Highlight Correct Summary

Highlight Correct Summary

Reading Time: 9 minutes

Part 3: Listening

Highlight Correct Summary

Made Easy

  • Type of recording: audio only (not video)
  • Length of recording: 15–60 seconds
  • Number of Summaries: 4
  • Number of these tasks: 1 - 2
  • Total Listening Time: 20 - 23 minutes

Highlight incorrect words tests your ability to find differences between words you hear and words you read.

You will see a video. Click on the paragraph that best relates to the video.

  • Listening
    up to 2 points
  • Reading
    up to 2 points

Top Strategies for Success in Highlight Correct Summary

Eliminating false options

In Highlight correct summary tasks, it’s important to eliminate false options. Practise identifying them by thinking about their common characteristics.


Sometimes whole sentences will directly contradict the original paragraph. However, in some cases it might only be a few words that are wrong. For example, everyone believes that… might be an incorrect summary compared to some people believe that … Check that the summary correctly represents the subject(s) and object(s); the time scale and sequence of events; the arguments for or against; the proportions and percentages, and so on..


If a summary mentions details that were not in the recording, it will be incorrect. Sometimes it can be difficult to know whether information was mentioned. Therefore, it’s important to take notes while listening. For example, if the summary mentions nuclear and solar power, but you are sure you only heard about nuclear power and have no mention of solar power in your notes, the summary is likely to be incorrect.


If a summary fails to mention the main ideas of the recording, and talks only about the supporting points, it is an ineffective summary. For example, if the summary talks only about population growth, when the recording spoke about different effects of urbanisation, it is unlikely to be the correct summary.

  • Practice Tips
    Follow To Succeed

Find some podcasts or lectures (you may find some online) on serious or academic topics.

  • Listen to around 30 seconds of the audio, taking notes of the main ideas. Then pause and write a summary sentence of what you heard. Practise this, using longer and longer extracts, until you can listen for 90 seconds and write a longer summary.
  • Go back to your summary a few days later. Listen to the lecture again and check your summary. Is there anything you can change to make it better?

Practice reading quickly for general information. Find five paragraphs (approximately 50 words in each) from academic texts. Then try to read each paragraph in 10 seconds, in order to understand its general meaning. Then check your understanding by reading carefully.

  • Language focus

Find some transcripts of lectures (some university lectures or serious online sources will have these).
Read short extracts and identify the main points, along with any supporting details.
• Identify language that introduces a main idea or a supporting detail (e.g. We need to focus on …, The issue here is …, What we’ve discovered is …, For instance, To illustrate, On the contrary, etc.).
• Listen to the audio while reading the transcript. Notice how the speaker emphasises key words with stress or intonation. Underline these.
• You can also listen without reading. Make notes on what you hear and then check your notes against the transcript to see whether you noted down all the main ideas.

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Skim at least one of the four summaries very quickly, to get a general idea of the topic and main ideas. They will usually be on the same topic as the recording, so you don’t have to read them all to understand what the topic is.

Get your pen and erasable booklet ready


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As you listen, take notes of the main ideas and supporting details using your erasable booklet and pen. Include, for example, any data used to support an idea or opinion, or any ideas that the speaker implies.

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Check the remaining option or options against your notes, making sure your final choice accurately contains any main ideas and supporting information that was mentioned in the recording. Even if you are not sure which paragraph is the correct summary, choose the one that best matches your understanding of the recording. It is better to guess than leave this task unanswered.


After the recording stops, eliminate any paragraphs that:

  • contain incorrect information;
  • contain information that was not mentioned in the paragraph;
  • only focus on details and not the main ideas.

Use your notes to help you, if you made any.

Remember, What To Do What Not To Do In Highlight Correct Summary

Practise Highlight correct summary 2 here if you want to try Highlight correct summary without a time limit. Think about the strategies mentioned above. Then follow the task instructions.

You will hear a short lecture. Click on the paragraph that best relates to the recording..

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. Correct: ‘… foods such as vegetables, wholegrains, um beans, fruits, nuts…’, ‘…consumption of animal protein is generally on the lower side, fish does feature prominently…’, ‘…beneficial effect on heart health, and this diet has been linked in numerous studies with not only that, but also improved brain function and longer life expectancy.’, ‘…it is often the combination of these specific nutrients, teamed with regular physical activity…’, ‘it may also just be that the people who eat a Mediterranean Diet are those that tend to have a healthier lifestyle in general.’
  2. Incorrect: Contradictory information: Speaker states that healthy fats are emphasised (not that they ‘shouldn’t be used excessively’) due to their perceived beneficial effects on heart health. 
  3. Incorrect: Information not mentioned: speaker does not mention white versus red meat. 
  4. Incorrect: Contradictory information: Speaker states that small, simple additions like these to the current diet are insufficient for gaining the benefits associated with the Mediterranean diet.

Common Mistakes Problems Errors In Highlight Correct Summary

Be prepared to be flexible with your ideas while you listen. Sometimes it’s easy to think you have identified all the key information after the first part of the recording, but you might change your mind later on. Always listen carefully until the end.

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!

Don't read the options before or while you are listening to the recording as there is too much to read, and this will distract you. Instead, note down the key ideas on your erasable note-board booklet as you listen (e.g., key words and phrases, numbers, names and dates and any information that is highlighted by the speaker through stress and intonation).

Then read the options and match the option that is closest in detail to your notes:

Your response for Highlight Correct Summary is judged on your ability to comprehend, analyze, and combine information from a recording and identify the most accurate summary of the recording. Your response is scored as either correct or incorrect. No credit is given for no response or an incorrect response.

• This question type affects the scoring of listening and reading.
• Your speaking and writing skills are not tested by this question type.
• For more information download the Score Guide.