Summary Completion: IELTS Listening Practice

IELTS Listening Summary Completion Exercise

The difficulty level of this exercise is typical of IELTS section 4. First read through the summary and predict the types of answers you need for each gap.

The Terracotta Army

Complete the summary using no more than three words and /or a number.

Questions 1-5

The terracotta army was made in order to 1.  …………………… the emperor after this death in his afterlife. This funerary art has been estimated to be from the 2. ………………. and was discovered in 1974 by the 3. …………………… The majority of the sculptures were 4.  …………. and 5. ………….. sculptures of cavalry horses were also found.

The Terracotta Army is a collection of terracotta sculptures depicting the armies the first Emperor of China. It is a form of funerary art buried with the emperor in 210–209 BC and whose purpose was to protect the emperor in his afterlife.
The figures, dating from approximately the late third century BC, were discovered in 1974 by local farmers in, Xi’an. The figures vary in height according to their roles, with the tallest being the generals. The figures include warriors, chariots and horses. Estimates from 2007 were that the three pits containing the Terracotta Army held more than 8,000 soldiers, 130 chariots with 520 horses and 150 cavalry horses, the majority of which remained buried in the pits nearby. Other terracotta non-military figures were found in other pits, including officials, acrobats, strongmen and musicians. ( from wiki)
  1. protect
  2. third century BC / 3rd century BC
  3. local farmers
  4. soldiers
  5. 150
Vocab Builder
  • to depict =show
  • purpose = aim / function
  • vary = differ
  • warrior = soldier
  • majority = greater part
  • figures = people


Recommended Lessons

IELTS Listening Practice: Sentence Completion
IELTS Listening Practice: Short Answer Questions


  1. Hi !
    I had a question , in a Listening exam if the audio goes like ‘ every second day ‘ , can the answer ‘every 2 days’ be correct also ?! In other words , can we rephrase the phrase or we just have to write as it is?

    • The answer you have written is “every two days” – with the number two written as a digit and the last word written as a plural. If the correct answer is “every second day”, your answer would be marked wrong. It is either 100% right or it is marked wrong.

  2. Hey Liz,

    Is it okay to write “farmers” instead of “local farmers” ? Is it still taken as a correct answer?

  3. CannyRelentless says

    Compliments Liz. You are doing a historic legacy work.

    Honestly, from my culture such acts as this by you is a generational blessing which you are laying down. May legacies bless you.

    Pardon if this question is awkward, but it bothers me a lot as my level of recollection needs improvement.

    Please will the test taker be allowed to play back the Audio in order to select and give answers or it is played only once during the test session/time alotted?

    • You can listen only once to the audio. You cannot stop it or pause it. Please get the IELTS Cambridge test books which contain real IELTS tests to practise with at home – you will then understand how the listening test is done.

  4. Mosaddek says

    Thanks mam,
    Though Your listening is very tough but helpful…

  5. Dear Liz,

    I couldn’t find a clear definition of “calvary horse”. What is that means?
    Thanks very much.

  6. Thanks Liz, I got four of them right. However , I must say this listening was a little tough. Thanks a million. God bless you.

  7. I got 3 out of 5 Thanks 🙏 mam

  8. Hi Liz,

    I am trying to use the listening resource on your website.
    however, there is no record of your listening section.
    Could you please let me know how to find the icons for the record.
    Thank you

    • Some of the listening audios are streamed online and require a strong internet to play them. They are played through soundcloud.

  9. Omme_hashmi says

    Can u plzzz tel me that in which type of questions the answers comes in an order?????

    • In listening, all answer follow the order of the questions. For this reason, you can use key words in the questions to help follow the recording.

  10. Pat Choi says

    Nevertheless, your sample questions are way too hard. When I try Cambridge IELTS speaking test, the answers come out with a certain interval at least. What I mean by that is, if the answer of the question No 1 was spoken, then I write down the answer. Even while I write it, recording goes on. Then another clue (answer) comes out for question 2.
    But your sample goes like, when I write down the answer of question 1 , the answer of question 2 already is spoken right away(without minimal intervening). That means I must do multitasking of both writing and listening. Of course I missed the question 2. That point makes me frustrated so much…

    • I agree with you, Liz’s questions are slightly more difficult than the Cambridge Tests, however i kind of like getting used to the difficult tests, so the real one will be easier to do this way.

  11. good day maam,is it okay to paraphrase in the listening test if the words are long

  12. Though the speaker is very clear, this one is quite tough for me. Thank you liz

  13. Dear All

    As a foreign learner of English, It’s really tough. Isn’t it ?

  14. hi liz!
    please tell how much time we have in between each section to read the question?

  15. This one was quite tough for me. The dates were a bit confusing as was the 4th answer because so many similar words and options were given. About the 2nd answer, could you please explain how we can figure out the number of words required when we have 3rd century B.C. something like this sort of date? I was wondering if it should be late 3rd century B.C. because we are allowed three words. Also is the terracota army a proper noun? Should it be capitalized? Thanks a lot 🙂 I enjoy your topic choices immensely.

  16. I noticed the answers given are equal to more than three words and one number?? is this an over site?

    • There are no answers more than three words and one number. You will see that one answer is divided by “/” which means that I have shown you two different answers that are accepted as being right. You should have one of them. You can’t write more than three words and one number.
      All the best

  17. Noha Faisal says

    Hi , i saw that warriors are the same meaning of soldiers , but i wanna inquire if I put warriors instead ,, will it be wrong ??

    • You must write the word giving in the recording. Any other word is marked wrong. “warrior” has the same meaning but is not given in the recording so it’s wrong.
      All the best

      • Noha Faisal says

        Thank you dear .. however , it has been given in the recording but not at the specific order to be answered as a suitable one .

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