Listening for details in IELTS
NOTE: This post includes 3 audio recordings, so make sure you have your speakers on or headphones attached.
In the IELTS listening test, you are often tested not just on your ability to listen for general information or to follow the approximate flow of the recording, but also to listen for very specific information.
Sometimes specific information questions will also be spelled, but this is not guaranteed, so you need to develop the skills of listening for a specific piece of information, while at the same time continuing to listen to the general direction of the dialogue or monologue.
There are a number of different types of specific information you may need to listen to, including:
- names and other personal information (click here for more practice)
- numbers (click here for more practice)
- places / addresses
- times and dates
Listen to the recording and see if you can identify what the following numbers refer to. Click ‘Show answer’ when you’ve finished.
A. 1946 Show answer
B. 180 Show answer
C. 60 Show answer
D. 2001 Show answer
Now practice by listening for specific dates. Listen to the recording below and note the following dates for these events:
1. Bastille Day
2. Elvis’ death
3. Burns’ Night
4. Martin Luther King Day
5. ANZAC day
Show the answers Bastille Day – 14th July Elvis’ death – 16th August Burns’ Night – 25th January Martin Luther King Day – 4th April ANZAC day – 25th April
Bastille Day – 14th July
Elvis’ death – 16th August
Burns’ Night – 25th January
Martin Luther King Day – 4th April
ANZAC day – 25th April
Now a third practice recording. Listen to the audio and identify the specific information needed to answer these questions:
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Listening for specific information
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Click ‘View questions’ to see which of your answers was correct or incorrect.
1. What is the speaker’s name?
- (Adrian Wolffe, Wolffe)
Oops! The correct answer was (Adrian) Wolffe
2. Where is he from?
Not quite! The correct answer is LLANGOLLEN
3. What group of people is he referring to?
- (Navajo, Navajo indians)
Sorry, the correct answer is NAVAJO Indians
4. What language did they speak?
That’s not right! The correct answer is ATHAPAKSAN
Now take a look at these tips and hints for improving your listening skills for Section 4 – the most difficult section of the IELTS listening test!