IELTS Listening Strategy # 15 Preview and Predict Gap-Fill Questions

In the brief time you have before each listening section starts, it is essential to quickly preview the questions, so you know what to listen for.

For gap-fill questions, it is important to know the type of word (word form) required for the answer. In other words, you should know whether you need to listen for a noun, a verb, an adjective or an adverb.

Gap-fill questions may be as follows:

Body language plays an important role in the way _________ communicate.  In a ________ survey of over 1000 males and 1000 females, it was discovered that almost 75% of respondents said that body language was ________ for business people to understand if they wanted to be successful.


The first gap above is followed by a verb. Therefore, the answer will most likely be a noun, such as people or humans.

The second gap is followed by a noun survey. In this case, the gap is probably an adjective, such as recent.  The article a which is before the gap gives you a clue that the missing word cannot start with a vowel (a, e , i, o, u).

The third gap comes after the verb ‘was’. The verb ‘was’ can be used in many ways in English, including as part of a description. For example, “Last year the information was different to this year”. Therefore, after was, the answer may be an adjective, such as essential or necessary.

It is vital that you check the sentence after you have written it in the gap. Take a few seconds as soon as you finish to quickly read the sentence to see if it sounds grammatically correct.