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IELTS Task 2 Writing model answer 046

IELTS Task 2 Writing model answer 46

All of the model answers on this site are guaranteed band 9

You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.

Write about the following topic:

Nowadays we are producing more and more rubbish.

Why do you think this is happening? What can the government do to help reduce the amount of rubbish produced?

Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.

Write at least 250 words.


IELTS Task 2 Writing model answer 46There is no doubt that modern society creates more refuse per person than previously. This essay will first consider some of the influences that have caused this, then suggest some ways that the authorities can promote a reduction in this increase.

The main cause for the increased amount of waste produced is largely the result of excess packaging that is common in society today. A simple fast food meal has bags, wrappers and containers that are in use for just a few minutes before being discarded. There is also a rising trend towards disposable items which are designed to have a short life before being consigned to the dustbin. Common examples include razors, bottles and plastic bags.

Another major cause for the rise in refuse can also be linked to technology. Computers, tablet devices, mobile phones and more are considered old and obsolete, often within only a few years of use. These devices are often not recycled but are simply abandoned to lie in landfills.

It is perhaps with this second point that the government can be the most proactive. By encouraging recycling, either by better programmes of education or more available facilities, more of the material that would otherwise be dumped could be recycled and put back into use. There is also the possibility for local councils to charge more for refuse collection services, thus making adding a financial incentive for people to recycle more assiduously. Admittedly, this could lead to more illegal dumping as people attempt to avoid paying additional costs.

In summary, there are varied reasons as to why the amount of waste produced is increasing, but there are also avenues the government could consider in order to reduce this.

 

(283 words)

Parallel expressions in IELTS – examples

Before looking at this page, we recommend looking at the parallel expressions page first.

In the IELTS test (especially in the reading), finding the correct answer often depends on understanding that the same sentence can be written in different ways, using different word groups or even different vocabulary. Take a look a look at the sentences below and try to think of another way the same information could be written.

I know it’s tempting to just click the links in red, but try to think of your own sentence first before seeing the possible answer!

Parallel expressions in IELTS - examplesA The environmental impact of the increasing number of cars on the road is devastating.
Could be written as:
Show a possible re-write of the sentence above The rise in the volume of cars being used is highly destructive to the environment.

B Without a convenient and economical public transport system, most people will continue to use their cars to get to work.
Could be written as:
Show a possible re-write of the sentence above The majority of commuters will not abandon their own private vehicle until mass transit options become more flexible and better priced.

C The situation is intensified by the rising number of two-car families.
Could be written as:
Show a possible re-write of the sentence above The problem has been heightened by the increasing number of households that own two vehicles.

D Car-sharing schemes, where people travel together in one vehicle, have not been particularly successful.
Could be written as:
Show a possible re-write of the sentence above Reducing the number of single occupant cars have not been a great success.

E Although contaminants in petrol have been reduced, they still pose a significant threat.
Could be written as:
Show a possible re-write of the sentence above Despite now having lower levels of contamination, petrol is still a notable concern.

F The lack of government legislation to control exhaust fumes, especially from older cars, has exacerbated the problem.
Could be written as:
Show a possible re-write of the sentence above The problem has been heightened, to a large extent from older vehicles, because there are insufficient laws to govern this.

G In addition to environmental damage, increased air pollution has direct health consequences.
Could be written as:
Show a possible re-write of the sentence above Airborne pollutants can have a clear impact on health as well as the effect on the environment as a whole.

H Respiratory diseases have increased, especially within inner-city areas.
Could be written as:
Show a possible re-write of the sentence above Those residing in urban areas are increasingly likely to suffer with breathing related conditions.

I Benzene, a by-product of the combustion of petrol, has been linked to birth defects.
Could be written as:
Show a possible re-write of the sentence above Complications arising from birth have been connected to benzene, a specific secondary result of burning gas.

J Yet while the car retains its image of freedom and individuality, it is unlikely that people will opt to take the bus.
Could be written as:
Show a possible re-write of the sentence above Public transport will probably not be used commonly until the use of private vehicles is no longer considered to represent a feeling of being unique and allowing people to travel freely.

 

IELTS speaking model answer – Enjoyed doing as a child

IELTS speaking model answer Enjoyed doing as a child

Describe something you enjoyed doing as a child

This section of the site is for model answers on Part Two topic cards. If you have a topic card that you would like a model answer too, just send it to us through the contact page.

It is good practice to read the model answer aloud, ideally while recording yourself. Then play back the recording, listening closely to your pronunciation (particularly your intonation) and the speed at which you are speaking.

Describe something you enjoyed doing as a child.

You should say:

  • what you did
  • when you did it
  • if you still do it.

You should also say why you enjoyed doing it.

Click the play button below to listen to the topic card answer.

Model answer:

Well the thing I probably enjoyed doing more than anything else as a child, or at least from when I was about 6, was riding bikes. I had a new or secondhand bike every year or so and they always got faster and bigger as I grew. I remember my first bike had training wheels on the side so I didn’t fall over while I was learning!

As I got a little older – about 10 or so – I used to go out on my bike with some friends most weekends and evenings. I used to get to school on my bike as well, and we would call in at each others houses and ride in a group to school. The most exciting time was when I was 14, when three of my closest friends and I all went away overnight cycling with a tent on the back of the bicycles. It seemed like such an adventure, and we must have cycled over 60 kilometres that weekend! We had a great time just cycling around and then we set up the tent in the field and spent the night. The only problem was my friend had an accident and destroyed his bike, so his parents had to come and pick him up.

For my 15th birthday I had a bike with 15 gears, which, at the time, was very unusual. It was much faster than any of my friends’ bikes so I started to go out a lot on my own and later on I got a job delivering newspapers where again I used my bike a lot.

I stopped cycling when I was about 18 and I haven’t really gone back to it although I probably should. It’s very good for health and fitness. The only problem is the other road users don’t always watch out for bikes and it can be a little dangerous especially on busy roads. I’m not sure it would be so easy to have fun with a bicycle now as it was when I was a child because of the traffic on the roads these days.

Mostly I enjoyed it because it was a chance for me to get out of the house and be a little bit independent. It was a lot of fun playing with friends who also had bikes, so there was a very social side to it as well.

Writing good topic sentences for IELTS

Writing a good topic sentence for IELTS

To write in a clear and logical way, the first sentence of your paragraph should define what the rest of the paragraph will be discussing.

For example:

Tighter gun control or even the abolition of firearms would lead to a decrease in the number of deaths and injuries. This is because in many countries, access to this type of weapon is relatively easy, and this can cause incidents or accidents. For example, in the USA alone, accidental death from firearms accounts for over 1000 deaths per year.

Notice how the sentence in bold identifies what the paragraph relates to.

Here are some more topic sentences:

Paragraph A:

Writing good topic sentences for IELTSReality television could be facing a revolt. Every night there is at least one on the television, more often two or three. Subjects can range from seeing a group of people living in a house together, with cameras watching them 24 hours a day, to more exotic locations where people, even celebrities, live on a deserted island and are required to complete certain tasks. While there is clearly a market for this kind of entertainment, there are a growing number of people who have become bored with this genre of programming and are refusing to watch, preferring instead to view other channels or even pursue other interests.

Paragraph B:

Computer viruses are becoming increasingly aggressive. Despite installing protective software, these threats continue to evolve, becoming increasingly sophisticated and damaging. This is an irritation to the home computer user, but is of far greater concern when they affect computers in government offices and banks, for example. In fact, it has been rumoured that certain software companies actively recruit the people responsible, thus turning the creation and implementation of viruses into something akin to a job interview.

Paragraph C:

The belief that we now have longer holidays is not always true. Take, for example, people working in the service industry. They are often required to work through what is traditionally considered to be the holiday period, and in many service industries, Christmas is one of their busiest times. Then there are people from the business world, constantly connected to their work through the Internet and mobile phones. The reality of the situation is that government legislation and laws regarding contracts have given us the impression of having more free time without actually reducing our workload.

Paragraph D:

An increasing number of women do not have to sacrifice their career in order to have a family. This is in part the result of legislation in favour of working mothers, in which companies are required to provide maternity pay to employees in the last stages of pregnancy and early motherhood. Returning to work is also facilitated by many of the larger companies providing crèches for younger children, meaning the parent is no longer housebound. There is also a trend towards having children later in life, once a career has been firmly established, or even not having children at all, giving the opportunity to follow career choices instead. A minor, and not yet substantial enough, role is also played by househusbands, men who take the responsibility for child care whilst the mother pursues her career.

 

Now practice! Read the paragraphs below and think of a suitable topic sentence for each one.

TOPIC SENTENCE 
It provides an important release from the tensions of the workplace, allowing us an outlet for our energies in an increasingly hectic world. There is also the social aspect, as people often use their leisure time to interact with others in a society that is becoming arguably less sociable.

Show a possible topic sentence for the paragraph above

FREE TIME IS INCREASINGLY VITAL THESE DAYS


 

TOPIC SENTENCE 
Traditional foods with better nutritional values are often overlooked as being time consuming and laborious and are often rejected in favour of more convenient options. Another reason that could account for this is the financial factor: the cost of a McDonald’s meal can often be considerably cheaper than a balanced and well-prepared meal cooked at home.

Show a possible topic sentence for the paragraph above  THERE IS AN INCREASING DEPENDENCE ON ‘JUNK’ FOOD

TOPIC SENTENCE 
The clearest indication of this is the brevity of most e-mails. In a letter, we would never consider communicating with a single word or phrase, yet it is perfectly acceptable to do so using a computer. There is also the personal aspect: reliance on e-mail communication is undeniably distancing us from more direct contact, even the telephone. However, we cannot underestimate the convenience of e-mail, especially in situations which involve long-distance communication.

Show a possible topic sentence for the paragraph above EMAIL IS NOT AS EFFECTIVE A MEANS OF COMMUNICATION COMPARED TO MORE TRADITIONAL FORMS

 

TEXT COMPLETION QUESTIONS IN IELTS IELTS READING: Home office

TEXT COMPLETION QUESTIONS IN IELTS IELTS READING

This is a text completion exercise. Before you begin, we recommend you take a look at the Text completion information page.

The home office

A Can you feel your anxiety and stress levels increasing every time you get caught in a traffic jam? Do you find it difficult to control your tongue when your boss points out your shortcomings yet again? Do you just not have the right kind of office attire, hate spending hours shopping for it and, frankly, would feel much better if you only had more independence, more freedom, more flexible hours and fewer people on your back? Do you yearn for state-of-the-art technology in your home, that … wait for it … you haven’t had to pay for? If you are shouting an enthusiastic ‘Yes!’ in answer to these questions, then it could be time to make a career and life change that may not even require you to quit your job. Just suggest to your boss that you wish to become one of the new breed of executives whose office is based at home.

B Working from home is a relatively new phenomenon, but is becoming an increasingly popular option with both businesses and employees. The technology available to us now means that we no longer need to be in the same office building as our colleagues to communicate effectively with each other. E-mail, video conferencing, mobile telephones and more, mean that we can do business just as efficiently, regardless of our location.

C Companies may choose to employ a proportion of their staff as home-based workers, as, of course, a workforce set up in such a way requires far less office space and fewer parking facilities. The fixed costs of a business can be dramatically reduced. Employees can enjoy the added benefits of freedom to schedule the day as they choose and freedom to spend more time at home with their families. Working from home can be a particularly valid option for young mothers who wish to pursue their careers but find it impossible to be out of the house for nine or ten hours per day.

D We can even go so far as to say that the working-from-home phenomenon could be one of the answers to the pollution problems which the modern world has inflicted upon itself. Fewer people travelling to work every day equals fewer cars. Fewer cars, of course, equates to lower CO2 levels in the atmosphere. Governments have been trying for years to change how we commute to work, attempting to persuade us to forsake our private car journey to work each day for the hideous experience of a crowded bus or train. Most of us have been resistant, even when parking fees in city areas have been on the rise and unpredictable traffic patterns mean we have to leave our house 30 minutes earlier than necessary anyway. But working from home gives us no excuse whatsoever to emit CO2 into the atmosphere twice a day in our working week.

E But what are the drawbacks to working from home? There must be some or everybody would be doing it. For many of us, work is a means of escaping our nearest and dearest and making our own mark on the world. The relationships we have with our colleagues, be they good or bad, are a significant part of our life – after all, full-time workers spend a third of their day in their workplace. After-hours pursuits of a game of squash or a pint in the pub become part of our daily routine. We cement sound friendships at work and an astounding percentage of us meet our life partner at our place of work. The people there have similar ambitions and business interests and we are, after all, social animals. The majority of us become depressed and withdrawn if we do not have enough interaction with others. Some people who work from home feel that, because they do spend a large proportion of the day at home alone with few distractions, they are actually much more productive and can get tasks done in a much shorter time than in an office environment. Others, however, may be demotivated by the isolation and find it difficult to get down to tasks which have a more intangible deadline.

F As with most aspects of life, a balance is probably the best solution for the majority of workers – a job based at home which requires regular contact with colleagues at regular meetings. Management surveys show that successful business is easier if we operate as a team: brainstorming and sharing ideas and offering support and motivation to each other. After all, we are only human and we need others to complain to if we have a bad day at work!

Complete the sentences below. Use NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS.

1 Working from home has been made possible by advances in .
Show answer TECHNOLOGY

2 With fewer requirements for space, businesses can reduce their .
Show answer (FIXED) COSTS

3 Despite political pressure, most people have not changed how they to work.
Show answer COMMUTE

4 For some people, working at home can have a negative impact as the can cause them to lose motivation.
Show answer ISOLATION


 

Complete the summary by using words from the box below.

Technology has allowed us to (5) at home instead of the office. For the company, there are (6) incentives and for the employee there is more (7) . There are even (8) for the environment. However, there is a (9) factor to be considered.

benefits flexibility workplace survive conduct business
release psychological financial friendships environment
Show answerTechnology has allowed us to (5) CONDUCT BUSINESS at home instead of the office. For the company, there are (6) FINANCIAL incentives and for the employee there is more (7) FLEXIBILITY. There are even (8) BENEFITS for the environment. However, there is a (9) PSYCHOLOGICAL factor to be considered.

Show All correct answers

IELTS listening multiple choice questions practice exercise 1

IELTS listening multiple choice questions practice exercise 1

Before attempting this exercise, make sure you have read this page about multiple choice questions in IELTS listening.

Listen to the recording and answer the 6 questions below:

Multiple choice listening

Free IELTS listening multiple choice

Giving and justifying opinions for IELTS speaking

Giving and justifying opinions for IELTS speaking

The IELTS speaking test is like most conversations.  If you give an opinion, you should justify it, and if possible, offer a reason, solution or speculation.

For example:

I don’t think people should automatically be entitled to three holidays a year. [END]

Saying only the statement above is NOT SUITABLE FOR IELTS. You need to expand your argument by supporting your opinions like this:

“I don’t think people should automatically be entitled to three holidays a year, because companies may need their labourAs I see it, two holidays a year is acceptable, with any additional days off acting as an incentive for overtime.”

Whenever you state an opinion, either in the speaking or the writing test, ask yourself why. This will often lead you to thinking of how to justify what you have said.


Practice

Extend this candidate’s answer, justifying the opinions and giving examples where you see an asterisk (*)

Giving and justifying opinions for IELTS speakingNew Zealand is a great place to study.*1 There is so much to do.*2 There are a lot of international students, especially in the major cities like Auckland and Christchurch, which can sometimes make it difficult to practise your English.* 3 My advice would be to live in a homestay – that’s the best way to improve. *4 Some international students think that New Zealand is boring.*5 Personally, I agree with something my friend told me years ago – only boring people get bored. After all, there’s no point in travelling abroad if everything is the same as in your home country.*6 It can be quite exciting to discover some of the cultural differences between nations anyway.* 7 I don’t really think much of the food though.*8 I much prefer food from my own country. *9 Overall, though, I’ve really enjoyed the experience here.*10

Show how *1 could have been expanded New Zealand is a great place to study. As an English-speaking country with some well-known universities, you can get a good education here.

 

Show how *2 could have been expanded There is so much to do – it’s the home of so many extreme sports, such as bungy jumping and skydiving

 

Show how *3 could have been expanded There are a lot of international students, especially in the major cities like Auckland and Christchurch, which can sometimes make it difficult to practise your English. I often find myself spending the evenings talking to friends in my language!

 

Show how *4 could have been expanded My advice would be to live in a homestay – that’s the best way to improve. That way everything has to be in English, and you find yourself learning so much more because it’s almost 24 hours a day.

 

Show how *5 could have been expanded Some international students think that New Zealand is boring. I think that’s probably because they are so used to cities where entertainment is laid on every night, they don’t really need to think about entertaining themselves.

 

Show how *6 could have been expanded Personally, I agree with something my friend told me years ago – only boring people get bored. After all, there’s no point in travelling abroad if everything is the same as in your home country. The whole point of an international education is to learn something about the world, to see how about people live.

 

Show how *7 could have been expanded It can be quite exciting to discover some of the cultural differences between nations anyway. For example, I’ve never heard of people cooking food under the earth before like they do with a hangi.

 

Show how *8 could have been expanded I don’t really think much of the food though – it’s a little too greasy for me.

 

Show how *9 could have been expanded I much prefer food from my own country, but I guess that’s mostly because it’s what I’ve grown up with, what I’ve become accustomed to.

 

Show how *10 could have been expanded Overall, though, I’ve really enjoyed the experience here. Of course, I’ve learned better English from being here, but I also feel I’ve become more mature and have a more open-minded view of the world.

 

Now practice!

Respond to the following statements and expand your answer as much as possible.

There are no model answers for these exercises.

  1. There is no need to settle into a career until the age of 30.
  2. Visa regulations should be relaxed for foreign students.
  3. People who cause traffic accidents should not be allowed to drive again.
  4. Single-sex classes make learning easier.
  5. Nobody should eat meat.

Tips for IELTS listening

Tips for IELTS listening

On this page are tips for listening in the IELTS test. If you have a question or a tip that you think would benefit others, let us know using the message form at the bottom of the page.

*Note that the listening test is the same for the General Training and Academic Module test

 

tips-for-ielts-listeningSpeaker giving the wrong answer first

One of the common traps in the IELTS listening test  is when a speaker makes a statement which is then changed. For example: ‘My phone number is 833 6634 – oh no, sorry, that’s my old number – my new number is 356 8232′. It is important to keep listening to the following sentence or two to confirm that the answer has not changed in any way.

Keeping focused on the listening

A common issue with the IELTS listening test is not staying focused on the recording so that you catch the answer when it comes. It is surprising how often, even though you are serious about passing the IELTS test, your mind can start to wander when listening to a recorded conversation, and you can easily miss an answer. One technique to help is to imagine that you are actually part of the conversation, even though you are not actually saying anything. Think about where they are, how old you think the speaker or speakers are, what they are wearing etc. By putting yourself ‘in the picture’, it is often easier to keep focused.

Always be two questions ahead

Having only the next question in your mind as you are listening means that you can lose points quickly – if you miss the answer, you may find yourself waiting and waiting, only to find that the answer has gone as well as the next two or three answers. Get into the habit of planning the next questions ahead. For example, if you are waiting for the answer to Question 3, also make sure you know what is required for Question 4 – if you hear the answer to Question 4 first, then you have already missed Question 3 (the answers come in order). You may have lost a point, but at least you are back on track.

Pre-read the questions

In between Sections 1, 2 and 3, there is a short break for you to read the questions, but at the end of each of these sections, you are also given half a minute to check your answers. Although it is worth having a quick check to make sure you have an answer for each question, this time should be spent pre-reading the next set of questions, not reading old answers. The more prepared you are for the next set of questions, the better your results. Remember that you are given time at the end of the recording to transfer your answers to the answer paper, so don’t worry about writing neatly on your question paper.

Highlighting key words

In the time you have to pre-read the questions, make sure you are highlighting key vocabulary or points that you think will help you identify the correct answers. You are given a question paper and a separate answer sheet, so you can write on, underline, circle or otherwise mark your question paper as you see fit. Underlining or circling key words will help you stay focus and be clear about what you are listening for.

ALWAYS write an answer

You are not penalised in the IELTS test for an incorrect answer in the listening or reading sections, so even if you are not sure or don’t know, always write something, even if it’s just a guess. You might get lucky, and it certainly won’t harm!

An introduction to the IELTS listening test (Page 2)

An introduction to the IELTS listening test (page 2)

Before starting this lesson, make sure you have completed page 1.

This page begins with the video below, then some comprehension questions.

Video 2 of 2

Narration:
The sections of the listening test. Each of the four sections of the listening test are structured slightly differently. The topic for the first two sections of the test is social or semi formal. In sections 3 and 4, the topic is educational or academic. The number of speakers you will have to listen to in each section also varies. There are ten questions in each section that you will need to answer. In the first section only, an example will be played for you. This is the only time you will hear the recording twice. The example is normally quite short. Throughout the test, you will be given time before the recordings to read the questions. However, it is recommended that you use as much time as possible reading the questions for the recording that comes next. Remember that you have time to check your answers at the end of the test when you transfer them to the answer paper. In the final section of the test, you are not given any time after the recording to check your answers. You will simply be told that the recordings have finished and your 10 minute transfer time will begin. In the first three sections of the test, there will be a short break about halfway through the recording to give you time to read the next questions. However, in the final section, there is only a very short pause mid way through the test, so you will be required to answer all 10 questions in one go. Throughout the course, you will be practising the skills you need to complete the test.


Look at the situations below.

Which ONE of the situations below do you think would be the most suitable topic for Section 1 of the listening test?

Remember that Section 1 is a conversation and is not about an academic subject.

A student asking about enrolment procedures.
Three students talking about an assignment.
An announcement about lost luggage
A lecture about health studies.
A speaker giving information about university courses
A man asking about video club membership.
A business presentation for a new product.

Show the answer
A man asking about video club membership is likely to be a Section 1 subject. Video club membership is not an academic topic, and because the man is ‘asking’, there must be another speaker.

Which ONE do you think would be the most suitable topic for Section 2 of the listening test?

Remember that Section 2 has one main speaker and has a social context.

A student asking about enrolment procedures.
Three students talking about an assignment.
An announcement about lost luggage
A lecture about health studies.
A speaker giving information about university courses
A man asking about video club membership.
A business presentation for a new product.

Show the answer
An announcement about lost luggage is likely to be a Section 2 subject. An announcement suggests that there is only one speaker involved. Lost luggage means that the context will be not be academic.

Which ONE do you think would be the most suitable topic for Section 3 of the listening test?

Remember that Section 3 is a conversation and is about an academic subject.

A student asking about enrolment procedures.
Three students talking about an assignment.
An announcement about lost luggage
A lecture about health studies.
A speaker giving information about university courses
A man asking about video club membership.
A business presentation for a new product.

Show the answer
Three students talking about an assignment is likely to be a Section 3 subject. In this situation there are three speakers discussing assignments (an academic subject)

Which ONE do you think would be the most suitable topic for Section 4 of the listening test?

Remember that Section 4 is a monologue and is about an academic subject.

A student asking about enrolment procedures.
Three students talking about an assignment.
An announcement about lost luggage
A lecture about health studies.
A speaker giving information about university courses
A man asking about video club membership.
A business presentation for a new product.

Show the answer
A speaker giving information about university courses is likely to be a Section 4 subject. A speaker giving information suggests only one person; university courses are an academic topic.

An introduction to the IELTS listening test

An introduction to the IELTS listening test

Before you begin this lesson, you will need to know the meaning of the words below as they are part of the lesson.

TRANSFER: (verb) To move from one place to another or from one type to another. Example: ‘In the IELTS reading test, candidates have to complete the test and transfer their answer to the answer paper in 60 minutes’.

CONFIRM: (verb) Check, verify. For example: ‘It is shop owners’ responsibility to confirm their customers are old enough to buy cigarettes by asking them to provide identification.’

(noun) CONFIRMATION Example: ‘A confirmation has been made for the booking next month’.

VARY: (verb) differ, show differences. For example: ‘Opinions vary on this subject.’

STRUCTURE: (noun) The way in which parts are arranged or put together. Example: ‘A good essay should have a clear structure’.

(verb) To arrange something into clear parts or order. Example: ‘It is important to structure your answer clearly in the IELTS test’.

CLASSIFY: (verb) To put into a group or category. Example: ‘Humans are classified as mammals. Sharks are classified as fish’.

SEMI-FORMAL: (adjective) Between casual and formal. Example: ‘The dress code for the party is semi-formal. Suits and ties are not necessary, but jeans are not permitted.’

INFORMAL: Casual. Example: ‘Jeans are informal clothes’.

FORMAL Casual. Example: ‘A suit and tie are formal clothes’.

Video 1 of 2

Narration:
An introduction to the IELTS listening test. The IELTS listening test itself takes approximately 25 minutes, with an additional 10 minutes after the recordings have finished to transfer your answers to the answer sheet. There are four sections to the listening test, with a total of 40 questions. There are ten questions in each section. The answers will always come in the order of the recording. However, you may hear the speaker or speakers confirming an answer again later on.

You will hear each recording only once, so you will have to make sure you are listening carefully at all times. One skill you will need to develop is to be able to write your answer and keep listening for the next answer as you write. There is a variety of question types which we will look at later in this lesson. It is important to note that there is usually more than one type of question in each section although rarely more than three types. The number of questions you will have to answer in one question style varies. Sometimes you have to answer all ten questions in one section on one question type. For example, when completing a form.

Any of the question types could be in any section of the listening. It is important that you write down only the words that you hear and do not try to rephrase. As with the reading test, correct spelling is important, and you must always follow the word limit if you are given one. Writing three words when you are only asked for ‘no more than two’ will mean that your answer is wrong, even if it contains the correct information. Here is a table showing you the IELTS band you would get depending on the number of questions you answer correctly.


Now test yourself! Are the following statements TRUE or FALSE?

The listening test has three sections.

This is TRUE
This is FALSE

Show the answer
FALSE: The listening has four sections.

You have ten minutes at the end of the test to transfer your answer to the answer paper.

This is TRUE
This is FALSE

Show the answer
TRUE: You have ten minutes at the end of the test to transfer your answer to the answer paper.

There are always 40 questions (10 in each section).

This is TRUE
This is FALSE

Show the answer
TRUE: The 40 questions are divided equally between the 4 sections, with 10 questions per section.

You get to hear the recordings twice.

This is TRUE
This is FALSE

Show the answer
FALSE: You only get to the hear the recordings once, so you have to get the answer right first time!

Now move on to Page 2