The IELTS Listening Section has many different question types to check the listening skills of the student. One of the most common ones is known as Complete the Form. Generally, students excel with this question type because of how simple it can be. It reminds them of their school days when they would have to fill in the blanks. A lot of students get excited when they see the ‘complete form’ question type as they feel that they can score well in it. However, as this question type is somewhat tricky, they tend to score lower than what they think they’ll get.
To understand this question, let’s look into an example.
Complete the form below.
Write NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS AND/OR A NUMBER for each answer.
PACKHAM’S SHIPPING AGENCY – customer quotation form
Name: Jacob 1 …………
To solve the answer, read the questions first to understand it and then listen to the speaker and pay attention to the question as it is being spoken. To identify the right answer, you need to know the question so read the questions in the time given beforehand. Avoid reading the filler details in the question before the audio starts as you might not finish reading the whole question. When identifying the answer, understand the meaning of the words the speaker uses instead of the literal words.
In the first question, we listen to the recording in which ‘A’ wishes to enquire about sending something to Kenya. Here, ‘B’ makes a few statements which can be dismissed as filler before asking ‘A’ about his full name. ‘B’ says his full name which is Jacob Mkere and then even spells it out for clarity. Therefore, the answer to the first question is ‘Mkere’.
IELTS uses a variety of traps to make students choose the wrong answer. By manipulating the words on the question paper, they can influence the way the student is expecting the answer. Sometimes the blank will be placed such that the student thinks it is going to be in the same sentence as the information in the table, but the answer will be in a different sentence. This is why it is crucial to read the questions beforehand and predict the traps that IELTS could layout for you. In the above example, there is a lot filler that can be heard before the answers. This filler might be used as a trap for students.
Form completion is a fill-in-the-blank type of question set. It requires you to listen to the information provided in the audio and either choose a word from it for from a list of options provided. There are a variety of traps that IELTS uses to distract students from the information and get them to focus on the words. It is vital to read all the question blanks and avoid the filler details mentioned in the form in the time before the audio plays.
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.
A: Can I take your name?
B: It’s Jacob Mkere.
A: Can you spell your surname, please?
B: Yes, it’s M-K-E-R-E.