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PTE listening: strategies for answering fill in the blanks

The Fill in the Blanks task in the Listening section assesses your ability to comprehend spoken English and accurately complete missing words or phrases. This task requires active listening skills, vocabulary knowledge, and an understanding of context. In this blog post, we will provide you with valuable strategies and tips to effectively tackle the Fill in the Blanks task in the PTE Listening section.

Focus on the Context:

Listen attentively to the surrounding words and sentences to grasp the overall context. Pay close attention to the speaker's tone, intonation, and emphasis on specific words or ideas. Understanding the context will help you predict the missing word and make more accurate choices.

Predict the Missing Word:

Based on the context and your understanding of the passage, try to predict the word or phrase that would logically fit into the blank. Consider the grammatical structure of the sentence and the meaning being conveyed. Use your knowledge of vocabulary and collocations to make an educated guess.

Take Note of Keywords:

Listen for keywords or phrases that provide clues to the missing word. These keywords may include nouns, verbs, adjectives, or adverbs that help convey the speaker's intended meaning. By identifying these keywords, you can narrow down the options and select the most appropriate word to fill in the blank.

Pay Attention to Grammar and Syntax:

Consider the grammatical structure and syntax of the sentence to ensure that the selected word or phrase fits naturally. Take note of verb tenses, subject-verb agreement, and other grammatical cues. A grammatically correct answer choice is more likely to be the correct option.

Consider Word Forms and Collocations:

Pay attention to the form of the missing word (noun, verb, adjective, etc.) and its relationship to other words in the sentence. Consider common word collocations and choose a word that is commonly used in combination with the surrounding words. This will help maintain the coherence and meaning of the sentence.

Be Mindful of Distractions:

The options provided in the Fill in the Blanks task may include distractors or words that sound similar but do not accurately complete the meaning of the sentence. Be cautious of these distractors and focus on selecting the option that best fits the context and the intended meaning.

Review and Revise:

After completing all the blanks, take a moment to review your answers. Check for any grammatical errors, spelling mistakes, or words that may not fit the context correctly. Make necessary revisions to ensure the overall coherence and accuracy of your responses.

Practice Active Listening:

To improve your skills in the Fill in the Blanks task, engage in regular practice sessions that involve active listening. Listen to a variety of English audio materials, such as podcasts, lectures, or news broadcasts, and try to fill in the missing words. This will enhance your ability to capture key information and improve your accuracy in selecting the appropriate words.


Successfully answering the Fill in the Blanks task in the PTE Listening section requires active listening, understanding of context, and effective vocabulary selection. By employing these strategies and practicing regularly, you can enhance your listening skills and improve your performance in this task. Remember to focus on the context, predict the missing word, consider grammar and collocations, and be mindful of distractions. With consistent practice and application of these strategies, you will be well-prepared to tackle the Fill in the Blanks task in the PTE Listening section.