Listening: Fill in the Blanks Guide & Tips

Written By Peter's PTE
Written By Peter's PTE

The PTE Academic Listening section assesses your ability to listen for missing words in a recording and type them into a transcription. The Listening: Fill in the Blanks task requires a combination of listening and writing skills, making it a unique challenge. In this guide, we will explore this task in detail and provide expert tips to help you excel.

Listening: Fill in the Blanks Format

In the Listening: Fill in the Blanks task, you are presented with a transcript of an audio recording. However, there are gaps in the text, with words missing. After listening to the audio recording, your task is to restore the transcript by typing the missing words into the gaps.

You have just one opportunity to listen to the audio recording, and it plays at normal speed. After listening, you must fill in the missing words while maintaining proper spelling and context.

How Is It Scored?

To improve your performance in the Listening: Fill in the Blanks part of the PTE Listening test, Keep Mind These Scoring Factor –

Listening and Writing

  • 1 Score: Each correct word spelled correctly
  • 0 Score: Minimum score

Always Remember

  • You are only able to listen to the audio recording once. The audio begins to play automatically.
  • Even if you can’t read the entire transcript, focus on the words around the blanks. This partial information will guide your listening and alert you to the words needed to fill the blanks.

Listening: Fill in the Blanks Practice Tips

Pre-Listening Preparation

In the 7 seconds before the recording begins, you have a brief window to skim the text. Focus on understanding the overall theme and context of the transcript. Pay attention to:

  • Proper Nouns: Identify proper nouns, which are words that begin with a capital letter. They provide information about people, places, and organizations. Although you might not know every detail, recognizing them will help you understand the context.
  • Repeated Nouns: Take note of any nouns that are repeated in the text. They often provide clues about the topic and context of the audio.

Active Listening and Note-Taking

  • Actively listen to the audio and write down missing words on the provided erasable noteboard.
  • Keep a steady pace while filling in the blanks. Stay ready to type as you hear the words.

Final Review

  • Before submitting, review the filled-in passage for logic, grammar, and spelling.
  • Develop a time management plan to allocate sufficient time for this task, including review.


The Listening: Fill in the Blanks task within the PTE Academic Listening section combines the critical skills of listening and writing. By implementing expert tips and engaging in focused practice, you can enhance your ability to restore audio transcripts accurately. Remember that success in this task goes beyond the test; it equips you with valuable skills for various listening situations. Best of luck on your PTE Academic journey!

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