Table completion


IELTS Listening table completion is a task where you must fill in the blanks in a table with rows and columns after listening to and identifying the correct answers from a recording.

Table completion sample task

Source: Official IELTS website www.


Before the recording

Read the question

Utilize the time before the recording to read the question carefully. Make a mental note of how many words can be used to answer the question as this can vary.



As the question clearly states stick to using a maximum of three words or a number for each answer. If you exceed the limit specified in the question you will lose marks.

Read the column headings

Make sure to read the column headings as this tells you what type of information will be there in that column. If you have a blank in a column whose header is time, you can easily guess that you must look out for the time mentioned in the recording. This type of preparation before the recording can make the question easier to attempt and increase your chances of scoring well.

Example of a column heading

table completion table heading

Source: Official IELTS website www.

Predict the answer

Once You have read the column headers and the information provided in the rows you will have a good understanding of what type of information will fit in the given blanks in the table. Try to predict the answers as this will prepare your mind for what to listen to once the recording begins.

Predicted answers

17 Name of a venue.

18 Name of a Canadian film.

19 Price of the Canadian film in £.

20 Name of the art exhibition event.

During the recording

Listen to the recording carefully

The recording will play only once so listen carefully to the recording to find the answer to the questions by selecting the correct answer option(s).

Identify the synonyms and paraphrasings

Synonyms and paraphrasing will be used throughout the recording.

A synonym is a similar meaning word.

Synonyms used in the recording

From £8.00 – tickets start at only £8.00

Look out for traps/distractors

A trap or a distractor is a word or a sentence that seems to be the correct answer to the questions at first but turns out to be the opposite in meaning upon listening carefully. It might also be an option that seems like the correct answer at first but the speaker discards it later.

19 In the recording you hear “Tickets cost just £4.50” This is the correct answer. Then the speaker says, “Which is a reduction on the usual price of £5.50.” This is to confuse you. That is why the best approach is to understand the meaning of what is being said to get to the correct answer.

Correct answers

17 Garden hall
18 Three lives
19 £4.50
20 Faces of China

Recording link

National Arts Centre recording

Source: Official IELTS website www.


Table completion tapescript 1
Table completion tapescript 2

Source: Official IELTS website www.

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