IELTS Listening Practise

Sources for IELTS Listening Practice That You Shouldn't Miss

The IELTS Listening section is of 30 minutes duration. It is the same for both the Academic and General Training tests. The listening test consists of 4 parts. These 4 parts are presented with increasing difficulty level. The first and the second sections are on general topics, the first being in a dialogue form and the second in a monologue form. The third and fourth sections will have a focus on education or training. This will be in a lecture and a discussion form. The discussion can be between 2 or 4 people. Each section will have 10 questions.

Listening practise for IELTS is very important, as the listening tape is played only once. It is advised to write down the answers as you listen to the tape. At the end of the session, 10 minutes is given for you to copy the answers to the booklet.

A person who has taken many  practise tests comes out of the test hall feeling confident about his/her answers. The listening module is fairly simple if you have practiced enough.

Question Types

This listening test is given to measure your listening skills and to understand how you listen and capture the idea and information given by the speaker. There are many types of questions asked in the listening test- multiple choice questions, short answer questions, sentence completion questions, notes or diagram or flow chart completion questions, matching questions and classification questions. Answers with spelling errors will be marked wrong.

Listening Practice Sources

There are many sources for practise tests. You have to listen to the passages and answer the questions that follow. These passages are designed in the same fashion as the IELTS Listening section.

  • British Council offers passages for listening rehearsals. This is a very important source; as the test is conducted by the British Council, these practice passages will be very similar to the actual passages you will face in the test. These listening  tests can be accessed at

  • IELTS itself gives sample listening passages. These are available at Sample tasks for the different types of questions are available here.

  • Cambridge ESOL, another partner of IELTS, also has samples for  practice. They have 9 resources which are available at These samples cover all the different types of question formats in the listening test.

  • ExamEnglish also offers passages for the listening test. It can be accessed at They have individual passages for practice and a complete listening test. This can be done as a practice or as a test. If you do it as a practice the question gets automatically corrected and you can see the correct answer. If you do it in the test mode, you get the score and the correct answers at the end of the test. This is a timed session.

  • Barron's IELTS Practice Exams with Audio CDs. This book with the audio CD contains 6 full length tests with answers and explanations. The passages for the listening module are given in the CD. It is priced at $13 and can be ordered online.

You can answer better in the listening section if you practice a lot. For this, try to get as many audio samples as possible and listen to them. Look at the question and guess the type of answer (name or number or date or place). This will help you to catch the important points and answers. Always listen with your full concentration. The audio quality will be good, so the key to identifying the right answers will be in listening to the audio with full concentration.