Note completion


In the IELTS Listening note completion question you will need to listen to a recording and fill in the blanks in the notes given. Note-taking is a common activity we all have done in different scenarios, like taking notes in college, in our office meetings or during telephone conversations, etc. It involves writing down the important points of what we hear in a manner that makes sense when we read it back later.

Note completion sample task

Ielts listening note completion task sample 1

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 title

The note completion task usually will have a title that will give you valuable information about the topic of the questions.

By looking at the image shared above you can quickly identify the following information.

  1. The topic of the recording is the National Arts Centre.
  2. Question 11 is what is the National Arts Centre famous for
  3. Question 12 focuses on what the National Arts Centre complex consists of
  4. Question 13 talks about a piece of information about the historical background of the National Arts Centre. The clue to look out for is the year 1960. Something happened during this year which is of historical significance to the centre.
  5. Question 14 is probably a date when it was opened to the public.
  6. Question 15 talks about who manages it.
  7. Question 16 talks about how many days it’s open per year.

Predict the answer

These questions come in groups read each question, and understand what is being asked. Once you have understood the questions try to predict the answers.

11. Architecture / Art collection / it’s history

12. Garden

13. Renovated

14. Re-opened

15. Name of an organization or a department

16. No. of days it remains open.

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

11 Well known for – one of the Major venues for classical music

15 managed by – run by the city council

16 days per year363 days a year

A paraphrase is to say something in your own words using different words to make it easier to understand.

The recording will not match the sentences in the question word to word. It is important to understand the meaning of what is being said.

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.

13 In the recording you hear “So, the opportunity was taken to create a cultural centre that would be, what they called: ‘The City’s Gift to the Nation’. Of course, it took a while for such a big project to get started, but it was planned in the 60s.” Here the word centre is used to misguide. It may seem like what follows after it is the correct answer, but the correct answer is Planned as that is what happened to it in the 60’s.

14 In the recording you hear “Opened to the public in 1983” instead in comparison to the order mentioned in the question where it appears as In 1983 opened to the public. The important lesson here is not to get too hung up on the order, but rather look for the year the event occurred.

15 In the recording you hear “It’s not privately owned, like many arts centres, but is still in public hands: – it’s run by the City Council.” There are five answer options you hear. The first one is privately owned, but since it has not proceeding it, it’s not the correct answer. The second probable answer is it’s in public hands, but this option has more than three words and can’t be the proper option. The third and only correct answer is the city council. The fourth and fifth options are the National Symphony Orchestra and the National Theatre Company. They have been involved in planning the project and are not the correct answers.

Correct answers

11 classical music
12 book shop
13 planned
14 1983
15 city council
16 363

Recording link

National Arts Centre recording

Source: Official IELTS website www.


Note completion tapescript

Source: Official IELTS website www.

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