PTE Listening Fill In The Blanks task
In this task, a recording is played and its transcript is displayed on the screen. The transcript contains up to seven blanks. You have to type words in them based on the information you hear in the recording.
You are only able to listen to the audio recording once. Every test-taker is provided with an erasable noteboard booklet to take notes. To fill a blank, left-click on each gap and type in the missing word. You can also use the Tab button on the keyboard to move between gaps.
1. How you are scored
Your response for Fill in the Blanks is judged on your ability to listen for missing words in a recording and type the missing words into a transcription.
There is no negative marking in Listening Fill in the Blanks tasks. 1 mark is awarded for each blank filled with the correct answer.
* Make sure that you follow either UK spelling or US spelling (keep consistent, don’t mix them up) and that you have used proper spellings, plural/singular nouns, etc.
2. Skim the text before the recording begins
You will have 7 seconds to skim the text before audio starts, use that time to have a quick glance over the transcript, especially notice where the blanks are and the words around the blanks. This will help you recognize the words that fit the gaps, as you hear them.
3. Type or Write on notepad
You can either type directly in the computer screen
First note down the blanks on your rough scratch pad and then transfer them to the screen
If you are not sure which method suits you the most, we recommend you to try doing 5 questions using each method and then see which method gives you better results. Follow that method in the exam.
4. Avoid using full spelling while taking notes
The recording is at normal speed and is only played once. When you are listening, you probably DO NOT have time to think about how to spell the missing words.
Avoid using full spellings when you are taking notes while listening to the audio. You can fix the spellings once the recording is over.
As soon as you hear the word preceding the blank, note down the short form of the word in the erasable booklet or simply type the short form in the blank. One way to do this is by eliminating vowels from the word, for example, writing “table” as “tbl”. Alternatively, note down the abbreviation that you can recognize, for example, writing “information” as “info”; “globalization” as “glo”; “altitude” as “alt” ect.
After the recording has finished, you can read through the text, and use your notes to decide on the words that are missing and how they are spelled. Then type them into the gaps.
5. Always review in the end
Do not submit your answer without reviewing what you have filled in. The passage with the correct blanks in will make good sense. If for some reason the words that you have filled in do not make sense, you can consider replacing them. But do that only if you know a more suitable word than what you have already filled in. Also, check for grammar and spelling mistakes. These mistakes can be easily avoided by a quick review at the end.
6. Practice makes it perfect
After you have filled the first blank, move the cursor to the next blank, but keep your eyes on the transcript and your ears open to the audio.
Last but not the least, do not leave any blanks unanswered. Take a guess even if you are unsure.
Sometimes the task can be tricky, but if you take a sufficient number of real exam questions to practice before you appear for PTE, you will be much more comfortable on the day of the test. For practice material, click here to subscribe.