IELTS reading Blanks

IELTS Reading: Fill in the Blanks

Mon Jan 29 2024 Ahmed Raza

IELTS Reading fill in the blanks is a part of the IELTS reading test where test takers are required to fill in the missing words in a passage. This tests the candidate’s ability to understand the main ideas, details, and appropriate arguments in the passage. The statements for blanks are the part taken from the reading passage but not exactly matches to that part of the passage as it includes much of paraphrasing (So you better be good at understanding paraphrasing!)

Fill in the Blanks - Pattern

The test taker needs to carefully understand the requirements of Fill in the Blanks (keeping in mind about the guideline mentioned in the start of the question i.e., one word or two words or more). The best way to achieve this task is through concentration and sharpness.

You are advised to spend 20 minutes on each passage and within this timeframe you need to complete fill in the blank section along with other questions. Therefore, you need pertinent practicing material for locating answers.

Fill in the Blanks Question Types

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There are several varieties of question types in IELTS reading section which are enlist below:

• Summary completion
• Choose from list of words
• Simple sentence completion
• Table/Flowchart/Diagram completion

This depends on the test maker what type of question type to be given in fill in the blanks. It can be in the form of any of them from the list above but the fill in the blanks is a compulsory question meaning its appearance is must in either one of the three passages.

Summary Completion

In this question type of reading, you will be given a summary of a paragraph from the passage. The paragraphs are labeled alphabetically starting from alphabets A to onwards. To complete this task the candidate is required to know the central idea of the each paragraph. This section includes synonyms and paraphrasing so understanding of transcript is essential in order to solve this question type.

Choose from List of Words

This task involves filling in the blanks in the provided passage. The words needed for the blanks will be shown at the end of the transcript. It’s important to note that the words given are synonyms of the correct answers, so even if you find a word in the passage that conveys the same meaning as the blank, it might not be the exact word listed at the end. You should choose the word’s corresponding letter from the options provided. A common mistake is writing the complete word in the blank, but you only need to use the numbering of the word in the blanks, usually in alphabets.

Simple Sentence Completion

In this type of blanks, you’ll find sentences at the end of the passage. These sentences may differ from the ones in the passage but convey the same meaning through paraphrasing. To succeed, you must understand the overall passage and choose the answer that best fits the sentence description.

Table/Flowchart/Diagram Completion

This question type includes table or a flow chart or even a diagram. The table can be a comparison between two things or three things such as hotel fares in three different parts of city or it can be between the comparisons of teaching methods in different languages. In case of flowchart, students are given a flow chart with missing information and are asked to fill in the blanks with the correct information based on the content of the passage. This type of activity helps students improve their understanding of the passage and their ability to extract and organize information whereas in diagram completion, this mostly includes description of an image excluding some of its parts but you do need to comprehend that the image is described orally in the passage while physically in appears in question. The image can be a structure of furniture or a plant or important monument.

Common Mistakes to Avoid in Fill in the Blanks

IELTS Reading

  1. Check that the answers you written are grammatically accurate and includes no spelling mistakes.
  2. Note down the first word of the transcript so while reading the passage you can know from where the section is starting.
  3. The number of guidelines is crucial steps for fill in the blank’s sections. Steer clear from adding more words than demanded for the question.
  4. Remember that 60 minutes is given for reading module and it is advised not to spend more than 20 minutes on each task, leaving you to find each answer in 1 minute 30 seconds.
  5. You need to transfer your answer to the answer sheet within the given timeframe i.e. 60 minutes.
  6. Write the answers in capital alphabets in answer sheet.


The Fill in the Blanks section is crucial task of reading module that demands the understanding of reader on a particular topic. To solve this task the reader must have a firm grasp of complex vocabulary words along with focus and sharpness is also essential to ace this task. With the guidelines demonstrated above the reader can find it much easier to solve this particular task.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to solve diagram task in fill in the blanks section?
Highlight keywords or labels. Identify the types of words required and try to predict the answer. Scan the text and identify where the information is located.

How to solve fill in the blanks in IELTS reading in easy way?
Predict the answers as you read the summary. Find out the location in the reading passage where exactly the main subject is talked about .If you have found out the correct location, fit out the answers from the location.

How many questions do fill the blanks section contains?
It contains about 5- 6 questions approximately with each question carrying equal mark i.e. 1 mark.



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