IELTS Listening Practice: Table Completion

Table completion in IELTS listening is a common type of question. It can appear in any section of the listening test. Spend time preparing the headings and the predict the missing content of the table. Pay attention to the number of words possible for the answers. This listening exercise is a similar level to section 4 of the listening IELTS test.

After you have prepared the table and the missing answers, listen to the recording and write down the answers as you listen. In the real test, you can listen only once.

Answers are given below. The transcript is also available with the answers so you can check your answers and improve your pronunciation.

Questions 1-5
Write no more than three words for each answer.

Introduced species of the British Isles

Transcript and Answers

Click below to read the transcript and see the answers.


Islands, such as the British Isles, can be adversely affected by the introduction of non-native species. Many species have been introduced to Britain during historical times. Some species have been introduced with no adverse consequences. However, others have had a severe impact both economically and ecologically.

One good example of an invasive species is the gray squirrel which, at the turn of the 20th century, was introduced into South Africa, Ireland, and England from North America. On mainland Britain, it has almost entirely displaced the populations of native red squirrels. Schemes have been introduced to control the population in Ireland to encourage the native red squirrels. In the wild, gray squirrels can be found living in large areas of mature, dense woodland. These forests usually contain large amounts of dense understory vegetation that provides them sufficient amount of food sources and favorable shelters. On very rare occasions, when their usual food sources are scarce, gray squirrels will eat insects and small birds. However, in general gray squirrels exist mainly on nuts and seeds. They even have a high enough tolerance for humans to inhabit residential neighborhoods and are known to raid bird feeders.
Among those species which have been introduced with little harm to the local ecosystem is the rainbow trout which is native only to the rivers and lakes of North America but its value as a hard-fighting game fish and tasty meal has led to its introduction throughout the world. Rainbow trout are gorgeous fish, with coloring and patterns that vary widely depending on habitat, age, and spawning condition. They are members of the salmon family and, like their salmon cousins, can grow quite large. They prefer cool, clear rivers and lakes and survive on insects and small fish.
Adapted from the following sources:,

1. gray squirrel / grey squirrel
2. mature dense woodland / dense woodland / woodland / forest
3. seeds and nuts / nuts and seeds / nuts seeds / seeds nuts
4. rivers and lakes (lakes rivers)
5. insects and fish / insects small fish


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  1. Hi Liz,
    I gave my ielts exam yesterday and I am confused whether £ 5 is correct or £ five is correct in listening question. £ was already there in sentence. Actually I don’t remember the instructions that it was one word only or one word/one number. Please help me which one is correct. Or both are correct depending upon instructions.

    • The instructions will always match the required answer. IELTS is a professional language test and there are never mistakes with instructions. If a number is an answer, a number will be possible in the instructions.

      • Prerna Gaur says

        Yes correct. But I don’t remember whether I missed reading instructions properly. So could you please tell whether £five is correct or not in a sentence.

        • You will be marked on spelling. This means there is never a reason to write a number using letters. You should use the digit “5”. Use the word if you want, but I recommend you not to use it.

          • I have written £5 but the instructions were one word I think. In that case it’s wrong. 😣
            Anyways thanks a lot Liz. God bless u.

            • I feel you haven’t understood. It is 100% impossible an IELTS test to have an answer which is a number without the “number” option in the instructions. This means you have not remembered the instructions correctly. It means the issue is only with your memory and it is something you should not worry about at all. If the answer is a number, there will always be an option to write the digit – always.

  2. I cant believe it you’re doing all that for free, Liz your are amazing beautiful person, your page is very helpful, your lessons are incredibly fantastic.
    God bless you

  3. Is it correct to write The Grey Squirrel as it does not exceed the word limit of 3 words?
    Thank you!

    • It would be wrong. You do not use articles for tables unless the examples in the table already show that pattern.

  4. Hi greetings mam,
    For question no. 2 habitat’s of gray squirrel
    Is it possible to write – wild instead of forest.

    • The word “wild” is not a place. The word “wild” is an adjective which means it is not a possible answer. In the expression “in the wild”, the word “wild” is a noun – but you would require the whole expression.

  5. Hello Miss,
    I would like to be sure if putting a comma in between the words “insect” and “small fish” for question 5, will it be marked as incorrect?

    etc. insects, small fish

    Thank you.

  6. Hi Liz. Thank u so much for covering all types of topics for IELTS exam. In this section Grey is correct or Gray is correct or both r fine.

    • IELTS will accept either US or UK spelling.

    • Hi Liz,

      Is it okay to write the answers in a different order? I do not understand the system of IELTS therefore I thought it would be better to ask you and make sure I can write “nuts and seeds” instead of “seeds and nuts” as you said in the recording.

      Thank you for this website and your help,

      • For these questions, it makes no difference what the order is. Also pay attention to whether you need the word “and” or not. If you put it in your answer and it is not required, the whole answer will be marked wrong.

  7. Hey Liz, Is there any difference between Academic Listening n Gerneral Listening Test??

    • There is no special test for listening GT. All students take the same listening test. Both GT and Academic students take the same listening and speaking tests.

  8. There’s no Recording available.
    Nothing plays.

  9. Prerna Singh says

    Hello Liz Ma’am,
    Its it ok to write ‘cool clear lakes’, or is that wrong.
    Should we only write lakes or rivers?
    I am greatful for your lessons.

    Thank you.

  10. Hi, Liz,
    Is there any choice in IELTS exam. for British and American accent

  11. 1. Grey / Gray ( I understand both are correct?)

    5. Insects & Small Fish (it is correct or not?)

  12. Jayant Jaiswal says

    Hi Liz,’

    If I’m writing answer as “insects small fish”, is it considered correct like this only.
    Would putting a COMMA in between like “insects, small fish” make it wrong?


  13. i heard Grace’s squirrel even i tried many times

  14. Muzammil says

    Hi Ma’am,

    I want to ask if in case of feeling the need to improve a particular section of IELTS (e.g. Speaking), do we have to attempt the whole test all over again or is there an option available to attempt only that particular section with a low band score??

    Kindly help.

  15. Hi liz.o have an question can I have to start writing tasks 2 introduction with general lines or paraphrase the statement which one is the best one

  16. Sujit Kumar Biswas says

    Dear Liz
    Last question is insects and small fish but i answered insect small fish. My question is insect or insects, if insects it should be small fishes?


  17. Hi Liz,

    Can we write grey instead of gray.

  18. Hi
    Dear, what do mean by ” understory Vegetation ” ?

  19. It would be useful if I could print the transcript….why is this not possible?

  20. Hi Liz,

    I have applied for the IELTS exam and have a good communication skill both written and verbal. But the only thing that is bothering me is my vocabulary. You can say i use simpler vocabularies and not very tough ones as such. I have gone through your written and speaking tests modules hence i am not sure whether i would be able to score a good band score or no.

  21. Thanks a lot Liz
    I am following you gladly

  22. I used commas between “nuts, seeds”; “rivers, lakes”; “insects, small fish”. Is it correct? Thank you!

    • It not necessary to use commas. Just write the two words with a clear space between. However, your answer will still be marked correct even if you use commas.

  23. Your website is very helpful.I finished answering all the reading practice and now I am on the listening questions.I have questions when it comes to the answer keys like I answered insects small fish.Idid not put the word and coz it only requires no more than three words.Can I use a comma instead just to separate it?


  24. Dear Madam, would it be accepted as a correct answer if I spelt ‘gray squirrels’ as ‘grey squirrels’? Thank you.

  25. Hi Liz

    Hope you well. All of your articles , videos & tips are so helpful that anyone one can trust only this website. I feel that you should have well paid . however for your kindness we all are benefited. I purchased road to IElTS from british council but comfortable with your lessons and instructions.
    I have exam tomorrow morning ,please keep in your pray.

    Good Job, Keep it UP.

  26. should’t grey squirrels be in capital letters like Grey squirrels just like Rainbow Trout ?

  27. Alisha Sebastian says

    Thanks mam.

  28. K.M.Sakil Mahmud says

    Hello, Mam
    Your tips are tremendous..
    Thanks for this kind of help tips for IELTS..Its really help me a lot..:-)

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