IELTS Listening Test

Importance of IELTS Listening Test

The IELTS or the International English Language Testing System is a standardised test to measure the competence of an individual in the English language. It is an internationally recognised test that is undertaken worldwide. The test is administered by the British Council, the University of Cambridge ESOL Examinations and IDP Education from Australia. The official website for the test is The test measures the ability of an individual in four areas of English.

The test sections are:

1. Listening: Consists of four sections.

2. Reading: Consists of three sections.

3. Writing: Consists of two sections or tasks.

4. Speaking: Consists of three sections.

The IELTS Listening Test:

The listening test of IELTS comprises four sections. The four sections aim to measure the skills of an individual in comprehending the English language through listening to someone speak in it. The listening test ascertains if the listener can complete a conversation in a coherent and legible manner or not. The test also tries to assess the ability of the listener to add to the matter he/she is listening to, using his/her skills in the language. The listening test is the first section of the test and is an important part of the testing system.

The aspects of the IELTS listening test:

The four sections of the test are:

1. The first section has general conversation between two individuals where the topic is also commonplace in nature. The topic can range from mealtime conversation to general heath etc. The main idea behind this section is to assess the capabilities of an individual in understanding a general conversation in English, with ease.

2. The second section is a monologue where the person taking the test is only speaking and the topic can be a general topic about things like work and weather. This is a kind of speech about a general topic.

3. The third section is a conversation between three to four individuals discussing assignments or official matters. This is like a serious discussion where the topics are official matters and logical subjects. This section tries to assess the ability of an individual in understanding serious issues in English.

4. The fourth section is an academic speech (monologue) pertaining to only matters that apply to schools or colleges or education. This section pertains to lecture kind of speeches that need to be understood by the candidate.

The kinds of questions asked in the IELTS listening test:

The listening test has 40 questions. The test questions are of many kinds. From multiple-choice questions to essay type questions, the questions have no fixed format. Some questions expect a student to draw tables and comparative charts and some others expect candidates to complete diagrams. A candidate might be expected to summarise an argument or discussion also. Because the testing is done through understanding conversations and completion of discussions, it is imperative that the questions are not limited to options or restrictive in any way. This is a very important factor of the listening test and this makes the listening test very important for the overall success of the test also.

Format of the IELTS listening test:

As mentioned before, the listening test section is subdivided into four parts. For each of the four parts of the sections, the candidates are given an introduction by the examiners and the requirements are explained. After that the examinees are given the questions and they can go through them and then answer them. The listening test takes about 40 minutes to complete and this includes the transfer time that is allotted between sections. For a clear outlook on the format of the listening test, visit the link:

Scoring the IELTS listening test:

Every correct answer carries one mark in the listening test. The scores of the 40 questions are then calculated and compared on the band scale.

The importance of the IELTS listening test:

Because the audios are heard only once by the examiners therefore, the listening test is a very important section of the test. Also, as mentioned before, the quality and novelty of the questions of the listening test makes it a very important section that needs to be excelled at, to ace the IELTS.

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