IELTS Listening Flow Chart Completion

Flow chart completion questions sometimes appear in the second or third part of the IELTS listening test.

In this task type you are presented with a flow chart which contains some gaps. You need to listen and identify the correct words to complete the gaps.

Strategy

Like other completion tasks in the IELTS listening test, the key to doing well is to anticipate the words which are missing and to know when to move on.

Step 1: Read the Instructions

Before you listen, you have some time to read the instructions and questions.

The instructions will tell you how many words you may write and whether the answer could also include a number. For example, the instructions may say:

Write ONE WORD ONLY for each answer.

Typically the instructions will say to write between one and three words and may also allow a number.​

Step 2: Read the Questions

Having read the instructions, you should next read the flow chart. Here you are aiming to do two things:

1. Identify key words which will tell you when to move to the next question.

2. Anticipate what could be missing from the gap.

Identifying Key Words

You should identify key words for all of the questions except the first. For the first question, you will be listening for this answer from the moment the audio begins.

A good key word is one which is likely to be said in the recording, but is not likely to be repeated many times.

Anticipating the Answer

While looking for key words, you should also anticipate what type of information is missing from each gap.

As you will be completing a flow chart, the words will very often be nouns. If you are permitted to write two words, these are likely to be compound nouns or an adjective with a noun.

Practice

Look at the example notes from a flow chart task. Two students are discussing a case study they have to write. Which key words would you underline? What can you tell about the words which are missing? (The answers are ONE WORD ONLY.)

STAGES IN DOING A TOURISM CASE STUDY
RESEARCH

Locate and read relevant articles, noting key information and also 21 __________

Identify a problem or need

Select interviewees – these may be site 22 __________, visitors or city 23 __________

Prepare and carry out interviews. If possible, collect statistics.

Check whether 24 __________ of interviewees can be used

ANALYSIS

Select relevant information and try to identify 25 __________

Decide on the best form of visuals

WRITING THE CASE STUDY

Give some background before writing the main sections

Do NOT end with 26 __________

21 (no key word necessary) – noun, related to information e.g. sources/quotes

22 (interviewees) – noun, somebody found on a site e.g. employees

23 (interviewees) – noun, somebody with city in their title e.g. city officials, workers

24 (statistics) – noun, names/quotations

25 (analysis) – noun, something which goes with identify e.g. trends/patterns/reasons

26 (case study) – noun

Step 3: Listen and Write the Answers

You are now ready to listen to the recording and write the answers you hear. Remember to move on when you hear the key word.

21. sources

22. employees

23. officials

24. names

25. patterns

26. solutions

Step 4: Check Your Answers

Write your answers onto the question paper while you are listening. Make sure you have an answer for every question and that you have only used the allowed number of words.

Remember to write your answers onto the answer sheet at the end of the test.

Acknowledgement

The listening audio and sentence completion questions used here are taken from Cambridge Academic IELTS 12, which can be purchased here.

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