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IELTS Listening Sentence Completion Strategies

These IELTS listening sentence completion strategies will help you to improve your score for the exam.

In this type of question, you are given a sentence taken from the listening, and you have to decide which word fits in the gap.

Remember though that the sentence will not be exactly the same as what you hear on the audio - it will be paraphrased (using different words to what you hear).

Strategies and Tips

  • Look through the sentences before you start to get an idea of what you will be hearing.
  • Pay particular attention to the words that come before and after the gap to help you notice when the word is spoken.
  • Try to guess what may go in the gap - is it a place, name, number, or something else?
  • Remember that the words you see in the sentence may be synonyms of the words from the audio, so you may be listening out for words with similar meanings.
  • Write the exact words, phrases or numbers that you hear in the gap on your question paper.
  • Always check the word limit - your answer will be marked wrong if you exceed the number of words allowed.

Sentence Completion Strategies Practice

The listening excerpt from this page is from a real test. It is from Part 4 of the test - the most difficult - so expect to find this exercise hard.

Don't be disheartened if you do not do well - students often score poorly on part 4, but that does not mean you can't get a good score from doing well in the other sections. 

Part 4 is based on a lecture, and for this recording you are going to hear the second part of a lecture on the luxury end of the hospitality and tourism market. 


Take a look through the questions first, then listen to the audio and try and answer the questions. You can see the answers and audio below by clicking on the "show / hide" link.

Complete the notes below.

Write ONE WORD ONLY for each answer

A company providing luxury serviced apartments aims to:

  1. Cater specifically for (1) travelers.

  2. Provide a stylish (2) for guests to use.

  3. Set a trend throughout the (3) which becomes permanent.

  4. Traditional holiday hotels attract people by:

  5. Offering the chance to (4) their ordinary routine life

  6. Making sure that they are cared for in all respects – like a (5)

  7. Leaving small treats in their rooms – e.g. cosmetics or (6)


Show / hide answers

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