Last Updated: January 07, 2021

IELTS Listening

Remember those days when your father used to tell you to listen more? Listening is an art, and if you are a good listener, you might just be able to learn a whole lot of new things. If you are thinking to master the IELTS, you would need to pass the IELTS Listening course too, and you need to be really good at understanding what people are saying.

While you might be really good at grammar and know the English language well when it comes to writing it, you may not be that well versed when it comes to understanding an English accent that is not your own. And that's where you would need the right amount of preparation, to pass the IELTS listening test.

A student is required to take the International English Language Testing System or popularly known as an IELTS, before the procurement of the student visa. BY choosing IELTS, the student will be able to prove the English language skills, gain worldwide recognition for study, immigration or work, and can choose from a range of test dates and locations across the world. The IELTS Listening test has got four segments and each section bearing ten questions. The questions will be in the same sequence as the information in the recording; which means the answer to the first question will be recorded before the second question.

Types of recording

In the first two sections, section one and two will deal with "every day, social situations." in the first section, there will be a conversation between two speakers (maybe a conversation dealing with travel arrangements). However, in the second section, only one person will speak (which could be about any random social topic). In section 3 and section 4, the listening test will deal with educational and training situations. For example, in section 3, there might be a conversation between two university students in a discussion which, maybe, is guided by a tutor. In the fourth section, however, only one person will speak about the topic of an academic subject.

In the listening test, the candidate will hear the recordings only once. There will be British, North American, New Zealand, and Australian accents and the candidate need to answer the questions based on those recordings.

The candidate can write answers on the question paper as they are listening to the recordings. They will be given 10 more minutes at the end of the test to transfer the answers to an answer sheet. Incorrect spelling and grammar will deduct marks from the answers.

In a nutshell

Types of questions

Multiple choice questions are followed by three options and the candidate is required to choose the correct options. The question will indicate how many options to choose. The questions are based on a detailed understanding of the specific points and the main idea of the recording.

Matching a list of text to a set of options. The most important thing here is to recognize how facts in the recording are connected to each other. The candidate needs to follow the conversation closely.

Plan/map/diagram labeling requires the candidate to visually represent the information from the recording. There will be a diagram that will need to be completed usually with the help of a list that is provided along with the question.

Form/note/table/flow chart/summary completion will require the candidate to fill in the blanks, like complete a form, create notes to summarize the information, fill up a table, or complete a flow chart. Attention to the instructions is important because the candidate might be asked to use only a certain number of words as the answer. Do NOT use contracted words as they are not recognized, for example, use 'do not' instead of 'don't'. Hyphenated words will be treated as a single word.

Sentence completion is a basic fill in the blank type of question with the information from the recording. Care has to be given to the instructions. The candidate might be asked to use only a certain number of words as the answer. Do NOT use contracted words as they are not recognized, for example, use 'is not' instead of 'isn't'. Hyphenated words will be treated as a single word.

Short-answer questions require short to-the-point answers. Usually, a word count will be given and the candidate cannot go over that count. Again, do not use contracted words and hyphenated words are considered a single word.


IELTS Resources


IELTS Writing

IELTS Listening

IELTS Speaking


IELTS Practice Tests/Reading


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