PTE Listening Fill In the Blanks: Tips & Mistakes to Note

Posted on 25/10/2023 by Moni PTE Magic

The PTE Listening Fill in the blanks is the fourth and final section, evaluating your ability to comprehend spoken English in academic contexts.

This task requires you to have a wide range of vocabulary and good listening skills to achieve proficiency and get a high score on the exam.

Keep scrolling to explore the structure, scoring system, and tips from PTE Magic to improve your score.

Let’s take a look.

(Read our Vietnamese version here)


Structure And Scoring System Of The PTE Listening Fill In The Blanks

Fill In The Blanks

For the “Fill in the blank section,” you will see a text with some missing words. While an audio recording plays for 30-60 seconds, you need to listen and type the missing words into the text. The text may include 5-7 missing words.

Your score depends on how well you complete the text by filling in the blanks. For each word you type correctly, you get one point. You will not get any credit if you don’t fill in or get the wrong answer.

Remember that you can only listen to the audio once. Thus, it’s essential to listen carefully and spell the words correctly.


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5 Tips And Tricks While Filling In The Blanks 

Pre-Listening Tips

Skim the text: Before the audio starts, you should quickly read through the entire text. This will give you an idea of the context of the recording and help you anticipate where the gaps might be.

Identify proper nouns: Another tip is looking for proper nouns, such as names of people, places, organizations, etc., in the text. These can provide valuable clues about the missing words.

Note repetition: You’d better pay attention to words or phrases that are repeated in the audio. Repetition often indicates important keywords related to the topic.

During Listening Tips

Cursor placement: Position your cursor at the first blank before the recording begins. In this way, you’ll be ready to type in the missing words as soon as you hear it.

Follow along: While listening to the audio, track the text with your cursor or finger. This tip ensures you do not miss any gaps due to poor preparation or confusion.

Rhythm and practice: Developing a rhythm by doing various practice tests is essential. This multitasking skill is perfect for smoothly typing in the missing words as you listen.

Spelling matters: Spelling is among the most important things in any English test. A correct answer with incorrect spelling won’t earn you any points. Therefore, you should double-check your spelling after filling in the blanks.

No blanks left empty: Sometimes, you cannot listen to the keywords and leave them empty. However, there is a higher chance of a correct answer if you guess it based on the context and other related information.

Post-Listening Tips

Before submitting, it’s best to review the answer you’ve filled in carefully. Ensures the completed sentences make sense, grammatically, and spelling correct. 

Special Consideration

Multitasking: This task in the PTE exam demands multitasking, where you listen, read, type, and think simultaneously. It’s best to stay focused and organized. 

Additional Strategies

Spelling and grammar: Use your knowledge of grammar and logic to confirm your answer, especially when words sound similar. The transcript should be free of grammatical errors, which can help you identify the right answer. 

Making guesses: If you’re unsure about a word, take a guess based on your knowledge.

Learn by heart widely-used collocations: You should familiarize yourself with common word pairings or collocations. When in doubt, the context might suggest specific words if you know common associations.

Regular listening practice: Cultivating a daily habit of listening to English songs, movies, etc., is necessary. It’s best to listen to different accents and speech patterns regularly to become more proficient in understanding spoken English.

4 Common Mistakes When Filling In The Blanks

pte listening fill in the blanks

Wrong Word Form

One common mistake in this PTE Listening section is choosing the wrong word form. Students often fail to pay attention to the specific nouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs, leading to losing the whole points of that answer.

To avoid this mistake, you should read the entire sentence carefully, focusing on the words both before and after the blank to determine the right word form.

Context Confusing

Misunderstanding the context of the audio recording is another frequent error. Students need to grasp the setting of the script as a whole. 

Practicing listening skills, taking notes, and actively engaging with the content can increase the chance of filling in the correct answers in the blanks.

Grammatical Errors

While filling in the blanks, students may overlook grammar rules such as subject-verb agreement, tense, prepositions, and articles. Even a small error can alter the meaning of a sentence. 

Therefore, while learning a vocabulary, it’s best to look for its word form and contexts to use them correctly. Ensure that you learn it exactly to avoid any mistakes when doing the test.

Homophones Confusing

Homophones, words that are pronounced the same but have different spellings and meanings, can create confusion, too.  

You may choose the wrong homophone for a blank since they only rely on what they hear and do not carefully consider whether the chosen word fits the sentence.

To overcome this issue, you should read the whole sentence to capture the overall meaning. It’s better to learn and differentiate common homophones to avoid confusion in your test.


How Can I Get A 90 Score In PTE Listening?

Getting a high PTE score may require you to practice regularly by watching English movies and listening to songs. Daily exposure to different content helps you understand various accents and builds your vocabulary.

Focusing on active listening and consistent practice can help you aim for a high score in this Fill in the blanks section and the whole PTE Listening part.

Is Fill In The Blanks The Hardest PTE Listening Task?

No. Fill in the blanks is the easiest and most scoring section in the PTE Listening. The most challenging section is “Write from dictation.”

Many test-takers struggle with time management, and because it’s the last question type, they often run out of time to complete it. 


In short, the PTE Listening Fill in the blanks task requires you to fill in missing words in a text after listening to the audio. To do it well, you should pay attention to the words around the gaps, use grammar rules, and remember the context.

Most importantly, the more you practice, the better you get. Thus, always stay focused, regularly practice, and stay calm during the test to improve your chances of success.

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Moni PTE Magic

My name is Moni, and I am a seasoned PTE teacher with over 6 years of experience. I have helped thousands of students overcome their struggles and achieve their desired scores. My passion for teaching and dedication to my student’s success drives me to continually improve my teaching methods and provide the best possible support. Join me on this journey toward PTE success!

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