IELTS Listening Test

  • By Ami Nandani
  • March 27, 2023
IELTS Listening Test

IELTS Listening Test

The IELTS listening test is one of the four components of the IELTS test, and it is the same for both academic and general modules. The IELTS listening exam can be challenging, but with practice and preparation, you can improve your score and achieve your desired band. The Listening test consists of four sections, and each section lasts for approximately 8-9 minutes. Overall the test is for 40 minutes wherein the candidate is supposed to listen to the audio for 30 minutes after which 10 minutes extra is given to transfer the answers to the answer sheet. It is designed to assess the candidate’s ability to understand various types of spoken English, including conversations, lectures, and monologues, to understand candidates’ opinions, major ideas, and detailed factual information, and to know whether the candidate is following the development ideas or not. The listening exam is conducted in a controlled environment, and the candidate wears headphones to listen to the audio recording.


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There will be four recordings by native speakers in various accents comprising a total of 40 questions. Out of the four recordings: (i) two are based in an everyday social context which can be a conversation or a speech/talk  (ii) two in an academic context which can be converted up to four people or a speech by a person in an educational context.  Are you planning to study abroad or immigrate to an English-speaking country? Do you want to prove your proficiency in the English language? Look no further! We are excited to offer IELTS Course in Pune!

IELTS Listening Test

Let us also understand the different difficult types of questions that are asked and a few tips to answer these types:

(i)MCQ Questions For IELTS Listening Test:

Each question has multiple possible answers and the candidate needs to choose the correct answer. Sometimes, there could be multiple answers for a question so read the instructions carefully.

There are 3 different types of MCQs:
1. Choose one answer out of 4 options.
2. Choose two answers out of 5 options.
3. Choose three answers out of 6 options.


(ii) Matching Questions:

In Matching Questions, you are presented with two consecutive or adjacent lists of related responses having phrases, words or symbols. Each element in one list is matched with one element from the other list to make one proper answer. 

Tips to answer such questions:

  • Provide clear directions
  • Keep the information in each column as homogeneous as possible
  • Allow the responses to be used more than once
  • Arrange the list of responses systematically if possible (chronological, alphabetical, numerical)
  • Pay attention to synonyms and paraphrasing which will be used extensively in the recording


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(iii)Plan, Map, and Labelling Diagram:

In Note, Table, Summary, and Diagram completion questions, you will be asked to complete a set of notes, tables, diagrams or a summary based on the information given in the recording. Sometimes the question will be to write a short answer and sometimes you’ll have to choose from the list of answers given.


Tips to answer such questions:
1. Read the instructions carefully and always answer within the given word limit
2. The answers are not likely to be in the same order in the recording like sentence completion questions
3. Attentively hear the recording to look for order/directions/features
4. Make important notes while listening to the recording
5. Carefully investigate the plan/map/diagram to make predictions for each question using noted information.


Tips for Success in the IELTS Listening Exam

Improve your IELTS listening Test skills:

The first and foremost thing to do to perform well in the test is to improve your listening skills. Listen to English songs, podcasts, news, and TV shows to get used to different accents and intonations. You can also practice listening to different types of conversations and speeches to improve your ability to understand different Best English coaching classes

Understand the format of the IELTS listening exam: Familiarize yourself with the format of the exam. Understand the types of questions, the number of sections, and the duration of each section. This will help you to plan and utilize your time appropriately in the exam.

Read the instructions carefully: Make sure you read the instructions of each section carefully before you start listening. This will help you understand what is expected of you and avoid any confusion during the exam. But be verbal if there is any hindrance in hearing

Predict the answers: Read the questions before listening to the audio so you know what type of information you need to answer the questions. Predicting the answers while listening to the audio recording can help you stay focused and engaged throughout the exam. This will also help you anticipate the answers and avoid missing out on any important information.

Take notes: Taking notes/highlighting the keywords while listening to the audio recording can help you remember important information and details. You can use abbreviations to make notes quickly and efficiently.

Stay focused: Stay focused and avoid distractions during the exam. You will have to carefully listen and identify the key information that will help you answer the questions. Do not get distracted by the environment or other candidates. Try to focus on the audio recording and the questions at hand.

Check your answers: After completing each section of the exam, check your answers and make sure you have answered all the questions. Make sure your answers are spelled correctly and written clearly.

Practice regularly: Practice is the key to success in the IELTS listening exam. Take practice tests regularly to assess your progress and identify areas that need improvement.



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The candidates appearing for the pen-paper-based test will need to listen to the audio for 30 minutes and write the answers in the question paper. You will be given 10 extra minutes to transfer your answers from the question paper to the answer sheet.

The ones appearing for the IELTS Training in Pune will feed the answers directly into the answer sheet and hence extra 10 minutes will not be provided. But you will still get 2 minutes to review the answers in case of any changes that you would want to make.



Ami Nandani

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