IELTS Academic Reading Summary Completion

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Table of contents

  1. IELTS Academic Reading summary completion 
  2. IELTS Academic Reading summary completion - Strategies & tips to solve 
  3. Skills required to solve summary completion question 
  4. Common challenges faced while answering summary completion question
  5. Summary Completion Skill-Building Exercise 1
  6. Summary Completion Skill-Building Exercise 2
  7. Summary Completion Skill-Building Exercise 3
  8. Answer for skill-building exercises 
  9. Conclusion 

 

IELTS academic reading summary completion is often asked in the IELTS academic reading test. Follow the tips and strategies given in this blog to solve the summary completion questions easily in IELTS exams. You'll either be provided a list of words to fill in the blanks with, or you'll be asked to find answers from the reading paragraphs. The proper keywords from the questions will help to locate the correct text in the reading passage. 

Summary completion is the common question that appears in IELTS academic readings exams to assess your skills in grasping information from the text. Since it is all about the vocabulary, look for the keywords and their synonyms to complete the blanks with suitable words from the given reading passage.

Make your IELTS exam preparation simple by checking all the IELTS academic reading question types. Read the complete article to know more about the IELTS academic reading summary completion question type. The tips and strategies given in this blog will help you to level up your score in the IELTS academic reading module.


IELTS Academic Reading summary completion - How to Solve & Tips

You can find some pro IELTS academic reading summary completion tips & strategies to solve the summary completion question in IELTS academic reading test. Remembering all the points listed below will help you to solve the summary completion task easily. They are as follows,

1. Read the given paragraphs as it is. Do not attempt to solve the task without proper understanding of the summary’s main idea as information may be combined and therefore information may be rearranged.

2. Highlight the keywords, especially the ones close to the blanks as these are mostly unchanged or fairly identifiable in the text.

3. Highlight the signpost words or the pivotal words to help you navigate the passage. For example, “In addition/ and/also” etc. refer to information in continuation. “However/though/In contrast/but” etc. refer to a shift in idea or opinion or findings. This guides you to the required part of the passage.

4. Assume the answer in your mind so that you can pick the appropriate word. This will also help you to consider the required grammatical accuracy. Remember, basic grammar concepts and vocabulary are also assessed in this task.

5. Now you can move to the text and locate answers using the highlighted content. If the summary is the first question set for the passage, you may want to go through the passage first, but let the reading be cursory. Leave time to locate and register answers on the answer sheet.

6. If the summary is the last question set for the passage, you may not want to go back to the passage for all the answers. It will also be easy for you to navigate the passage as you are already familiar with most of it.

7.  In this task, you are required to complete a summary with words and /or a number from the reading passage.

8. Remember that you should not exceed the word limit.

9. Read the heading of the incomplete text or summary ( if there is one) and go through the text to understand what it is about. It also gives you an idea of whether the summary covers a part of the passage or the entire passage.

10. Decide what type of word is required for the first blank e.g. a noun, an adjective, etc. Take note of the grammatical features, e.g. articles or prepositions which may help you to find the answer.

11. Do not pick any word as your answer which is already presented in any other form or as a synonym before or after the blank. You have to identify missing information. Do not repeat supplied information.

12. Remember that you cannot change the word form. It must be used exactly as presented in the passage

We believe that these IELTS academic reading summary completion tips & strategies will help you to get the desired band score. If interested in knowing about the tips required to crack the overall reading section, you can also read IELTS academic reading tips

Skills required to solve summary completion question

These are some of the skills required to solve the summary completion questions quickly in the IELTS academic reading test. They are as follows,

  • Scan the passage to get the main idea
  • Compare the summary with the given passage and spot the correct information
  • Finding keywords
  • Identifying synonyms and paraphrasing
  • Predict the appropriate word that completes the sentence

Common challenges faced while answering summary completion question

Find some common issues you will encounter while answering summary completion questions in the IELTS academic reading exams. Try to avoid such mistakes to level up your band scores.

  • A common mistake is not reading the instructions properly
  • Wasting time by reading the whole text - Go through the summary with blanks and compare it to the passage
  • Looking for the exact word in the given passage - either it's better to look for synonyms and paraphrasing
  • One of the simple mistakes that we can say is grammar - You must be aware of grammar mistakes.
  • Searching for a single answer for a long time may ruin your time

Summary Completion Skill-Building Exercise 1

          EVOLUTION OF MUSEUMS

Part A

The very first museums of the world were private collections of objects by wealthy people and institutions. The objects in these museums were displayed in Cabinets of Curiosities, also called Cabinets of Wonder or Wonder Rooms. The word “cabinet” was then used to describe a room and not a piece of furniture. The oldest recorded example of such was the Ennigaldi Nanna’s museum that was located in Mesopotamia. It was founded in 530 BC.

Before the 18th century, only elite or respectable members of society, by the standards of that era, could visit museums with permission from the owner and the staff. The first museums to be opened for the general public were the British Museum in London in 1759 and the Uffizi Gallery in Florence in 1765. However, even though they were no longer exclusive places, only people from the middle and upper class were privileged with a written permission request. Also, the visitations were often limited to a few hours. The first public museum in its true sense was the Louvre in Paris which was opened in 1793 to people of any status and age, emerging as an agent of nationalistic fervor.

In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, societies began to regard museums as centers of the production of new knowledge. Historical museums shifted focus to display scientific discoveries and artistic developments with collections that could be useful for research also. Over the twentieth century, as cities increased in size, wealth, and population, more museums developed. These were shaped by the public response to education and entertainment. Greater funding was directed towards the development of modern museums. Study programs dedicated to the field of art and culture were created to promote the growth of museums, and activities such as the collection and preservation of artifacts such as paintings or sculptures had consequently become more organized. Even wealthy industrialists such as Henry Ford and Henry Mercer contributed their collections leading to the development of more privately run museums.

Part B

A breeze of change was once again felt in the early 21st century. Museums were no longer anchored to the national ideal and today’s new museums attract intellectuals as well as tourists and students. Attitudes toward museums have become more favorable as people no longer view them as boring, cold places that drag you to the past.

One of the main factors that have contributed to this is technology. Modern museums have embraced technology with considerable use of multimedia, digital displays, touch screens as well as other interactive technologies. Some museums, such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, use technology that allows visitors to see the objects, hear or read about the collection on their smartphones by scanning the artwork. Other national museums have also followed suit by embracing mobile interactivity. The Smithsonian Institution, which is the world’s largest museum and research complex containing 19 museums and galleries, provides cell phone tours, interactive games like Pheon, which is a multimedia scavenger hunt game, multilingual slideshows, and even augmented reality apps such as one from the postal museum showing Owney, the mascot of the Railway Mail Service.

Additionally, there are some museums such as the National Museum of African Art that have the Artists in Dialogue 2 app, which allows for visual calls and responses that cut across physical and political borders. The app facilitates a guided tour of the museum with the curator virtually, and also allows the user to experiment with the artistic technique in a virtual art-development game. The user can even communicate with active groups of the museum on social media.

So far, technology has provided modern-day museums with the opportunity to share images and works of art with more people than ever before. However, the conclusion is that technology is enhancing and not replacing the brick and mortar museums since technology cannot replace a live experience for the viewer such as live interaction with the experts, emotional reactions, and the physicality of artworks.

Questions 1 - 5

Complete the summary below.

Write ONE WORD ONLY from Part A of the passage for each answer.

The earliest museums displayed personal 1______ belonging to rich people, and until the eighteenth century, only the elite class could visit these places. In the latter half of the century, the British Museum and the Uffizi Gallery opened their doors for the 2 _______, but not without restrictions. Finally, in 1793, the Louvre in Paris allowed access irrespective of class and 3 _______ and became a key factor in promoting nationalistic emotions.

By the early twentieth century, museums had started gaining recognition as centers of knowledge. The 4 ______ had moved from history to art and science. During this century, with urbanization and more funds coming in, museums were modified to provide learning as well as 5 _______. 

Questions 6 - 9

Complete the summary based on Part B of the passage using the list of words, A- G, below.

Museums of 21st century

Modern museums have become 6 ________ places to visit with the adoption of various interactive technologies. In the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, visitors can get 7________ about any artwork by scanning it through their smartphones. The National Museum of African Art provides the opportunity for a virtual 8 ________ with the curator, artists, and social media groups through an app. Thus, the latest technology is 9 _______ the existing museums by giving an enriched experience to the visitors.

A - dull
B - communication
C - information
D - tour
E - interesting
F - complementing
G - replacing
 
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Summary Completion Skill-Building Exercise 2


THE ORIGIN OF THE EARTH AND THE UNIVERSE- DIFFERENT THEORIES

When we talk of evolution, we generally refer to the biological evolution of living beings. However, evolution also refers to the processes by which galaxies, stars, planets, and the universe come into existence and change. Though these processes are quite different, the common fact is the change over time. But for centuries scientists held the belief that the universe always remained the same.

In 1929, Edwin Hubble, an American astronomer, made an interesting observation that distant galaxies and stars are moving away from the Earth in all directions. This led to Hubble’s hypothesis that the universe is not static but is expanding. He also discovered that the speeds with which galaxies are racing away from each other increase with the increasing distances between them and this has been proved now by various repeated measurements.

Certain deductions can be made from Hubble’s hypothesis of an expanding universe. One of them is that in a previous era the universe was more condensed. This suggests that all the matter and energy in the universe were earlier condensed in a tiny and extremely hot mass. A massive explosion, called the Big Bang, occurred around 13.8 billion years ago and it sent energy and matter expanding in every direction at a very high speed. 

As the universe continued to expand, matter gathered into clouds that started to condense and then rotate, forming the predecessors of the galaxies. Due to the changes in pressure inside galaxies, including our own Milky Way, dust and gas formed distinct clouds. Further, some of these clouds collapsed due to the gravitational attraction as there was enough mass, and the correct forces were at play. When the cloud material mass was adequately compressed, nuclear reactions took place leading to the birth of a star. Our sun, for example, formed in the center of a flattened spinning disk of matter.

After the formation of the sun, the remaining dust and gas present in this disk collided and clumped into grains which further combined to form very small planets called planetesimals. Some of these were several hundred kilometers in diameter. These planetesimals then coalesced into nine planets with many satellites. The rocky planets like Earth were formed near the sun, while gaseous planets were located in distant orbits.

According to another theory, which is propounded by some religions as well as scientists, the universe was created by God. This theory also termed ‘theistic evolution, claims that God is the driving force behind the physical and biological evolution that created the solar system and life on Earth. The proponents of this creationist theory have various viewpoints. Some feel that the Earth and universe are comparatively young - around 6,000 to 10,000 years old. These people also believe that the existing form of Earth is due to ‘catastrophism’ which included a worldwide flood, and there was miraculous creation of humans and all living things as they are today. 

There are other advocates of creationist theory who accept the fact that the Earth, the stars, and the planets could have been in existence a million years ago. However, they argue that the presence of living organisms, especially humans, is due to the intervention of supernatural powers as creation shows ‘intelligent design.’ Even though such theories abound, there is no valid scientific information that suggests that Earth came into being only a few thousand years ago.

It is not surprising that there are so many theories trying to explain the origins of the Earth and the universe, as the vastness of space has always fascinated mankind. However, one has to ask, will researchers ever be able to prove what led to the creation of the universe and our wonderful planet or will we have to satisfy ourselves with various theories and conjectures? Only time will tell.

Questions 1 - 7

Complete the summary below.

Write NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS from the passage for each answer.

The belief regarding the permanence of the universe was contradicted when in 1929, Edwin Hubble discovered that the various celestial bodies are receding from 1 _______ in every direction and the speeds of recession are directly related to growing 2 _______. It gave the theory of a 3 _________ universe. It can be inferred from Hubble’s hypothesis that initially, the universe was extremely hot and highly 4________ and a huge explosion resulted in its continuing expansion. Gradually, the matter combined to form clouds that started rotating, resulting in galaxies. In the presence of the right forces, physical and chemical interactions took place within the galaxies. Consequently, stars and other celestial bodies evolved from the gas and 5 ______.

On the other hand, according to ‘theistic evolution’ theory, God has created the universe. Though the supporters of this view are divided over the age of the Earth, and a group believes that the Earth evolved in its present form due to 6 _______, they all agree that all life forms especially humans are the creation of God due to their 7 ________.

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Summary Completion Skill-Building Exercise 3

An Era of Abundance

Our Knowledge of the complex pathways underlying digestive processes is rapidly expanding, although there is still a great deal we do not fully understand. On the one hand, digestion, like any other major human biological system, is astonishing in its intricacy and cleverness. Our bodies manage to extract the complex resources needed to survive, despite sharply varying conditions, while at the same time, filtering out a multiplicity of toxins. 


On the other hand, our bodies evolved in a very different era. Our digestive processes, in particular, are optimized for a situation that is dramatically dissimilar to the one we find ourselves in. For most of our biological heritage, there was a high likelihood that the next foraging or hunting season (and for a brief, relatively recent period, the next planting season) might be catastrophically lean. So, it made sense for our bodies to hold on to every possible calorie. Today, this biological strategy is extremely counterproductive. Our outdated metabolic programming underlies our contemporary epidemic of obesity and fuels pathological processes of degenerative diseases such as coronary artery disease, and type ll diabetes.


Up until recently (on an evolutionary timescale), it was not in the interest of the species for old people like myself (I was born in 1948) to use up the limited resources of the clan. Evolution favored a short lifespan-life expectancy was 37 years only two centuries ago-so these restricted reserves could be devoted to the young, those caring for them, and laborers strong enough to perform intense physical work. We now live in an era of great material abundance. Most work requires mental effort rather than physical exertion. A century ago, 30 percent of the U.S. workforce worked on farms, with another 30 percent deployed in factories. Both of these figures are now under 3 percent. The significant majority of today's job categories, ranging from airline flight attendants to web designers, simply didn't exist a century ago.


Our species has already augmented the “natural” order of our life cycle through our technology: drugs, supplements, replacement parts for virtually all bodily systems, and many other interventions. We already have devices to replace our hips, knees, shoulders, elbows, wrists, jaws, teeth, skin, arteries, veins, heart valves, arms, legs, feet, fingers, and toes. Systems to replace more complex organs (for example, our hearts) are beginning to work. As we're learning the principles of operation of the human body and the brain, we will soon be in a position to design vastly superior systems that will be more enjoyable, last longer, and perform better, without susceptibility to breakdown, disease, and aging.

In a famous scene from the movie, The Graduate, Benjamin's mentor gives him career advice in a single word: "plastics." Today, that word might be "software," or "biotechnology”. but in another couple of decades, the word is likely to be "nanobots." Nanobots-blood-cell-sized robots will provide the means to radically redesign our digestive systems, and incidentally, just about everything else.

Questions 1-8

Complete the summary below.

Choose NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS from the passage for each answer

In the past it was essential to hoard our calories for as long as possible because our food source was mainly restricted to 1 __________or 2 __________which brought in irregular supplies. However, these reserves were intended for the young or 3. _________ Because they had the power and energy to work hard. Nowadays, the focus has moved away from jobs on 4. __________and in 5. ___________to jobs that were not available 6. ____________. Through technology, it has now become possible to replace body 7. ____________and as techniques improve we will be able to develop better 8. __________to improve the quality of life.

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Answer for Skill-building exercises 

  • Answers for skill-building exercises 1

(Note: The text in italics is from the reading passage and shows the location from where the answer is taken or inferred. The text in the regular font explains the answer in detail.)

1. Collection/objects

Explanation: The very first museums of the world were private collections of objects by wealthy people and institutions. 

2. Public

Explanation: The first museums to be opened for the general public were the British Museum in London in 1759 and the Uffizi Gallery in Florence in 1765.

3. Age 

Explanation: The first public museum in its true sense was the Louvre in Paris which was opened in 1793 to people of any status and age, emerging as an agent of nationalistic fervor.

4. Focus

Explanation: In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, societies began to regard museums as centers of production of new knowledge. Historical museums shifted focus to display of scientific discoveries and artistic developments

5. Entertainment

Explanation: Over the twentieth century, as cities increased in size, wealth, and population, more museums developed. These were shaped by the public response to education and entertainment. Greater funding was directed towards the development of modern museums. 

6. E - Interesting

Explanation: Attitudes toward museums have become more favorable as people no longer view them as boring, cold places.  

7. C - Information

Explanation: the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, use technology that allows visitors to see the objects, hear or read about the collection on their smartphones by scanning the artwork.

8. B - Communication

Explanation: the National Museum of African Art has the Artists in Dialogue 2 app, which allows for visual calls and responses that cut across physical and political borders. The app facilitates a guided tour of the museum with the curator virtually, ... the user can even communicate with active groups of the museum on social media.

9. F - Complementing

Explanation: …technology is enhancing and not replacing the brick and mortar museums ...

  • Answers for skill-building exercises 2

(Note: The text in italics is from the reading passage and shows the location from where the answer is taken or inferred. The text in the regular font explains the answer in detail.)

1. (the) Earth

Explanation: In 1929, Edwin Hubble, an American astronomer, made an interesting observation that distant galaxies and stars are moving away from the Earth in all directions.

2. distances  

Explanation: ... speeds with which galaxies are racing away from each other increase with the increasing distances between them ...

3. expanding  

Explanation: This led to Hubble’s hypothesis that the universe is not static but is expanding.

Paragraph 3 - Certain deductions can be made from Hubble’s hypothesis of an expanding universe.

4. condensed  

Explanation: Paragraph 3 - ... the universe, in a previous era, was more condensed. This suggests that all the matter and energy in the universe were earlier condensed in a minute extremely hot mass.

5. (remaining) dust  

Explanation: Paragraph 4 - Due to the changes in pressure inside galaxies, ... dust and gas formed distinct clouds. Further, some of these clouds collapsed due to the gravitational attraction as there was enough mass, and the correct forces were at play. When the cloud material mass was adequately compressed, nuclear reactions resulted and led to the birth of a star.

Paragraph 5 - After the formation of the sun, the remaining dust and gas ... combined to form very small planets called planetesimals. ... These planetesimals then coalesced into nine planets with many satellites.

6. catastrophism  

Explanation: Paragraph 6 -  The proponents of the creationist theory have various viewpoints ... These people also believe that the existing form of Earth is due to ‘catastrophism’... 

7. intelligent design  

Explanation: Paragraph 7 - However, they argue that the presence of living organisms, especially humans, is due to the intervention of supernatural power as creation shows ‘intelligent design.’

  • Answers for skill-building exercises 3
1. Foraging 
2. Hunting 

Explanation: Paragraph 2- For most of our biological heritage, there was a high likelihood
that the next foraging or hunting season (and for a brief relatively recent period, the next planting season) might be catastrophically lean. So, it made sense for our bodies to hold on
to every possible calorie.

3. Labourers 

Explanation: Paragraph 3- Evolution favored a short lifespan -life expectancy years only two centuries ago- so these restricted reserves could be devoted to the young, those caring for them, and laborers strong enough to perform intense physical work.

4. Farms 
5. Factories 
6. A century ago 

Explanation: Paragraph 4 - A century ago, 30 percent of the U.S. worked on farms, with another 30 percent deployed in factories. Both of these figures are now under 3 percent. The significant majority of today's job categories, ranging from airline flight attendants to web designers, simply didn't exist a century ago.

7. Parts/organs 
8. Systems 

Explanation: Paragraph 5 - Our species has already augmented the “natural” order of our life cycle through our technology: drugs, supplements, replacement parts for virtually all bodily systems, … systems to replace more complex organs … As we’re learning the principles of operation of the human body and the brain, we will soon be in a position to design vastly superior systems that will be more enjoyable, last longer, and perform better, without susceptibility to breakdown, disease, and aging.

Also, check IELTS academic reading diagram-labeling 

Check the below reading passage links to know the importance of the summary completion question type.

Conclusion 

Our tips, strategies, and exercises explained in this blog will help to enhance your understanding skills and confidence in attempting the IELTS academic reading summary completion question. We hope that this blog will be more helpful for you to attain a good band score in the IELTS academic reading task.

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Kanan Intl EdTech Inc

Ph-1, 220, George Street, Toronto Ontario, Canada M5A 2N1

India Headquarters

Kanan International Pvt. Ltd.

D-wing, 2nd Floor, Trident Complex, Ellora Park Vadiwadi Road, Vadodara, Gujarat 390007

IT/ Digital Campus

Chennai Office

132, Habibullah Rd, Satyamurthy Nagar, T. Nagar, Chennai, Tamil Nadu 600017

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About Kanan International

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Copyright © 2022 KANAN INT EDTECH INC. All rights reserved.