BEST IELTS Summary Completion Reading Tips

BEST IELTS Summary Completion Reading Tips

BEST IELTS Summary Completion Reading Tips
BEST IELTS Summary Completion Reading Tips

BEST IELTS Summary Completion Reading Tips

Notes/Summary Completion Questions

This question type may figure in two formats: one in which a limit of words or phrases is prescribed and you have to stick to the limit; and the other in which a list of words or phrases is provided in a box where there are more options to choose from than there are questions.

Notes/Summary Completion Questions – Step by Step

Step 1:

Read the instructions carefully.

Step 2:

Preview the gapped text along with the blanks to form an idea of the information that you will need.

Step 3:

Preview the words/phrases (if given) to see which of them match easily.

Step 4:

Preview the main text to form an idea of the flow.

Step 5:

Now, look at the first sentence/blank. Decide what key ideas/information you will need to complete the first blank.

Step 6:

Scan the text for the appropriate paragraph or section.

Step 7:

Decide on the best word or words to fill the blank from the main text or from the list.

Step 8:

Now, go back to the list of words/phrases to make the match.

Step 9:

Note, however, that the words/phrases follow no particular order.

Step 10:

If you find it difficult to fill the first blank, go to the next and then the next. Perhaps that will make it easier for you to fill the first blank later.


1) Vocabulary – Summary completion questions are all about vocabulary. You need to be able to recognise a wide range of synonyms and also paraphrasing to score highly.

2) Answer order – The answers are usually in the same order in the text as the order of the missing words. On the rare occasions that they aren’t, the key words will help you to easily spot this.

3) Words from text questions – Take careful note of how many words you should write for your answer, e.g. NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS. If you write more than this, your answer will be marked wrong even if the information is correct.

4) List of words questions – There will be more words in the list than there are gaps in the summary to fill so you won’t need them all. Your task is to select the correct ones.

There will probably be some words in the list that you can eliminate immediately as clearly being incorrect. This could be because of their meaning or their grammar form. Cross them through in pencil so you don’t waste time considering them.

5) Prediction – When you read the summary, try to predict the type of word you’ll need to fill each gap from the context of the sentence. Is it an adjective, a noun, a verb, etc? Doing this will make it much easier to spot the correct word because you’ll have a big clue as to what you’re looking for.

6) Use other clues – If you are able to predict the word form, e.g. an adjective, look for the adjective closest to the key word in the text. This will probably be the word you need or a synonym of it. I’ll illustrate this when we come to the example exercise.

7) Time management – If you’re struggling to find a specific missing word, take an educated guess and move on. It’s not worth losing too much time on it. Focus on getting the easier marks and come back to it later if you have time.

8) Check grammar – When you’ve entered your answer, check the sentence to ensure that it is grammatically correct. If it isn’t, your answer is wrong.

9) Don’t read it all – You don’t need to read the whole text in detail, just the part that is summarised.

See More Posts

BEST IELTS Summary Completion Reading Tips

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

error: Content is protected !!