IELTS Listening

IELTS Listening | Understand the Listening test:

You will be listening for a purpose and hear a variety of accents. A variety of voices is used in the IELTS Listening test, so you might hear Australian, British, New Zealand or North American accents. You will be listening to a pre-recorded CD-ROM, and the passages that you hear will increase in difficulty as you go through the test. The content of the Listening test is the same for both IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training tests. The IELTS test assesses your abilities in listening, reading, writing and speaking – in less than three hours. There are two types of IELTS: Academic and General Training. … The Listening, Reading and Writing sections of all IELTS tests are completed on the same day, with no breaks in between them.

Purpose of the test:

The IELTS Listening test is designed to assess a wide range of listening skills, including how well you

  • understand main ideas and specific factual information
  • recognise the opinions, attitudes and purpose of a speaker
  • follow the development of an argument
Timing:

The IELTS Listening test takes approximately 30 minutes, and you are allowed an extra 10 minutes to transfer your answers from your question booklet to your answer sheet.

Four sections:

The IELTS Listening test is broken down into four sections:

Section Description
1 You listen to a conversation between two people set in an everyday social situation, e.g. a conversation in an accommodation agency, and answer questions on your comprehension.
2 You listen to a monologue set in an everyday social situation, e.g. a speech about local facilities or a talk about the arrangements for meals during a conference.
3 You listen to a conversation between up to four people set in an educational or training context, e.g. a university tutor and a student discussing an assignment, or a group of students planning a research project.
4 You listen to a monologue on an academic subject, e.g. a university lecture.

You will begin by listening to a recording of instructions and a sample question for section 1. Then you will read the questions for section 1, listen to section 1, and answer the questions.

This procedure is repeated for sections 2, 3 and 4.

In the final 10 minutes, you will transfer your answers onto the answer sheet.

Each section is heard once only.

Questions:

There are 40 questions.

A variety of question types is used, and you may be asked to

  • answer multiple choice questions
  • label a plan, map or diagram
  • fill in a form
  • complete a table
  • complete a flow-chart
  • give short answers
Marking:

Each correct answer receives one mark.

Scores out of 40 are converted to the IELTS 9-band scale. Scores are reported in whole and half bands.

Listening test advice:

Follow this Listening test advice, and make sure you understand how to respond to ‘completion’ type questions.

You will be given time to read through the questions before you listen. You will hear each recording of the Listening test only once.

As you listen, write your answers on the question paper. At the end of the test, you will have 10 minutes to transfer your answers to the answer sheet in pencil. You may write your answers in lower case or capital letters.

It is essential that you transfer your answers to the answer sheet. Nothing you write on the question paper will be marked.

 

Make the most of your Listening test:

  • if you cannot hear the audio clearly, let a member of staff know straightaway
  • follow the instructions carefully; they may be different to practice or previous tests
  • listen for the specific information you want
  • try and anticipate what the speaker will say; this will require concentration
  • do not worry if there is a word you do not understand; you may not need to use it
  • if you do not know the answer to a question, attempt it but do not waste time; move quickly onto the next one
  • be careful with your spelling and grammar
  • do not panic if you think the topic is too difficult or the speaker is too fast; relax and tune in
  • read, write and listen at the same time
  • focus precisely on what you are asked to do in completion type questions
  • pay attention to the word limit; for example, if you are asked to complete a sentence using no more than two words, if the correct answer is ‘leather coat’, the answer ‘coat made of leather’ would be incorrect
  • if the question asks you to complete the note ‘in the…’ and the correct answer is ‘morning’, note that ‘in the morning’ would be incorrect; the correct answer is ‘morning’
  • attempt all questions; there are no penalties for incorrect answers
  • check your answers

– GO TO GRAMMAR & VOCABULARY SECTION