Lesson 11:
Reading Gap Fill

A reading gap fill is one task you may get in the IELTS test.

You have to fill in the gaps of a summary of part of the text using words from a box.

There may be more words than you need to use so you need to find the part of the reading that refers to the summary and make sure that you work out which word will fit.

You also need to think about the grammar as the word you put in the reading gap fill must fit grammatically as well. Here are some general strategies

Strategies for Reading Gap Fill Tasks

Looking at question 1, these are the strategies you can try following:

  1. Read through the summary carefully to make sure you understand it.
  2. Work out which section of the reading the summary comes from (in this example, the whole of the text is summarized but in the real test you'll need to look through the reading to find the right paragraphs).
  3. Carefully read the sentence with the first gap and think about what form will fit i.e. should it be an adjective, noun, infinitive, present participle etc? And what type of word is needed i.e. is it an amount, a change, an action?
  4. You should have worked out that for questions 1 you are looking for a noun because 'an' comes before it.
  5. Then look at the words that are in the box - which ones have the right form to fit and the right type? There are several nouns.
  6. Look at the correct part of the full reading that refers to the reading gap fill section you are looking at and decide what happened for the first time to do with air rage in the 1940s?
  7. Use this information to help you choose the correct word for the reading gap fill..

Reading Gap Fill Practice

Air Rage

The first recorded case of an airline passenger turning seriously violent during a flight, a phenomenon now widely known as “air rage”, happened in 1947 on a flight from Havana to Miami. A drunk man assaulted another passenger and bit a flight attendant. However, the man escaped punishment because it was not then clear under whose legal control a crime committed on plane was, the country where the plane was registered or the country where the crime was committed. In 1963, at the Tokyo convention, it was decided that the laws of the country where the plane is registered take precedence. 

The frequency of air rage has expanded out of proportion to the growth of air travel. Until recently few statistic were gathered about air rage, but those that have been indicate that passengers are increasingly likely to cause trouble or engage in violent acts. For example, in 1998 there were 266 air rage incidents out of approximately four million passengers, a 400% increase from 1995. In the same period American Airlines showed a 200% rise. Air travel is predicted to rise by 5% internationally by 2010 leading to increased airport congestion. This, coupled with the flying public’s increased aggression, means that air rage may become a major issue in coming years. 

Aside from discomfort and disruption, air rage poses some very real dangers to flying. The most extreme of these is when out of control passengers enter the cockpit. This has actually happened on a number of occasions, the worst of which have resulted in the death and injury of pilots or the intruder taking control of the plane, almost resulting in crashes. In addition, berserk passengers sometimes attempt to open the emergency doors while in flight, putting the whole aircraft in danger. These are extreme examples and cases of air rage more commonly result in physical assaults on fellow passengers and crew such as throwing objects, punching, stabbing or scalding with hot coffee.

Look at the words in the table and decide which word will fit in the reading gap fill summary. Type the word into the gap (when you have completed it you can click below to reveal and check your answers).

predicted rose incident passenger found assault
established occurring hoped increased injury passengers


The first time that an (1) of air rage was recorded was in the 1940’s, but the passenger was never actually charged for an offence because there were no clear rules in place to specify where to prosecute. It was later (2) that it would be the country where the plane is registered. Air rage has (3) significantly since this time, growing by a staggering 400% from 1995 to 1998. Air rage is (4) to be a major problem in the future as air travel increases, as do levels of aggression. Angry (5) can put everyone in danger including the pilots, the crew and the other passengers, with some form of (6) being the most common consequence.

Reading Gap Fill Answers

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› Reading Lesson 11



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Academic Reading Lessons:

Lesson 1:
Paragraph Headings

Lesson 2:
Multiple Choice & Scanning

Lesson 3:
True, False, Not Given

Lesson 4:
Matching Paragraph Headings

Lesson 5:
Sentence Completion

Lesson 6:
Multiple Choice / Skimming and Scanning

Lesson 7:
Guessing meaning from context

Lesson 8:
The difference between false and not given

Lesson 9:
IELTS Reading Strategies

Lesson 10:
IELTS Short Answer Questions

Lesson 11:
IELTS Gapped Summary

Lesson 12:
Understanding Not Given Questions

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