IELTS Listening Form Completion

The first part of the IELTS listening test often consists of a form completion task. These questions are usually fairly simple, although they do require some concentration to ensure that you record the correct information in the form.

Strategy

Although these questions should not be too challenging, there are strategies you can employ to ensure you do well in these questions. If you do find these form completion questions difficult, you should work on your listening before attempting IELTS.

Perhaps the most important strategy (as with all listening questions) is to read the rest of the form first. As you will see, there are some things we can do when we are preparing to listen. 

Step 1: Read the Instructions

Well actually, you only need to read a small part of the instructions. Have a look at the example instructions from an IELTS listening form-filling task:

SECTION 1
Questions 1-8
Complete the form below.
Write NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS AND/OR A NUMBER.

You simply need to know how many words you can write, and whether that includes a number.

Step 2: Read the Questions and Predict

The next step is to read the questions. While reading, you can anticipate what information you need to complete the gaps.

Have a look at the questions from an IELTS listening below. What information should you be listening for?

PACKHAM’S SHIPPING AGENCY – customer quotation form

Name: Jacob 1 ______
Address to be collected from: 2 ______ College, Downlands Rd
Town: Bristol
Postcode: 3 ______
Size of container:

  • Length: 1.5m
  • Width: 4 ______
  • Height: 5 ______

Contents:

  • clothes
  • 6 ______
  • 7 ______

Total estimated value: 8 £______

  1. A surname. This is unlikely to be something common like Smith. It will probably be spelt out at least once.
  2. The name of a college. This could be anything, but is likely to be the name of a place.
  3. You may not know how UK post codes are constructed, but you are listening for a combination of letters and numbers.
  4. Another measurement. Since length is in metres, it is likely that the width is also in metres. Generally we consider the width to be shorter than the length.
  5. Another measurement, again probably in metres. We can’t be sure, but it is probably also shorter than the length.
  6. Something else which a college student might have e.g. books
  7. Another thing that a college student might have e.g. CDs
  8. An amount which the things are worth, in pounds. As this is a student we can assume it is unlikely to be tens of thousands of pounds worth of stuff.

Step 3: Listen and Write the Answers

Now is the time to listen and write the answers. While doing this:

  • Try to follow the recording by making sure you move to the next question when you hear them talk about that point.
  • If you hear something spelt out, write it on the paper somewhere. There is a good chance it is important.

1 Mkere
2 Westall
3 BS8 9PU
4 0.75 m/metre(s)/meter(s) (wide) / three(-)quarter(s) (of) (a) metre/meter (wide) / ¾ m (wide) / 75 cm(s) (wide)
5 0.5 m/metre(s)/meter(s) (high/deep) / (a) half (a) metre/meter (high/deep) / ½ m (high/deep) / 50 cm(s) (high/deep)
6 & 7 in either order

  • (some) books
  • (some) toys

8 1,700

Words in brackets are optional but correct. Alternatives are indicated by a slash (/).

Step 4: Check Your Answers

After each set of questions, the recording will tell you that you have some time to check your answers. However, that isn’t really possible. You will not see the correct answers, so how can you check? Instead you should check that you have answered all of the questions, then go to the next questions and start reading.

Acknowledgement

Both the listening audio and questions are available as free samples from IDP and can be downloaded here.

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