IELTS Listening Practice: Sports Festival

IELTS summary completion and sentence completion practice for listening about the topic of sport.


  • Spend time reading through the questions for the summary and sentence completion because the audio will cover all questions.
  • Pay attention to the title and key words in the questions.
  • Predict the type of answer you will need to listen for (grammar will help you).
  • Notice that the instructions (word count) changes as the type of question changes – pay attention to this.
  • Be ready to move from one set of questions to another. Identify a key word that will help you to know when to move questions.
  • Remember that some key words can be paraphrased.

Mongolian Sports Festival

Questions 1 – 3

Complete the summary using no more than one word and/or a number.

Naadam is a festival of three sports in Mongolia: (1)……………….. horse racing and archery. This festival is traditionally for men and takes place during (2)……………….. Previously, women were unable to (3)………………. in the festival but now they can take part in two out of the three sports.

Questions 4 – 6

Complete the sentences using no more than two words and/or numbers.

  • 4) Historically, this festival was used to generate ………………….
  • 5) People don ……………………………… for the festival.
  • 6) Each year the celebration is held between ……. and ……………….


Answers & Vocabulary

Click below to see answers:

  1. wrestling
  2. midsummer (one word)
  3. participate or compete (two possible options)
  4. warriors or skillful warriors (must be plural) or skillful men
  5. colourful clothes or traditional clothes or distinctive clothes (three possible options but no more than two words possible for the answer)
  6. 11 13 July / 11th 13th July (you must have both numbers and the month. The month does not need to start with a capital letter. See this page regarding the use of capital letters: IELTS Listening Tips)

Naadam is a traditional games festival in Mongolia comprising of three sports: Mongolian wrestling, horse racing and archery. It is otherwise known as “the three games of men” because traditionally men were the only ones who could compete.  It is held over midsummer throughout the country. Nowadays, women are able to participate in archery and horse racing but not wrestling. The name “Naadam” means “festival or feast of sports”.

In ancient times, the Mongolian great kings and military generals used to train their warriors and the warriors’ main battle tool, horses, through this competition. While competing and feasting, those three manly traditional sports have been used to create skillful men for centuries.

During the festival, Mongolians dress in colourful and distinctive traditional clothes and ride their most beautiful horses. Official festival celebrations take place throughout the country between 11th and 13th July annually.  The Naadam celebration in Ulaanbaatar, the capital of Mongolia, is the most marvelous.

Useful Vocabulary
  • comprising of = made up of / consisting of
  • wrestling – a sport of holding and throwing an opponent to the ground
  • archery – using a bow and arrow to hit a target
  • compete = participate / take part in
  • to be held / to take place
  • in ancient times = historically
  • manly = activities suited to a man
  • generate = create
  • to dress = to don (this is formal verb)
  • marvelous = spectacular (this synonym is used only in this context)


Naadam Festival Information

Watch a great video about this wonderful festival in Mongolia. The person giving the information is Mongolian and does make mistakes with English but she still has a wide range of interesting vocabulary and can explain her ideas clearly.

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Below is some excellent vocabulary that was used in this video:

  • delighted
  • preparing warriors for combat
  • huge
  • great noise / shouting
  • rush
  • testing not only speed but endurance
  • bare feet
  • saddle
  • cheering
  • sharpness
  • brings the community together
  • harsh weather
  • lifts the spirits of everyone

You may consider her accent difficult to understand in parts but her vocabulary, as you can see above, is very strong and flexible. She is able to explain her ideas and concepts very clearly.

I hope you enjoyed this lesson. Let me know if there any special customs or celebrations in your country that you wish me to make a lesson for. Liz

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