures. Then check the spelling of these words, in a transcript (if there is one available) or in a dictionary.

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BEFORE LISTENING

Read the text quickly to get a general idea of the topic and the ideas that may go in the blanks. This will help you later if you only partially hear one of the words.

Put your cursor in the first blank or get your pen and erasable booklet ready.

WHILE LISTENING

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Follow the written text by moving the cursor along with the text or by clicking on each blank as you listen, so you don’t miss a blank.

Either write the missing words in your erasable booklet (and fill the blanks after listening), or type them directly into the blanks as you listen.

If you take notes, you might want to use abbreviations for the words (e.g. write disc if you hear discount).

Don’t stop to read what you have typed, or you might lose your place. If you don’t know one of the words, write something to represent its sound – you can go back later.

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FINALLY

Read the whole text from start to finish, checking that it makes sense with the words you added. Only make changes at this stage if you are sure something is incorrect. necessary.

AFTER LISTENING

Follow the written text by moving the cursor along with the text or by clicking on each blank as you listen, so you don’t miss a blank.

Either write the missing words in your erasable booklet (and fill the blanks after listening), or type them directly into the blanks as you listen.

If you take notes, you might want to use abbreviations for the words (e.g. write disc if you hear discount).

Don’t stop to read what you have typed, or you might lose your place. If you don’t know one of the words, write something to represent its sound – you can go back later.

Remember, What To Do What Not To Do In Fill in the Blanks: Listening

Practise Fill in the blanks: listening and writing 2 here if you want to try Fill in the blanks: listening and writing without a time limit. Think about the strategies mentioned above. Then follow the task instructions.

You will hear a recording. Type the missing words in each blank.

1. Use the checklist below to decide what you did well and what you need to practise more. Set aside time to work on each area that you want to improve.

2. Check the answer given below. Was your answer correct? Try to think about how you could improve.

1. pull
2. bending
3. avoid
4. difficult
5. repair

Common Mistakes Problems Errors In Fill in the Blanks: Listening

During Fill in the blanks: listening and writing, you need to read a transcript while listening to the recording. Read the text at the same speed as the speaker is talking. If you get behind, it can make it difficult to complete these tasks successfully.

Listening items (apart from Summarize spoken text) are not timed individually. You will have between 20 to 23 minutes for all the listening items (excluding Summarizing Spoken Text). Make sure you practice managing your time effectively across all the tasks, to give yourself sufficient time to complete them

Quick Tips Strategies For Better Score!

In the seven seconds before the recording begins, you only have time to skim the text. As you do this, ignore the gaps and try to get an overall idea of what the text is about. This will help you recognize the words that fit the gaps, as you hear them.

Some of the things you can look for:

• Proper nouns (that begin with a capital letter). They can give you information about people and what they do (e.g., 'Mike Griffiths ... conservationist'), places (e.g., 'Indonesian island of Sumatra') and organizations (e.g., 'conservation group The Leuser International Foundation'). (Don't worry if you don't know where or who they are).

Nouns that are repeated in the text. They may help you decide on the topic.

The recording is at normal speed and is only played once. When you are listening, you do not have time to think about how to spell the missing words. Use your erasable note-board booklet to write down what you think you hear:

After the recording has finished, you can read through the text, and use your notes to decide on the words that are missing and how they are spelled. Then type them into the gaps:

Remember, the next item does not start until you click Next (N) at the bottom of the screen, so you have a little time to think about your answers.

Your response for Fill in the Blanks is judged on your ability to listen for missing words in a recording and type the missing words into a transcription. Your score on Fill in the blanks is based on the following factor:

Content: Does your response include all the missing words?

Content is scored by counting the number of right words with correct spelling in your response. Each correct word spelled correctly scores one point.

Notes
• If all blanks are filled with the right word spelled correctly, you receive the maximum score points for this question type. If one or more blanks are filled incorrectly, partial credit scoring applies. This question type affects the scoring of listening and writing.
• Your speaking skills are not tested by this question type, and your reading skills are only used to read the instructions and the transcription.
• For more information download the Score Guide.