Listening Question Types: Completing Tables and Forms
Watch the video about listening question type completing notes: Forms & tables
Completing tables and forms are very common question type in the IELTS Listening test, particularly in part 1. From 2020, the IELTS Listening test no longer has an example at the start of part 1
The topics are many and varied and you need to complete the gaps with a written answer. Sometimes you are required to complete the table by choosing the answer from a list of choices.
Completing a table or form usually contains a lot of numerical information.
Predict the Answers
Before you listen, read the form carefully and predict the information and type of word you will hear.
SAMPLE A: Question 4 will be a number
Pay: 4 £ .......... per hour
SAMPLE A: Question 9 will be a date
Interview arranged for Thursday 9 .......... at 6pm.
Answer: 22 Oct/October (you can write the month in full or abbreviated)
SAMPLE A: Question 8 you will listen for the required quality, specifically the ability to do something. The answer should be a verb, possibly followed by an adverb or noun.
Ability to 8 ....................
Answer: think quickly
In SAMPLE B, use the column headings and examples to predict the answers.
Question 2 will be the name of the apartment.
While listening, be careful of distracters. That, is, when there are several possible answers mentioned in the recording.
Be patient and do not write down the first possible answer you hear.
SAMPLE A: Question 1
Type of work 1 .........................
Man: What sort of work is it - washing up?
Woman: It’s answering the phone.
Man: Oh right, fine.
Woman: And not waiting at table.
Answer: answer(ing) (the) phone
You are expected to spell common words correctly and less common ones such as peoples’ names, place names and addresses will be spelt out.
Question 10 is someone’s surname.
Ask for: Samira 10 .........................
Woman: My name is Samira Manuja
Man: Can you spell that please?
Numbers and Prices
Long numbers, such as phone numbers are usually repeated.
Tables and forms will usually include prices or the cost of something.
Prices will either be in dollars ($), euros (€) or pounds (£). Be familiar with these symbols and their pronunciation.
Dates, Months & Days
Tables and forms usually include dates, days and months. Be familiar with the spelling of the days and months and remember they all begin with capital letters. If you don’t use capital letters, your answer will be marked incorrect.
Days and months can be written in full or abbreviated.
October - Oct
Monday - Mon
When listening for dates be familiar with the pronunciation of ordinal numbers.
21st (the twenty-first)
Dates can be spoken in a variety of ways.
The 12th of October 2020
October the 12th 2020.
October 12 2020
There are several ways to write dates correctly.
October/Oct 12 2020
12th October/Oct 2020
12 October/Oct 2020
You can also write dates as numbers.
12/10/2020 (British method)
10/12/2020 (American method)
Dates written as numbers count as one word.
You should be familiar with the many ways times can be spoken and written.
Times are usually spoken as numbers. Example: seven forty five.
You should write this as 7.45. Always put a full stop after the first number.
The period of the day can be written as am or a.m., pm or p.m. Both are acceptable.
Strategies & Tips
The answers for all question types will be in the same order as the information you hear. Always follow the question numbers for the order you will hear the answers.
In SAMPLE C you will hear the information about questions 17 - 30, in order. However, the options (A - H) are listed randomly.
You will usually not hear the exact words on the list of options (A - H), they will be PARAPHRASED OR SYNONYMS used instead.
Read the list of options carefully before the recording starts and think of synonyms for the key words. You can note these on the question paper.
Do not change the word you hear in recording. You will hear the exact word you need to write in the gaps even though the words around the answer may be paraphrased.