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Listening Practice 7: Table Completion (North American Accent )

In this practice exercise, we will focus on listening for specific information. Table completion tasks are common in IELTS listening tests and, if you have completed the reading practice tests, you will already be familiar with this type of task.

In order to listen for the correct information in the audio recording, be sure to read through the question first. From this, you should be able to work out what type of information you are looking for, e.g. a price, a time etc.

Questions

Listen to the audio clip and fill in the blanks in the table with the correct information about these attractions.

Audio:

 

 

Transcript:

Toronto has many places for people to visit across the city, including a range of museums and galleries. These attractions attract many visitors every year and allow you to brush up on your knowledge of Canadian history. Take an inspirational journey through Canada’s history at its top attractions, including a footwear museum, a textiles museum and a hockey shrine – dedicated to the country’s favourite past time.

Explore Toronto’s very own castle at the former home of Sir Henry Pellatt known as Casa Loma. That’s C-A-S-A (space) L-O-M-A. Constructed over 100 years ago, this over the top chateau consists of an 800 foot tunnel and 5 acres of gardens. Located at 1 Austin Terrace, it is open daily from 9:30 am to 5 pm and last admission is at 4:30 pm. Tickets cost $24 for adults, $14 for children and $18 for youths and seniors. For further information call 416-923–1171.

The Art Gallery located in Chinatown, is a work of art in itself. Built by architect Frank Gehry, the gallery contains over 95,000 works of art. The museum is located at 317 Dundas Street West. If you are taking the subway the closest stop is the St. Patrick stop on the Yonge-University-Spadina line. The entrance to the gallery is a five minute walk away. You can also take the 505 Dundas street car, getting off at McCaul Street. The 510 Spadina Street car also stops nearby. That’s Spadina, spelt S-P-A-D-I-N-A. Take the 510 Spadina Street car and get off at Dundas Street. Walk east for five minutes along Dundas and you will reach the gallery.

Information from timeout.com

Answers:

 

Table Completion Practice 1

In the IELTS Reading table completion task, you must fill in a table using words from the reading passage that you have been provided with. To do this, you must ensure that you comprehend the details of the text, that you can locate information in the reading text and that you choose the correct words.

To be successful in these types of tasks, ensure that you firstly check how many words you can use for an answer! The questions should state to fill out the table using “no more than ___ words” so be sure to follow this when filling out answers. You must also ensure that you carefully read the column headings so that you know the type of information you are looking for. The word(s) that you provide as an answer will create a sentence in the table. It is, therefore, recommended that you try to identify the type of word required (e.g. a verb, noun or adjective) and scan the text for this word type answer.

Finally, use the information from the table to identify which part of the text the answer is relevant to. Find this part of the text and search for the missing word(s) in this section. And remember that, generally, the answers will be in order in the text, so you are unlikely to locate the answer to the final question at the start of the text!

The Titanic Was on Fire for Days Before It Sank

Most people know the story of the Titanic—a massive luxury liner deemed the “unsinkable” ship. At the time of its completion, the Titanic was the largest man-made moving object on earth. The company building the ship was so sure it wouldn’t sink, they didn’t include enough lifeboats for all the passengers. Of course the ship wasn’t what it was advertised to be and sunk after hitting an iceberg. Approximately 1,500 people were lost with the ship, including many prominent citizens from multiple nations.

It’s an event known throughout history, a real-life event with the plot of a movie. In fact, one of the biggest movies ever made revolved around this tragedy. This disaster took place over 100 years ago and the name of the ship is still part of our common vocabulary.

However, despite the century that has passed, the Titanic story is still evolving. Everyone knows the base story about the ship hitting an iceberg, but one major piece missing for years has recently come to light. The Titanic was on fire for days as it was sailing, possibly longer than that. There was a coal fire below deck for days that the crew was unable to put out. The ship sailed along anyway with a fire burning in the hull.

Source: https://medium.com/s/story/the-titanic-was-on-fire-for-days-before-the-iceberg-hit-94fa26471dfa

Question

Complete the table below with information from the passage above. Choose no more than 3 words to fill in for each answer. Write the answers in the boxes below.

Event

Cause

When Titanic sank, __________ 1,500 passengers were lost.

The Titanic was said to be _____________, so there were not enough ____________ on board for all of the passengers.

A very popular movie that _____________ around this tragedy was made.

Although the ship sank __________________, it is still an important part of history.

It is now believed that there was a __________ on board, possibly for many days.

Below deck, there was a coal fire that ___________ tried and failed to put out.

Key Vocabulary:

liner: A large ship for carrying passengers in great comfort on long journeys.

deem: To consider or judge something in a particular way.

advertise: To make something known generally or in public, especially in order to sell it

sunk: Past participle of sink.

sank: Alternative past participle of ‘sink’

iceberg: A very large mass of ice that floats in the sea.

prominent: Very well known and important.

multiple: Many

plot: The story of a book, film, play, etc.

evolving: Present participle of evolve. To develop gradually, or to cause something or someone to develop gradually.

hull: The body or frame of a ship, most of which goes under the water.

Answers

Event

Cause

When Titanic sank, approximately 1,500 passengers were lost.

The Titanic was said to be unsinkable, so there were not enough lifeboats on board for all of the passengers.

A very popular movie that revolved around this tragedy was made.

Although the ship sank over 100 years ago, it is still an important part of history.

It is now believed that there was a (coal) fire on board, possibly for many days.

Below deck, there was a coal fire that the crew tried and failed to put out.

 

Writing Task 1 GP: Write a Letter Practice 2 (Formal Complaint Letter)

It is important to practice the writing tasks ahead of your IELTS test to ensure that you do well. Read through my top tips for success in IELTS Writing Task 1 and then have a go at the practice test below.

TOP TIPS FOR WRITING TASK 1

  • Spend no more than 20 minutes on this part of the writing test paper
  • Ensure you write over 150 words
  • As you read the task, carefully consider whether you should be writing a formal or informal letter.
  • Remember, informal letters are letters to people you know really well, such as your friends and family, and will include more ‘casual’ language (e.g. Hi! How are you? Speak soon.).
  • Formal letters have a more serious tone and will not contain abbreviations, e.g. I am writing to inform you that…
  • Follow our suggestion for using your time best in this IELTS test:
          • 3 minutes: Planning
          • 14 minutes: Writing
          • 3 minutes : Editing and improving
  • Use the 3 minutes of editing time at the end to carefully read through your writing, checking for spelling mistakes, punctuation mistakes, capital letter mistakes and ensuring that the letter makes sense and reads well.

QUESTION

You are writing to a restaurant you recently ate at to complain about the food and the service.

Write a letter to complain to the restaurant manager and be sure to:

  • Introduce yourself
  • Explain the problem
  • State the action you hope for from the restaurant

MODEL ANSWER

Dear Sir or Madam,

My name is Amy Johnson and I visited your restaurant, The Flaming Lion, on the evening of Saturday 27th March. I am writing to express my disappointment with the food and the service received on this visit.

Firstly, I found your waiting staff to be impatient and rude. On several occasions, I attempted to seek the attention of a waiter, but I was completely ignored. When, finally, the waiter responded to my request for assistance, he rolled his eyes as I asked for additional napkins. This made me feel very offended and unwelcome at the establishment.

In addition to this, I was also highly disappointed with the quality of the food. When my dish was served the potato was stone cold. My youngest child ordered chicken nuggets and chips, and I was horrified to discover that the chicken was not fully cooked. Having informed the waiter of this, I received no apology and was simply asked whether we want the nuggets to be cooked some more or cooked again from scratch.

I understand that the waiting staff and kitchen were very busy on that particular evening, but I do not think that our experience was acceptable. I hope you will recognise the negativity of our experience and issue an apology in due course.

Yours faithfully,

M.D. Smith 

Word count: 221 words

Writing Task 1 GP: Write a Letter Practice 1 (Informal Invitation Letter)

It is important to practice the writing tasks ahead of your IELTS test to ensure that you do well. Read through my top tips for success in IELTS Writing Task 1 and then have a go at the practice test below.

TOP TIPS FOR WRITING TASK 1

  • Spend no more than 20 minutes on this part of the writing test paper
  • Ensure you write over 150 words
  • As you read the task, carefully consider whether you should be writing a formal or informal letter.
  • Remember, informal letters are letters to people you know really well, such as your friends and family, and will include more ‘casual’ language (e.g. Hi! How are you? Speak soon.).
  • Formal letters have a more serious tone and will not contain abbreviations, e.g. I am writing to inform you that…
  • Follow our suggestion for using your time best in this IELTS test:
          • 3 minutes: Planning
          • 14 minutes: Writing
          • 3 minutes : Editing and improving
  • Use the 3 minutes of editing time at the end to carefully read through your writing, checking for spelling mistakes, punctuation mistakes, capital letter mistakes and ensuring that the letter makes sense and reads well.

QUESTION

You are writing to an old family friend to ask him/her to attend your birthday party.

Write a letter to invite your friend and be sure to:

  • Tell your friend about the party you are having for your birthday
  • Explain how important it is for you that he/she attends
  • Suggest that your friend can stay at the hotel next to the venue during the visit

MODEL ANSWER

Hi Sam,

How is everything with you and the family?

I wanted to drop you a line to let you know about the party I am having next month for my 40th birthday.

As it is a milestone birthday, I decided to do something a bit different. I’m renting out an entire sports hall where we will play bubble football! Have you ever tried it before? I did it once at a work team building event and I thought it’s be so fun doing it with all of my closest friends. There’ll be a selection of food and drinks there too – don’t worry, I’ll make sure we have some of your favourite hamburgers!

There’s a great hotel located next to the sports centre. In fact, its only a five minute walk between there and the party venue, so I’d recommend that you book there. It also has a restaurant that serves a great breakfast. You might be grateful of that the morning after!

It would mean the world to me if you are able to attend. You’re my oldest friend in the world and it really wouldn’t be the same without you there.

Let me know as soon as possible.

Katie

Word count: 202 words

Writing Task 1: General Path: Write a Letter

In the IELTS Writing Task 1 for General Path, you will always be asked to write a letter. You will have approximately 20 minutes to complete this task and it is recommended that you spend no longer than that on this section, otherwise you are compromising valuable marks in Task 2.

You must write a letter of over 150 words for this task. Examiners will be looking for task achievement, coherence and cohesion, vocabulary and grammar when marking the test. Each of these areas contain an equal weighting of 25% of the overall score.

The letter will generally be specified as formal or informal. Therefore, you must carefully consider the style of writing and the type of language required before you start writing.

In the test, you will be given the task and three bullet points that will specify content that must be included in the letter. This will help you to plan and structure the letter. You must ensure you cover these points, otherwise you will lose marks.

It is advised that you take time to both plan and edit you work. Practise structuring your time on this task in the following way:

3 minutes: Planning

14 minutes: Writing

3 minutes: Editing

Planning for Task 1

As mentioned above, there are three main points you will need to cover in this letter. Therefore, I recommend that you plan for a 3 paragraph letter, with each paragraph covering on of these points. When writing the plan, also consider and note down clearly whether it is a formal or informal letter so that you have this in mind from the start.

For example:

Task

You recently visited your friend’s house for dinner one evening. Write a letter to your friend. In your letter you should:

  • Thank your friend for the dinner
  • Tell them what you enjoyed most about the evening
  • Explain that you are sending photos of the evening with the letter

Plan

Style: Informal

Hi Ian,

Paragraph 1: Express thanks

Paragraph 2: Tell Ian I most enjoyed the prawn cocktail starter and the chocolate cheesecake dessert. Also: catching up.

Paragraph 3: Photos are enclosed.

Speak soon.

Katie

Editing in Task 1

Checking through your work after writing is hugely important in any writing tasks. Points will be deducted for mistakes in grammar and vocabulary, including spelling and punctuation mistakes. Once you have finished your letter, take the time to read it though slowly, carefully check for capital letters, correct punctuation and correct spelling. As you read, you also want to ensure that the letter makes sense and that you have included a good range of vocabulary.

Speaking Test Part 1 Exercise 4: Weather


In this exercise, you will practise answering a series of questions on the topic of ‘weather’. For detailed information on the IELTS speaking test part 1, be sure to check out the post ‘Speaking Practice Part 1: Food’.

Before you start, be sure to check out my top 3 tips for success in the IELTS speaking test below:

– Use the audio recording below. Play the recording and pause it after each question. Give your answer (remember to aim for 3-4 good sentences!) and then press play to proceed to the next question.

– Check you are giving enough detail in your answers by using a timer on your phone or watch to time the length of this part of the test. To answer these 4 questions, you should aim to speak for around 1 minute 40 seconds.

– Record yourself giving your answers. Listen back to it at the end of the test and consider how well you answered the question, how good your language use was and how clearly you spoke.

Audio Clip

Listen to the audio file by clicking on the play button:

 

Questions 

  1. How would you describe the weather today?
  2. What type of weather is your favourite?
  3. What is the weather like in your country?
  4. Does the weather in your country ever affect daily life?

 

MODEL ANSWERS

  1. How would you describe the weather today?

Today the weather is rather miserable. There are grey skies and it is very overcast. Temperatures are approximately 12-15 degree celsius so it is important to wrap up in warm clothes. There has been no rain as yet today, however the dark clouds indicate that there could be a high chance of rain occurring later in the day.

  1. What type of weather is your favourite?

For me, I most enjoy warm, sunny weather. I feel the cold very easily and I absolutely despise being cold. At the same time, I hate getting too hot and sweaty so a comfortable, warm temperature in the middle is just right for me. I am also a fan of being outdoors in the fresh air and you can’t beat a glorious sunny day for that.

  1. What is the weather like in your country?

I live in Hong Kong and the weather here is extremely hot and humid during the summer months. Everyone tries to stay inside in the air conditioning as much as possible because the second you step outdoors, you will feel very sticky and want to shower. The winter here gets colder which is refreshing after the extreme heat of the summer.

  1. Does the weather in your country ever affect daily life?

Absolutely. Living here in Asia, there are more extreme weathers in comparison to countries in Europe. In Hong Kong, there is a typhoon season between June and October. Some of the typhoons have been very strong and weather warnings are issued for everyone to stay indoors. I actually only recently found out that typhoons and hurricanes were the same thing – I thought hurricanes were much scarier!

Speaking Test Part 1 Exercise 3: Books


In this exercise, you will practise answering a series of questions on the topic of ‘books’. For detailed information on the IELTS speaking test part 1, be sure to check out the post ‘Speaking Practice Part 1: Food’.

Before you start, be sure to check out my top 3 tips for success in the IELTS speaking test below:

– Use the audio recording below. Play the recording and pause it after each question. Give your answer (remember to aim for 3-4 good sentences!) and then press play to proceed to the next question.

– Check you are giving enough detail in your answers by using a timer on your phone or watch to time the length of this part of the test. To answer these 4 questions, you should aim to speak for around 1 minute 40 seconds.

– Record yourself giving your answers. Listen back to it at the end of the test and consider how well you answered the question, how good your language use was and how clearly you spoke.

Audio Clip

Listen to the audio file by clicking on the play button:

 

Questions 

  1. Do you enjoy reading books?
  2. What type of books do you most enjoy reading?
  3. Where do you most enjoy reading books?
  4. Do you think reading is important for children?

 

MODEL ANSWERS

  1. Do you enjoy reading books?

I do like to read a good novel and I often find that once I start a book, I get very hooked on reading it. However, I do find it increasingly difficult to find the time to read books. Nowadays, I probably only read books when I am on holiday.

  1. What type of books do you most enjoy reading?

For me, there is really only one genre of books that I am interested in reading – crime. I find crime novels capture my interest and keep me engaged throughout. In fact, I think it makes me read the books faster because I am so intrigued to find out ‘whodunnit’ at the end. I have tried other styles of books, but the storylines often move too slowly and I lose interest in the plot.

  1. Where do you most enjoy reading books?

I believe that reading books is a very relaxing activity and, so, I like to be in the most comfortable position possible when I settle down to read. If I am sitting on the sofa, I tend to curl up in a ball and lean on the arm rest. I have tried reading books in bed but find that I am so cosy, I fall asleep!

  1. Do you think reading is important for children?

In my opinion, reading is essential for children. From a very young age, books provide children with the opportunity to better understand the world and to develop their language skills at the same time. I understand that not all children love reading, but it is still important that they engage with books. This will help them to improve their vocabulary and become better readers and writers in adulthood.

Speaking Test Part 1 Exercise 2: Hobbies and Interests

To prepare well for the IELTS speaking test, you need to become familiar talking about popular topics that frequently feature in this part of test. In this practice, you will focus on the popular IELTS speaking topic of hobbies and interests. Remember, in this test, you will be face to face with the examiner. In Part 1 there will be a total of 12 questions, split into 3 categories, so for each category there will be four questions. Make sure your responses contain enough detail and language to show off your English language skills. I recommend you aim for 3-4 sentences per question response.

Check out my top 3 tips for success in the IELTS speaking test below:

– Use the audio recording below. Play the recording and pause it after each question. Give your answer (remember to aim for 3-4 good sentences!) and then press play to proceed to the next question.

– Check you are giving enough detail in your answers by using a timer on your phone or watch to time the length of this part of the test. To answer these 4 questions, you should aim to speak for around 1 minute 40 seconds.

– Record yourself giving your answers. Listen back to it at the end of the test and consider how well you answered the question, how good your language use was and how clearly you spoke.

Audio Clip

Listen to the audio file by clicking on the play button:

 

Questions 

  1. What hobbies or interests do you have?
  2. Do you require any special equipment for your hobby?
  3. Do you enjoy doing hobbies with other people or do you prefer to be alone?
  4. Why do you think people have hobbies?

 

MODEL ANSWERS

  1. What hobbies or interests do you have?

My favourite hobby is playing the piano. I started taking piano lessons when I was seven years old and I’ve played ever since. At age 18, I took my Grade 8 exam and then I stopped playing for a few years. I started to miss it though so I recently purchased a new piano! In addition to the piano, I also enjoy outdoor sports, such as rock climbing.

  1. Do you require any special equipment for your hobby?

For playing the piano, there are only a few items that are necessary to purchase. Obviously, you have to start with buying a piano, although nowadays there are a lot of keyboards that give the feel of playing a real piano. You should also purchase a piano stool so that you learn to sit properly with a straight back, and a metronome is another important tool to help you keep in time.

  1. Do you enjoy doing hobbies with other people or do you prefer to be alone?

For me, I think I enjoy both. One of the things I love about rock climbing is spending the day outdoors with friends. Climbers are very supportive and encouraging of each other so it is very easy to meet new people and build new friendships in this sport. However, I also love the time to myself on the piano. When I play, it feels as though nothing except the piano and I exists in the world.

  1. Why do you think people have hobbies?

I think hobbies provide people with a way to relax. People in today’s world work very hard and so it is important that they also spend their time partaking in relaxing activities and generally having some fun! I believe that hobbies help us to switch off from the pressures and stresses that exist in society.

Speaking Test Part 1 Exercise 1: Food

 

Speaking Practice Part 1

Food

In the IELTS speaking test, you will be face to face with the examiner. The examiner will ask you a series of questions that you must respond to. The test is broken up into three parts. Part 1 consists of 12 questions based around 3 different topics and this part of the test will last for no more than 5 minutes. Your answers to these questions should be short but should also contain enough detail and language to show off your English language skills. I recommend you aim for 3-4 sentences per question response.

To help you to prepare for this part of the test, I recommend using the audio recording below. Play the recording and pause it after each question. Give your answer (remember to aim for 3-4 good sentences!) and then press play to proceed to the next question. Alternatively, you could ask a family member or friend to ask you the questions – this will give you good experience of having to give your answers face to face.

TOP TIP #1

One good method to check if you are giving enough detail in your answers is to use a timer on your phone or watch to time the length of this part of the test. The whole of part one (12 questions) should fill approximately 5 minutes. So, for these 4 questions, you should aim to speak for around 1 minute 40 seconds.  Start the timer when I begin asking the first question and stop the timer once you have finished answering the final question. If the timer shows a time less than 1 minute 30 seconds, you need to work on giving longer answers. If the time shows a time over 2 minutes, then you will need to work on giving slightly more concise answers.

TOP TIP #2

Another good way to improve your speaking ability is to record yourself giving your answers. Listen back to it at the end of the test and consider these questions:

  • Did you answer the question?
  • Were your answers grammatically correct?
  • Did you use a good range of vocabulary?
  • Did you speak clearly?
  • Did you use correct intonation when talking?

Play the audio recording, start your timer and answer the questions. After the test, you may wish to have a look at the model answers written out below.

 

Audio Clip

Listen to the audio file by clicking on the play button:

 

Questions

  1. What is your favourite food?
  2. What food do you dislike?
  3. What food is popular in your country?
  4. Do you think you have a healthy diet?

 

MODEL ANSWERS

  1. What is your favourite food?

My favourite food is probably pizza. I like pizza because it is a combination of two foods I really enjoy eating, which are bread and cheese. My favourite flavour of pizza is hawaiian. Not everybody likes that flavour as some people think putting fruit on savoury dishes is wrong, but I think it is delicious!

 

  1. What food do you dislike?

I am very fortunate in that I enjoy eating most foods. However, the one food that I really hate is olives. I find the taste very overpowering. A few years ago, I bought a loaf of ciabatta bread and heated it up in the oven. I was so excited to eat it but, when I bit into it, I realised it contained small pieces of olives so I had to throw it away!

 

  1. What food is popular in your country?

I live in Hong Kong so Chinese food is very popular here. Dishes such as peking duck and sweet and sour can be found very easily in the city. However, I particularly enjoy Chinese dim sum. It consists of foods such as dumplings and BBQ pork buns that are both crispy and sweet. They really melt in your mouth!

 

  1. Do you think you have a healthy diet?

Overall, my diet is quite healthy. I try to eat a balanced mix of protein, carbohydrates and dairy every day. Like most people, I do have my bad days but I try to make it up by being even healthier the following day. I like to keep fit and do exercise so living a healthy lifestyle is important to me.