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PTE listening: strategies for answering fill in the blanks (drag and drop)

The PTE Listening section assesses your ability to understand spoken English in various contexts. One of the question types you may encounter is Fill in the Blanks (Drag and Drop). In this type of question, you will listen to an audio recording, and your task is to select the appropriate words or phrases from a given list and place them in the correct blanks. This blog post will provide you with effective strategies to approach and excel in Fill in the Blanks (Drag and Drop) questions in the PTE Listening section.

Skim the Text and Identify the Context:

Before listening to the audio, quickly skim the text containing the blanks. Pay attention to the overall topic, the sentence structure, and any clues that can help you anticipate the missing words. Understanding the context will guide you in selecting the most suitable options from the provided list.

Focus on Keywords and Sentence Structure:

Listen carefully to the audio recording and identify keywords or phrases related to the missing words. Look for clues in the sentence structure, such as verb tenses, noun forms, or grammatical patterns, which can help you narrow down the options. The context and the words around the blanks can also provide valuable hints.

Predict the Missing Words:

Based on the context and the information provided in the audio, try to predict the missing words before looking at the options. This will help you focus on the relevant choices and eliminate irrelevant ones. Make sure your predictions align with the grammar and meaning of the sentence.

Listen for Clues and Contextual Cues:

As you listen to the audio, pay close attention to any clues or contextual cues that might indicate the missing words. Look for synonyms, antonyms, or words that link ideas together. These clues can guide you in selecting the correct words from the given options.

Consider Grammar and Syntax:

Ensure that the selected words fit grammatically and syntactically into the sentence. Check for subject-verb agreement, appropriate verb forms, and accurate word order. Incorrect choices may disrupt the overall coherence and meaning of the sentence.

Use Process of Elimination:

If you are uncertain about a particular option, use the process of elimination to narrow down the choices. Eliminate options that are clearly incorrect or do not match the context. This strategy increases your chances of selecting the correct words.

Practice Active Listening:

Develop your listening skills by practicing active listening. Engage with various audio materials, such as podcasts, interviews, and lectures, to enhance your ability to comprehend spoken English. Pay attention to intonation, stress, and rhythm, as these elements can provide additional clues for understanding the context.

Time Management:

Manage your time effectively during the PTE Listening section. Allocate appropriate time to read the text, predict the missing words, and select the correct options. It is advisable to move on if you find a particular question challenging and return to it later if time permits.


Fill in the Blanks (Drag and Drop) questions in the PTE Listening section require careful listening, analysis of context, and effective selection of appropriate words or phrases. By skimming the text, focusing on keywords, predicting the missing words, listening for clues, considering grammar and syntax, using the process of elimination, practicing active listening, and managing your time wisely, you can excel in these question types. Regular practice and exposure to a variety of audio materials will strengthen your listening skills and increase your confidence in answering Fill in the Blanks (Drag and Drop) questions in the PTE Listening test.