READING Practice Activity


Completing a Summary of the Text


Task Description

You will be given a summary of all or part of the reading text. The summary will be a much shorter paraphrase of the text (i.e. the words used will be different), but all the information contained in the summary will be somewhere in the text. The summary will contain a number of gaps, which you should fill from a list of words provided in a separate box. There will be more words than gaps and only one word will be suitable for each gap, but others may seem suitable.


Your task is to complete the summary using one word from the list for each gap. Because the summary is a paraphrase of the reading text (rather than an edited version), you will need to have a good understanding of the overall meaning and main points of the section summarised, rather than a detailed understanding of the text.

Skills Tested

  1. Skimming the text for understanding of the broad meaning.
  2. Paraphrasing the original text.

What you should do

  • Skim through the summary to get an idea of the topic.
  • Read it through again, referring to the list of words each time you reach a gap. Reject any words that seem grammatically incorrect, even if the meaning seems to fit. Select what you think is the best word from the list to fill each gap, thinking and comparing carefully if more than one seems suitable. Remember, you can use any word more than once.
  • Check back to the text to make sure you have the correct information.
  • Read through your completed summary to ensure that it makes sense.

Practice Tasks

Summary completion task 1 (Space Travel)

Summary completion task 2 (GM Foods)

Summary completion task 3 (Mantises)