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PTE Listening – Select Missing Word Tips

 

Strategies and Ideas to score in Select Missing Word in PTE Listening:

The select missing word item type in the Listening section of the PTE exam isquite challenging. While answering this task, you have to listen to a recording and complete the sentence in the recording using the given response options. To perform well and consistently in this task, one needs a lot of practice.

PTE Select Missing Word Overview

Task

The select missing word task is a listening item type that assesses only the listening skills.You will generally come across 2-3 questions from this task while attempting the PTE Exam. This task evaluates your aptitude to foresee what a speaker is going to say next based on circumstantial clues. This task contains multiple choice questions where you will have to listen, comprehend, guess and then choose one correct response.

In this task, you will be given instructions on the top section of the computer screen like “You will hear a short recording on education. At the end of the recording the last word or group of words has been replaced by a beep. Select the correct option to complete the recording”. The first sentence of the given instructionswill always give you the topic of the recording and it will be the only part that will differ for each question in this item type. While attempting the PTE Exam, always make sure to read the first sentence carefully to understand the topic of the recording to prepare yourself for listening.

Theaudio player status box will follow the instructions. The timer on audio player will countdown a few seconds after which its status will change to playing and you will hear the audio recording. Below the audio player you will find the response options.

Scoring System

While the communicative skill scored in this section is listening the other sub skills tested in this section are Identifying the topic, theme or main ideas; identifying words and phrases appropriate to the context; understanding academic vocabulary; inferring the meaning of unfamiliar words; comprehending explicit and implicit information; comprehending concrete and abstract information; following an oral sequencing of information; predicting how a speaker may continue; forming a conclusion from what a speaker says; comprehending variations in tone, speed and accent.

The scoring for this item type is quite simple. You score 1 mark for selecting the correct answer and 0 for choosing an incorrect response.

Strategies, tips and ideas

You will be given a few seconds of preparation time to attempt the questions in this task. In this time, you should first read the instructions to understand the topic of the audio recording.Prepare yourself to encounter new words and ideas related to the mentioned topic.

Thepurpose of this listening task is to identify missing words at the end of the audio recording. To perform this task, you should be able to carry out various tasks at once. You will have to comprehend and understand the speech to choose the correct option that does not alter the speakers envisionedmessage. You will also have to remember the last sentence to choose the correct response that will make grammatical sense in the context of the last sentence.

To achieve the above objectives while listening,imagination along with the capability to remember and comprehend is very important. You don’t have to make notes or remember the message word by word; you simply have to remember the main and sub topics of the conversation.

Comprehension of the message in the audio recording should be the sole purpose that has to be achieved. So while listening to the recording, pay attention and imagine that you are talking to your friend who is delivering an important message; the call abruptly ends and you miss out on hearing the last few words of the conversation. The assumption of the last few words should be your answer. What is expected is that you predict and choose from a set of options, the last few words of the speaker. As you listen keep an eye on the status bar of the audio player. When it reaches near the end, you know you are going to hear the last sentence. Repeat the last sentence, word by word, behind the speaker with a goal to memorize the sentence. When the audio stops write down what you have memorized in your notebook.

Now to get the correct answer for select missing word questions apply the trial and error method. Simply put each option at the end of the last sentence of the speech that you have memorized and write down in your notebook. The answer that meets the common sense and grammatical criteria will be your correct answer.

The common sense criteria will be realized if the option evidently communicates the speaker’s intended meaning for the sentence and for the entire speech.

The grammatical criteria holds that the option should make sense in the context of the grammar used in the sentence. For this purpose pay attention to the sentence’s nouns, pronouns, articles and tenses to name a few.

EXAMPLES

“The Audio scriptsare taken from PRACTICE TESTS PLUS, PTE ACADEMIC, PEARSON TEST OF ENGLISH ACADEMIC from the test developers”.

Example 1

You will hear a recording about fiction writing. At the end of the recording the last word or group of words has been replaced by a beep.Select the correct option to complete the recording.

Audio script:

“As I mentioned last week, we’re going to look todayat fiction writing, writing stories, and in particular atauthors who have a reputation for creating charactersin their books who are known as ‘unreliable narrators’.Now what does that mean exactly? Well originally, in the nineteenth century it tended to simply mean that – as a reader – you just couldn’t trust what the narrator of a story was telling you. This might have been because theywere not giving you important information, or becausethey themselves as a character in their own storylacked some kind of personal insight. In later works of literature, this ‘unreliability’ was used by authors more deliberately, um, with the direct intention of making astory more complicated for a reader to understand – perhaps a crime novel or a thriller. Nowadays, there’s a lot more humor in unreliable narration and it’s often used to make first-person characters enjoyable to read about. So, what all that tells us as a general starting pointis that this type of narration__________”.

Response options:

0 Asuits some writers better than others

0 Bis becoming more popular

0 C has changed over time

0 D makes reading easier

Step 1: First read the instructions to understand the topic of the audio recording.

The audio clip is regarding fiction writing.

Step 2: Listen to the audio clip carefully and note down the key information.

Key words: ‘originally, in the nineteenth century it tended to simply mean that – as a reader – you just couldn’t trust what the narrator of a story was telling you’, ‘In later works of literature, this ‘unreliability’ was used by authors more deliberately’, ‘Nowadays, there’s a lot more humor’.

Step 3: Try to remember and the note down the last sentence of the recording.

Last sentence:Nowadays, there’s a lot more humor in unreliable narration and it’s often used to make first-person characters enjoyable to read about. So, what all that tells us as a general starting point is that this type of narration__________”.

Answer:

C   has changed over time.

This audio talks about the changing trends in fiction writing especially ‘unreliable narration’.

Score: You will be awarded 1 mark if you choose a correct response option.

Time Management: In the Listening section of the PTE Exam, you will be given an average of 18 to 25 questions to attempt within 55 minutes. So you must be aware to allocate 2 to 2.5 minutes for each question. If you consume more time, you might not be able to attempt all the questions in the Listening section which will reflect on your overall score.

 

Example 2

You will hear a recording about biology. At the end of the recording the last word or group of words has been replaced by a beep. Select the correct option to complete the recording.

Audio script:

“When you first examine something under a microscope, say a leaf from a plant, you’re amazed at how much detail there is and its detail that you simply cannot see without magnification. And what you can see with the naked eye becomes suddenly huge under the lens. How big everything looks is astonishing but it’s also amazingly intricate. Suddenly it’s as if another world has opened up in front of your eyes and you think, hey, I hadn’t realized that something so small, so tiny, could be so_________”.

OA complex

OB unreal

OCconfusing

O  Dinvisible

Answer:

The audio clip is regarding biology. It talks about the intricate details in minute organisms that cannot be seen by the naked eye. The speaker realizes that something so tiny and small can be complex.

Hence the answer is    A   complex

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