Listening Fill in the Blanks

Fill in the Blanks

Fill in the Blanks

Number of questions: 

The total number of questions presented in PTE Listening Fill in the Blanks Test is two-three (2~3).

Scoring(Skills Tested):

The scoring is fairly simple. The number of gaps you fill with the right words, the more marks you get. If there are wrong answers on the gap you will be marked for correct answers only. Each correct word spelt correctly scores 1 point.

The main purpose of the Fill in the Blanks section is an assessment of your ability to listen for missing words in the audio recording and type the missing words into a text transcription.

Your response will be evaluated on the total number of correct word/phrase ( with spelling ) input by the user.

The primary skills required are:

  • The competence to listen to English audio and follow its translation.
  • The ability to read and understand transcription words

The score of Listening, Writing is connected to the question type.

Time to answer:  

You are presented with a 30-60 secs of audio recording then you need to fill in the blanks with the correct phrase.

The audio will play after 7-10 seconds. There is no time limit on a per question basis. You need to be aware of the overall time limit of the Listening section.

If you can complete the answer in less time, you can transfer the time to another task.

Structure of the task: PTE Listening Fill in the blanks

  • You have 7 secs before the audio starts. Use this time to scan the transcript(Question passage) instantly. Be particularly aware of the blanks and the words around the blanks. This simple step will put your mind in a better position to listen to the audio and appreciate it.
  • For this item type, you hear a short recording of 30-60 seconds. Listen to the audio clip carefully, audio is played only once, no-repeat playback available.
  • Then you need to answer the question by filling the blank spaces with the correct responses. 
  • For this task you can either type the blanks directly on the computer screen or note them on your scratchpad first and then type them to the test screen and even to the third option, remember the blanks and type it after the audio recording stops.
  • To select the blank space to click on the blank space using the left button on your mouse. 
  • Click on Next button on the bottom right corner of the screen.
  • The task is scored based on the student’s ability to analyze, interpret and evaluate a brief audio or video recording on an academic subject.
  • Better performance on this task can help to improve the overall score in PTE Academic.

The image shows an example of the test screen for Listening Fill in the blanks.

How to answer PTE Listening Fill in the blanks:

A few seconds(7 secs mostly) is available before the audio starts. Use this time to look at the transcript instantly. Be particularly aware of the blanks and the words around the blanks. This simple step will put your mind in a better position to listen to the audio and appreciate it.

The main choice you have to make here is: type the blanks directly on the computer screen or note them on your simplistic scratchpad first and then move them to the screen and even to the third option, to remember the blanks.

If you are comfortable typing on a computer, and you feel that you have enough speed, type it directly. It’s hard to remember every word for an individual in the average story. Otherwise, in the rough paper, you can write the blanks down and finally type them.

Tips and Key Recommendation: 

Follow These Tips To Effectively Fill in the Blanks In Pte Academic Listening.

First, Scan The Transcripts before the audio starts. Even if you can not read the entire text you will benefit from anything you can read. This simple step will put your mind in a better position to listen to the audio and answer. Your emphasis will be to hear the words for the blanks that you need. 

Continue with the audio even if you miss a word/blank space, It’s better to try to catch the next blank space word/phrase than to get stuck on a single space and miss other spaces in the process.

 There are several ways to take notes: directly typing into space as the audio progresses, Taking notes in a notebook or remembering the words and answering later. Last option is least recommended, second and first being the most recommended ones.

 Taking notes in a notebook: If you are faster and more comfortable with writing with hand taking notes in a notepad is recommended. Don’t try to write the whole transcript it would make the process slow and you may miss the important words. You can write the missing words only and later transfer it to the test. 

You don’t need to write the entire word while typing directly to the test or taking a note, just write letters so that you can see what the word is later.

Example: you can write apl for the word apple so that you can later understand.

If you are planning to directly type into the test screen, place your cursor on the first blank and type as soon you hear the word.

Once you type in the document, quickly place the cursor in the next blank after each blank and hear the words before it.

After you complete filling the blanks don’t submit the answers immediately. Review the whole passage and check if each sentence makes complete sense as heard in the audio recording or not. Search for errors in grammar and mistakes in spelling. In the end, a quick analysis will easily avoid these errors.

Last but not the least, use the time wisely. It’s better to complete earlier and then review for accuracy than to hold on to the single hurdle and lose other potential correct answers. You can always come back to the missed ones and make the best guess.

Sample Question with the answer for Fill in the blanks

Sample Question 01

Men have always tried to encode (1) _ _ _ _ _ _ _. Military communication, love letters, and forbidden knowledge. Sooner or later most secret texts had been decoded. But among all the history’s cryptic (2) _ _ _ _ _ _ _ one has stood out. This text has defied all attempts to unveil its secret for centuries though Voynich manuscript. It’s the worlds most mysterious (3) _ _ _ _ _ _ _ written by an unknown author in an absolutely singular alphabet an illustrated with (4) _ _ _ _ _ _ _ images.

Correct Response

(1) secrets (2) writings (3) book (4) puzzling

Sample Question 02

According to ……………….., having a personality means showing a consistent pattern of behaviour over time. Researchers from the University of Arizona studied ……………….. of rock ants across the western US, both by following them in the wild and by taking whole colonies back to the lab. They found that certain …………… behaviours, like ……………… widely for food and responding aggressively to a threat, went together, and colonies further north tended to take more of these risks. The study suggests those more adventurous personalities could be an ………………… to the limited window of activity left by the long, snowy northern winter.

Correct Response

1.ecologists 2.colonies 3.risky 4.foraging 5.adaptation



Sample Question 03

Group-based micro-finance schemes attempt to harness the collective power of mutual support with members ________ their savings and making small loans to each other so that they can set up small businesses. Most aim to improve the __________ power of and employment opportunities for–women in their immediate community, and many aim to confront __________ discriminatory attitudes to women. Some aim to facilitate the attendance of girls at school and change ____________ to the paid employment of women outside their homes.


Correct Response

pooling, economic, engrained, attitudes




Sample Question 04

Listen to the following audio and type the missing words in each blank.

As we grow spiritually what ___________ happens is that the darkness of the five senses, mind and intellect begins to reduce and consequently the Soul (i.e. the God) within us begins to __________. Refer to the diagram below. This is also known as the dissolution of the five senses, mind and intellect. We refer to the five senses, mind and intellect as darkness or ignorance as they keep us away from ___________ with our true state, i.e. the God within us or the Soul.

Correct Response

intrinsically, illuminate, identifying




Sample Question 05

Listen to the following audio and type the missing words in each blank.

The global tragedy of death at border ________ fails to capture the hearts and minds of policy actors. Instead, responses of inhumanity occur through political _________ and ideologies that privilege border security. In the public and political discourse the human cost of these tragedies is severely neglected. Reading this timely book through my Australian gaze of deep despair at _______ seeker deaths that continue at sea, reinforces the need for a fresh policy approach that focuses on the human rather than the border.

Correct Response

frontiers, posturing, asylum