Listening Section in IELTS Test

7 Things to Keep in Mind for the IELTS Listening Test

The IELTS Listening test is one of the four parts in both the Academic and General Training versions of the test. This section of the test is meant to evaluate your capability to deal with academic/ work situations where you have to listen to spoken English. In order to do well and get a high score, you will have to keep certain things in mind.





1. Be Clear with the Format of the Listening Test

  • The Listening Test includes four sections with 40 questions in total. Each section comprises 10 questions. The first two sections will be related to situations in daily social environments. The last two sections will be related to situations in educational/ training/ work environments. The section one and section three will be conversation between two speakers, and the section two and section four will be monologue.

  • The questions of this test will be of different types, such as multiple choices, matching, short answer, form/sentence/note/flow-chart/summary/table completion, and plan/map/diagram labeling.

2. Be Clear with the Time Duration of the Test

  • The time allotted for this test is 30 minutes, and an additional time of 10 minutes.
  • Listen to the audio and write the answers in the question paper during the 30 minutes time. Transfer your answers on the answer sheet during the last 10 minutes.

3. Listen to the Audio Recording Carefully and Take Notes Immediately

  • This section requires you to answer the questions after listening to an audio recording. The audio recording will be played only once. The audio recording will provide all the instructions, dialogues and monologues necessary for answering the different sections of the test. Hence, you need to listen to the audio carefully with full concentration.

  • Take notes and write your answers immediately on the question paper while you are listening to the audio. Never try to keep the contents of the audio just in your memory without taking notes.

  • The audio provides instructions and pauses. Hence, you read the first section questions, listen to the audio corresponding to that section, and answer those questions in the question paper while listening to the audio. Repeat the same procedure for all the other sections.

4. Read and Answer the Questions Carefully

  • Read the questions carefully and answer them accordingly using the information you listen from the audio recording.
  • Answer all the questions since there is no negative marking. Transfer your answers in the answer sheet in the right order and in the right place.
  • Remember, the correct answer for a question need not always be a word or phrase what you directly hear in the audio. It can be the synonym or paraphrase of something you hear in the audio.
  • Avoid assuming the answers on your own.
  • Use only pencil to answer the questions.
  • Have a general idea of how to answer each type of questions, before sitting for the Listening Test.

5. Be Careful With the Use of Grammar, Spellings and Punctuations

You must give importance to grammar, spellings, punctuation and use of capital letters while answering. If you are unsure of punctuation, you can write everything in capital letters.

6. Try to be Clear with the Different Types of English Accents

The English used in the audio recording may of different accents, such as British, Australian, New Zealand and American accents. Mostly, British accent is used. Hence, you have to be familiar with at least the British accent.

7. Practice Well for the Listening Test

  • There are many sources available for practicing well for this test. The two volumes of The Official IELTS Practice Materials and practice Listening tests available at the official test website, How to prepare for IELTS - Listening test manual available at the Hong Kong City University's website, and the four listening tests available in the book Cambridge IELTS will be helpful for mastering the tactics and confidence needed for successfully writing the Listening test.

  • You can also watch many English language movies and/ or join a preparation class to improve your English language skills.

Practice well, eat healthy food, drink enough water, arrive on time, and remain calm and relaxed on the day of the test.




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