• / Listening Overview

IELTS Listening | Overview

In IELTS Listening Test:
  • You will hear several different accents and do a range of task types and you can only listen to the recording once! — if you miss an answer, it’s gone. That’s why you need to concentrate more during IELTS Listening practice offered by our web site.

Time assigned for IELTS Listening section:

  • There are 4 sections in the IELTS Listening test and the difficulty level of the test increases for each section. Each section has 10 questions, and so there are 40 questions in total. Each question carries 1 mark.
  • The listening tests will be of the same type for both academic as well as general training categories.
  • To answer these questions, you might need to have a good understanding of the monologues and conversations to interpret them and write the answers, as the words in the audio and questions might not be exactly the same.
  • Be cautious about the word count limit and instructions. As some of these instructions would specify whether your answer should be a word, two words, a number or numbers.

Parts of Listening Test:

Part 1 Conversation between 2 people in an everyday social context. (e.g. a conversation to book a room in a hotel)

Part 2 A monologue set in an everyday social context. (e.g. a talk on using time effectively)

Part 3 Conversation among 3 or 4 people set in an educational or training context. (e.g. students discussing an assignment)

Part 4 Monologue related to academics. (e.g. a university lecture)

The IELTS Listening Band Score

Correct answers
Band
39-40
9
37-38
8.5
35-36
8
32-34
7.5
30-31
7
26-29
6.5
23-25
6
18-22
5.5
16-17
5
13-15
4.5
10-12
4
IELTS Listening Question Types

Multiple Choice Questions

  • While listening to the audio recording, there will be a part for listening multiple-choice questions. The multiple-choice questions are of two types:
  • Multiple choice questions with one answer.
  • Multiple choice question with two or more answers.
  • [There are questions that have one or more answers, for those type of questions, you would have to listen keenly to identify all the answers from the options given.]
  • You will hear all the options that are given to you in the question. You would have to listen to the audio and interpret the answer from what is asked in the question.
  • Sometimes, the answer options might be of the same kind to confuse you. For instance, it might all be in the form of dates (15 November, 17 November or 18 November). You would have to read the question and choose the correct answer.
  • The words used in the question might not be the exact words that you hear in the audio recording. So, you’d have to pay attention to synonyms and how the words are paraphrased.
  • The information provided in the audio recording might not be in the same order as the questions asked, so in order to answer the questions correctly, you should have read the questions beforehand to be aware of what is being asked.
  • There would be a lot of distractors in the audio recording. There would be a lot of similar kind of information. Sometimes, the speaker might give us any information and then change it which might be the correct answer. So, do not rush and write down the answer as soon as you hear it.

Map Labelling Questions

  • For these types of questions, you would be provided with a map and you would have to label the places on the map. There are two types of questions:
  • A list of words might be given to you and you’d have to listen to the recording and choose the correct word that fits the blank on the map.
  • There won’t be a list, you would just listen to the audio and identify the place on the map.
  • There are a few things you would have to keep in mind while you’re answering Map Labelling questions:
  • There would be directions to a place or some kind of tour.
  • Sometimes, the answer options might be of the same kind to confuse you. For instance, it might all be in the form of dates (15 November, 17 November or 18 November). You would have to read the question and choose the correct answer.
  • Description of the location – listen to words that best describes the location given. For example, below the park, next to the supermarket, etc.
  • Look at the question numbers – Look at the question numbers and identify the flow of the map. That would help you listen to what’s coming next.
  • The audio recording would provide you with an understanding of where you are or where you have to begin. Pay attention to it at the beginning of the recording. Also, listen to nearby places and clues to help find the answers.

Match Questions

  • These questions are not as common as the other question types but they do occur in the Listening part. These questions have a list of statements that you’d have to match with the options provided. Mostly it would be names, places or dates.
  • There are a few things you would have to keep in mind while you’re answering IELTS Listening Matching questions:
  • Look at the statements and listen keenly to the kind of information that has been provided as options. (i.e.) if the options are dates, listen keenly to all the dates in the audio.
  • By the side, write down all the information linked to that particular option, it would make it easier for you to find the answer.

Completion Questions

  • There are a few things you would have to keep in mind while you’re answering IELTS Listening sentence completion questions:
  • Read the question before you start in order to understand what you should be listening for.
  • Try to guess what would come in the blank. It could be a place, a number, year, name or even a specific range of information (such as seasons, climatic conditions)
  • The words in the question need not necessarily be the same words you hear in the audio recordings, learn to tune yourself to synonyms of the words in the question.
  • Though the questions might be phrased differently from the recordings, the answers should be the exact words you hear in the audio.
  • Remember to check the word count (paper-based test), spelling and grammar.

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