info@bestmytest.com Looking for TOEFL prep?
ielts guide

How to Answer IELTS Listening Form Completion Questions

Ron Ross May 12th, 2020

In your IELTS preparation, you'll need to practice a total of 6 IELTS listening question types. In this post, we'll look at the Form Completion IELTS listening question type in detail and provide you with 16 IELTS listening Form Completion practice questions.

First, join IELTS Instructor Tina below to learn how to approach an IELTS listening Form Completion question.


Table Of Contents

IELTS Listening Form Completion Question Introduction

In a form completion question, you'll be given a form, and you will need to fill in the missing information based on the listening passage. Normally the answers will be one, two. or three words long and will be factual information, such as phone numbers, dates and times. Form completion questions usually appear in the section 1 of the listening test.

Numbers in Form Completion Questions

You should familiarise yourself with how numbers, letters, addresses, and dates sound in British English. This type of question often asks you to write down a credit card number, telephone number, name, address, postal code, and date. Make sure you practice listening to these types of information and learn how to write them down correctly. Telephone numbers are often tricky. Firstly, native speakers often say "oh" instead of "zero" and they may also group numbers together by saying "double" or "triple" in front of it. So 0668880711 would sound like "oh, double six, triple eight, oh, seven, double one.".

Additionally, when discussing measurements, “zero” can also be said by saying the word “nought”. For example, the number 0.9 could be said as “nought point nine” or “zero point nine”.

Dates in Form Completion Questions

When you need to write out dates as an answer, you actually have quite a bit of flexibility and a plethora of options. Let’s look at a specific example:

“September sixth”:

  1. September 6th → In this case, you can write out the whole month with the ordinal number (using th)
  2. Sept 6th → In this case, you can abbreviate the month and write the ordinal number.
  3. 6th of September → In this case, you can put the ordinal number first, as long as you put “of” in between the number and the month.
  4. 6th of Sept → This follows the same rule, with an abbreviated month.
  5. 06/09 → This format follows the UK rule of placing the number before the month.
  6. 09/06 → This format follows the US rule of placing the month before the number.

It is important to keep all of these possibilities in mind, but do not forget about the accuracy of the ordinal numbers. Our chart includes the irregular ordinal numbers in red. Let’s review them quickly: 

1st - first

2nd - second
3rd - third

4th - fourth

5th - fifth

6th - sixth
7th - seventh

8th - eighth

9th - ninth
10th - tenth

11th - eleventh

12th - twelfth

13th - thirteenth

14th - fourteenth 

15th - fifteenth

16th - sixteenth

17th - seventeenth

18th - eighteenth

19th - nineteenth
20th - twentieth 

21st - twenty-first
22nd - twenty-second

23rd - twenty-third

24th - twenty-fourth

25th - twenty-fifth

26th - twenty-sixth

27th - twenty-seventh

28th - twenty-eighth

29th - twenty-ninth

30th - thirtieth
...and so on! 

Currency in Form Completion Questions

Be on the lookout for various ways in which currency can be described in the listening section of the exam. For example, you can hear and say the total £/$ 8.80 in a few ways:

£ 8.80 Eight pounds eighty (quite informal)
£ 8.80 Eight pounds and eighty pence (neutral/more formal)
$ 8.80 Eight dollars and eighty cents (neutral/more formal)

$ 8.80 Eight eighty (quite informal)

When it comes to writing out currency, you have a couple of options. You can choose to write out the entire word, or you can write the currency in symbols. Let’s use the example, £/$ 8.80:

£ 8.80 or Eight dollars and eighty pence
$ 8.80 or Eight dollars and eighty cents

Measurements in Form Completion Questions

Expect to see a range of measurements, including but not limited to, centimetres (centimeters), kilometres (kilometers), and kilograms. You are more than welcome to use both the UK or US spellings. We would only suggest that consistency is kept throughout the exam. Additionally, you are more than welcome to abbreviate these measurements as necessary.In fact, you should abbreviate when you are able to. Why? This way, you eliminate any possibility of misspelling the word and losing any points.

Let’s look at an example! (Note: We have used the US spelling in our example, but the UK spelling would also be acceptable).

“Ninety kilometers” → 90 kilometers, 90 km, 90 kms

Below is a sample practice. Give it a try!



Questions 1-8
Complete the form below.

Write NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS AND/OR A NUMBER for each answer.


  • spellcheck Answers
    1. Mkere
    2. Westall
    3. BS8 9PU/BS89PU
    4. 0.75 m/0.75 meter/0.75 meters/.75 m/.75 meter/.75 meters
    5. 0.5 m/0.5 meter/0.5 meters/.5 m/.5 meter/.5 meters
    6. books/toys
    7. books/toys
    8. 1,700/1700
Listening Script

You will hear a telephone conversation between a customer and an agent at a company which ships large boxes overseas.

A Good morning Packham's Shipping Agents. Can I help you?
B Oh yes, I'm ringing to make enquiries about sending a large box, a container, back home to Kenya from the UK.
A Yes, of course. Would you like me to try and find some quotations for you?
B Yes, that'd be great. Thank you.
A Well first of all, I need a few details from you.
B Fine.
A Can I take your name?
B It's Jacob Mkere.
A Can you spell your surname, please? (#1)
B Yes, it's M-K-E-R-E.
A Is that 'M' for mother?
B Yes.
A Thank you, and you say that you will be sending the box to Kenya?
B That's right.
A And where would you like the box picked up from?
B From college, if possible.
A Yes, of course. I'll take down the address now.
B It's Westall College.
A Is that W-E-S-T-A-L-L? (#2)
B Yes, ... college.
A Westall College. And where's that?
B It's Downlands Road, in Bristol.
A Oh yes, I know it. And the postcode?
B It's BS8 9PU. (#3)
A Right ... and I need to know the size.
B Yes, I've measured it carefully and it's 1.5m long ...
A Right.
B 0.75m wide ... (#4)
A OK.
B And it's 0.5m high or deep. (#5)
A Great. So I'll calculate the volume in a moment and get some quotes for that. But first can you tell me, you know, very generally, what will be in the box?
B Yes there's mostly clothes. (#6)
A OK. [writing down]
B And there's some books.
A OK. Good. Um ... Anything else?
B Yes, there's also some toys. (#7)
A OK and what is the total value, do you think, of the contents?
B Well the main costs are the clothes and the books – they'll be about £1500 but then the toys are about another two hundred – so I'd put down £1700

Practice this sample practice on our IELTS App

Now that you're familiar with the Form Completion question type, it's time to teach you some IELTS Listening tips & strategies for successfully answering a Form Completion question.

How to Answer Form Completion Questions

1. First, Read the Information - Reading the information will always be the first step in any listening prompt. Why? You do not want to listen blindly and hear key words for the first time. Instead, you should be preparing yourself and reading the points in the form or table given to you before the listening prompt is played. Generally, you will have about 20 seconds to do this. Reading the information will also allow you to become familiar with the topic, which is particularly helpful for the more abstract and educational topics (Sections 3 and 4).

2. Underline Key Words - With time and practice, you can combine Steps 1 and 2. Thus, this step can be done while you are reading the sentences or afterwards. We suggest trying to combine the first two steps, as you will only have around 20 seconds to read the information prior to listening to the prompts. For the Note/Form/Table Completion activity, you will most likely only need to underline one or two key words at a time. Is it still worth it to underline one word at a time? Definitely--count it as reading it twice and understanding it twice as well!

3. Take Notes on Key Information - Now, it’s time to listen to the listening prompt. Use your test booklet and questions to your advantage. No one will judge your score based on the notes you take, so make sure it is understandable to you. Using proper grammar and correct spelling is not necessary in this case.

4. Be Accurate - Last of all, be sure to be accurate. While this may seem like common sense, many candidates make silly errors that cost them valuable points in the scoring process. It is extremely important to be accurate when writing out your answers, and especially when transferring them to the answer sheet (for paper-based candidates). Remember that someone else will be reading (and judging) your written answers. For this reason, it is best to write in all CAPITAL LETTERS in order to ensure neatness and legibility, especially in this question type. The directions will always tell you up to how many words you can write, so make sure to pay attention to this.

Recap

Here are some brief tips to remember when approaching this question type:

Do:

  • Utilize the 20 seconds you will have prior to hearing the listening prompt and read the information first, underline your key words, and think about the types of words that could be missing from the gaps.
  • Remember that the answers will come in order during the this question type’s prompt. This means that you should utilize the note, form, or table visual aid to your advantage and keep notes directly next to your gaps. Doing so will help you pick up where you left off if you miss something, and it will help you understand the information.
  • Understand the question type in relation to the Sections. You will almost always have to listen for specific information, rather than listening for each speaker’s thoughts.
  • As always, you should write the words clearly in capital letters and pay close attention to how many words you can write.

Don’t:

  • Waste your time before and after the listening prompt is played. Think of these 30 minutes of the listening exam as ‘game time’, and actively listen or read the questions as much as you can! 
  • Waste time keeping a separate outline or chart for this question type. Use visual aids to your advantage. 
  • Focus on only one aspect of the process. In other words, don’t just listen, don’t just read, and don’t just answer. You will need to combine these three tasks in order to have enough time in this section. In other words: make sure to multitask. 
  • Leave anything blank! Even if the exam is difficult, choose your best guess in order to maximize your chances of scoring high. 

IELTS Listening Form Completion Practice List

Now it is time to practice! Check out the following Form Completion practice questions.

IELTS Listening - Form Completion Questions Practice List

16 IELTS Listening form completion Questions
Section 1
IELTS Listening Practice 1
Removal Booking Confirmation
(form completion/matching)
IELTS Listening Practice 5
Campsite park
(multiple choice/form completion/short answer)
IELTS Listening Practice 9
Application for joining the library
(form completion/multiple selection/short answer)
IELTS Listening Practice 17
Joining the Nursery School
(form completion)
IELTS Listening Practice 25
Leisure centre
(form completion/multiple selection/short answer)
IELTS Listening Practice 37
Registration for an ID card
(multiple choice/form completion/multiple selection)
IELTS Listening Practice 45
Airport transport
(table completion/form completion)
IELTS Listening Practice 49
Homestay application
(form completion/multiple choice)
IELTS Listening Practice 53
Tour booking form
(form completion/multiple choice)
IELTS Listening Practice 73
Language exchange booking
(form completion)
IELTS Listening Practice 77
Aquaventure booking
(form completion)
IELTS Listening Practice 89
Application for a travel card
(form completion/multiple selection/short answer)
IELTS Listening Practice 101
Blue Lagoon Resort information centre
(table completion/form completion)
IELTS Listening Practice 113
Getting a student discount card
(multiple choice/form completion/multiple selection)
IELTS Listening Practice 132
Official IELTS Listening Sample -  Shipping Form (Video Explanation Included)
(form completion)
IELTS Listening Practice 133
Transport survey (Cambridge IELTS 10 Test 1)
(form completion)


 
Looking for IELTS preparation?

Check out our NEW IELTS prep online learning tool called IELTS Tutor.
IELTS Tutor will help you achieve your target score with 1500+ IELTS practice questions.

Try IELTS Tutor Free!

Popular Videos

Check out our YouTube channel for more IELTS preparation videos
BestMyTest on YouTube