Category Archives: IELTS Listening (all)

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

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

Listening test #1

Free IELTS listening test 4 Section 3

Free IELTS listening test 4 Section 3

Jump back to Section 1 | Jump back to Section 2 | Jump to Section 4

Note: all of the question types, timings and pauses between recordings in this free online IELTS listening test are EXACTLY what you can expect in the IELTS test. Our free online material has been designed to emulate the IELTS test as accurately as possible in every aspect.

Looking for even more listening practice tests? Our online course has over 10 hours of recordings, and your answers are automatically marked and graded by our online system.

Free IELTS listening test 4 Section 4We strongly recommend that you do not pause the recording during this practice test – the exact timing you will have in the IELTS test is already built in, so pausing the recording will not give you an accurate idea of your level.

When you have finished this section, move on to Section 4.

 

Section 3:

NEW FEATURE! Once you have completed this section, scroll to the bottom of the page to listen again while reading the transcript of the recording.

Questions 21-30

Questions 21-24
21. The meeting has been arranged because
A. the tutor has some concerns about the student’s academic progress
B. it is an opportunity for the student to discuss his academic performance
C. the tutor is checking whether there is anything that can be done to support the student
Show answer B

22.The student
A. is happy with his achievements in languages
B. feels his classmates are performing better than him in some subjects
C. feels that that the tutor should be offering more support
Show answer B

23. The student has a part time job
A. arranged by the tutor
B. to get work experience
C. three days a week
Show answer C

24. The student feels
A. he needs to focus a little more on his studies
B. that a study plan would be helpful
C. that his work is interfering with his studies
Show answer A

25. A study group
A. might help the students discuss issues they find difficult
B. means that the students can approach the tutor together
C. cannot be held near the library
Show answer A


Questions 26-30

Answer the following questions using NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS AND/OR A NUMBER.

26. Where are the French lectures held?
Show answer SOUTH CAMPUS

27. What’s wrong with the student’s bicycle?
Show answer FLAT (FRONT) TYRE/TIRE

28. When does the first bus leave?
Show answer 12.00

29. What does the tutor recommend joining during the semester break?
Show answer WORK PLACEMENT SCHEME

30. What additional funds did the student try to get?
Show answer HARDSHIP GRANT


 Show All correct answers

Once you have finished, check your answers then move on to Section 4.

Click here to read the transcript of the recording

Section 3

Tutor:

Hi John, please come in. As you know, the university has set up these meetings to give all students the opportunity to talk to their tutors about the subjects and how they are doing academically, but this is also a chance for you to talk about how things are going generally, living in the student accommodation, sharing facilities with other students, that sort of thing. And don’t forget, everything we discuss here remains confidential. So, how do you feel the year is going so far?

Student:
Well, yeah, no problems really. I’m doing OK with my subjects. I just got 82% for my last history assignment, so I’m very pleased with that. Things aren’t going so well with my language classes though. I’m starting to wonder whether I should have taken just the history lectures this semester.

Tutor:
Hmm… so what grades are you getting for languages?

Student:
Well, I’m just above the pass level for French, but I think I might fail my German classes. I just can’t seem to get the hang of it, and it’s so much harder than when I was in high school.

Tutor:
Is there anything your German tutor can do to help you, do you think?

Student:
No, not really. I mean, all my classmates seem to be OK – it’s just me. But then again, I haven’t really divided my time equally between the subjects, and I have started a part time job recently that gives me even less time.

Tutor:
Oh, I see. Do you think you should have a job if your studies are suffering?

Student:
Well, I wouldn’t choose to, but I need to earn a little extra cash to pay for some of my living expenses. I have a student loan but it’s limited and doesn’t last the week. And the job is only four hours a day Saturday and Sunday, as well as one evening during the week, so it’s not too much time. I think I just need to be a little more disciplined with my studies.

Tutor:
Do you have a study plan? You know – a schedule of when you will study which subject and for how long?

Student:
To be honest, I made a plan at the beginning of last semester but I didn’t stick to it, so I haven’t made one for this semester. I don’t think it really helped me much.

Tutor:
Well if that’s not the kind of thing that works for you, how about creating a study group with some of your classmates? You can discuss the work you have studied that week, and talk about those things that you are finding difficult. It may be that one of the other students can explain something in a way that you find easier to understand. You can find a quiet table in the room in front of the library to meet, or if that doesn’t work you can come and see me and I’ll try to find a quiet room for you in this part of the school.

Student:
Hmmm… that’s actually quite a good idea. It would give me a chance to catch up, and it would certainly make me feel more confident. I’ll try to get some people interested and see how we go from there.

Tutor:
OK, good.

Tutor:
And what about student life? Are you happy where you are living?

Student:
Oh yes, it’s much better than I thought it would be. In the first semester, I didn’t really like living with so many other people, but now I’ve come to quite like it. Most of the people on my floor are very friendly and we all get on well. It’s good to spend some time with people that are studying different subjects, too, otherwise you spend too much time talking about coursework and assignments. I am finding it a little difficult getting to the French lectures though. It’s on the south campus and takes me nearly half an hour to walk there, and I only have 30 minutes between my French lecture and my history lecture, so I have been late a few times.

Tutor:
Do you have a vehicle of your own?

Student:
No…well, I have a bicycle, but I haven’t used it since the end of last semester when the front tyre went flat.

Tutor:
OK, well what about using the bus? It runs between the two campuses so would get you there in about 10 minutes. It only costs 24 pounds for the semester.

Student:
Yes, I looked into that, but I don’t get out of my history lecture until 12.00 and the first bus leaves then, so I never get to the bus stop on time. The next bus comes at 25 past, so that would get me there late.

Tutor:
Oh, I see. Then I recommend you look into getting your bicycle fixed then. You can’t afford to be late, especially as you are only at a pass level at the moment. Have you talked to your French teacher about why you are sometimes late?

Student:
I keep meaning to but never get round to it.

Tutor:
OK, well I think that you ought to make that a priority as soon as you can. Have you had any thoughts about what you plan to do over the summer break? We encourage all of our students to enrol in our work placement scheme, where the university will help students find a job doing something that they think they might like to pursue after graduation. Have you had any thoughts?

Student:
Well, as I said before, I really need a little extra money at the moment, and I have been offered some extra shifts at the restaurant where I am working at the moment, so I’ll probably take that, even though it’s not what I plan to do in the long term. Maybe next year I’ll be in a better position to look for something more in line with my future career.

Tutor:
I see. Well, have you considered applying for an extension to your current student loan?

Student:
Yes, I have, but unfortunately I was turned down – I didn’t qualify for the hardship grant I had applied for. I guess I need to learn to live a little more economically, and stop going out so much.

 

Listening test #1

Free IELTS listening test 4 Section 4

Free IELTS listening test 4 Section 4

Jump back to Section 1  | Jump back to Section 2  |  Jump back to Section 3

Note: all of the question types, timings and pauses between recordings in this free online IELTS listening test are EXACTLY what you can expect in the IELTS test. Our free online material has been designed to emulate the IELTS test as accurately as possible in every aspect.

Looking for even more listening practice tests? Our online course has over 10 hours of recordings, and your answers are automatically marked and graded by our online system.

Free IELTS listening test 4 Section 4We strongly recommend that you do not pause the recording during this practice test – the exact timing you will have in the IELTS test is already built in, so pausing the recording will not give you an accurate idea of your level.

If you’re having problems with Section 4, take a look at our pages on Tips for getting a better result in Section 4

 

Section 4:

NEW FEATURE! Once you have completed the test, scroll to the bottom of the page to listen again while reading the transcript of the recording.

SECTION 4

Questions 31-40

Complete the summary below using NO MORE THAN ONE WORD

Brain drain occurs when technically skilled and/or 31.     workers leave a particular country, usually due to 32.     instability, safety or health-related reasons. Brain drain has a negative impact on the country the individuals leave due to the associated economic 33.     The term ‘brain drain’ was first used to describe migration from 34.     to America after the war.

31. Show answer EDUCATED

32. Show answer POLITICAL

33. Show answer COST

34. Show answer EUROPE


Questions 35-38

Decide which of the answers the statements refer to.

Choose your answers from the list and write the correct letter A-D next to questions 35-37

a. America
b. Canada
c. Neither America or Canada
d. Both America and Canada

35. Has experienced brain drain due to difficult living conditions.    
Show answer C

36. Incentives were offered to encourage early settlers to stay.    
Show answer B

37. Brain drain activity decreased between the 1920s and the 1960s.    
Show answer B

38. Is thought to offer superior research opportunities.    
Show answer A


Questions 39 and 40

Answer the following questions using NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS for each answer.

39. The fall in what makes it even more important for governments to attract skilled migrants to their country?    
Show answer BIRTH RATES

40. What is it easier for immigrants to smaller towns to earn than those in larger cities in relation to the domestic population?    
Show answer EQUAL INCOME

 


 

Show All correct answers

Once you have finished, check your answers then visit the IELTS band score converter to see what your band score would be.

 

Click here to read the transcript of the recording

The ‘brain drain’ refers to the situation that occurs due to large-scale emigration of educated or technically skilled individuals to other countries which has a negative impact upon the country they are choosing to leave. Usually this migration is prompted by a desire to escape conflict, a country plagued with health risks or political instability, but may also simply be inspired by a desire to improve one’s economic opportunities.

Brain drain is usually regarded as having an economic cost to the country being left behind, since emigrants are calculated to take with them the fraction of value of their training sponsored by the government and there is an economic cost involved in finding skilled replacements to meet market needs. The term ‘brain drain’ was first used to describe the emigration of scientists and technologists to North America from post-war Europe.

Brain drains are commonly experienced by developing nations where harsh or troubled living situations encourage nationals to wish to leave for brighter, healthier and safer futures. However, this type of migration can also be seen in seemingly developed and relatively comfortable economies but where people prefer to move to neighbouring countries perceived to have on offer even better, brighter opportunities. An example of the latter is the situation experienced by Canada with migration patterns to the United States of America.

As early as the 1860s, a trend towards preference for life in the United States was observed by Canadian administration when it was noted that the majority of immigrants arriving at Québec were en route to destinations in the United States and had no intention of remaining in Canada. A government agent at Quebec, Alexander C. Buchanan, suggested that prospective emigrants should be offered free land to encourage them to want to remain in Canada.

In the 1920s, it was observed that over 20% of university graduating classes in engineering and science were emigrating to the United States. But the percentage of technically trained Canadians leaving the country dropped from 27% in 1927 to under 10% in 1951 and 5% in 1967. Even so, between 1960 and 1979 over 17,000 engineers and scientists emigrated to the United States.

Today, there is still a brain drain in existence from Canada to the United States, especially in specific sectors. These include the finance, information technology, aerospace, health care and entertainment industries. This migration preference is put down to higher wages and lower income taxes in the U.S. Research indicates that engineers and scientists are also attracted to America by the greater diversity of jobs in the United States and a perceived lack of research funding in Canada.

The United States itself is fortunate and rather unique in that it does not necessarily experience a large-scale brain drain to other countries since it has remained for many decades the destination of choice and perceived land of opportunity for many skilled migrants migrating from other parts of the world. The United States, however, does experience unevenness of distribution of its skilled worker population. A study conducted at the beginning of the 21st Century showed a definite preference for migration by young, skilled workers towards the West Coast and Southeast of America.

Over recent years the United States of America, like other countries, has found it impossible to avoid rural depopulation – the movement of skilled workers from the countryside to urban and suburban areas which has negatively affected the economies of rural communities across the country.

The situation that occurs when many trained and skilled migrants choose to move to another country is called a brain gain. Particularly as birth rates tend to decline in developed nations, it is crucial for governments to attract individuals who are able to add value to that country’s economy and skills pool. In 2000, at a Canadian symposium, the relationship of native skilled workers choosing to leave the country and replacement by their immigrant counterparts who wished to migrate to Canada was discussed. This simultaneous but converse relationship is sometimes referred to as a ‘brain transplant’.

Over recent years, Canada, along with several other developed nations has been proactive in encouraging interest from migrants able to contribute positively to the country, its economy and community. The country has a thriving economy – one of the top 10 in the world – which is centred on the vast array of natural energy resources and mineral reserves, including Oil, Gas, Gold, Nickel and Lead. The country also possesses strong aeronautics, automobile and space industries.

According to recent statistics and reports, the popularity of moving to a smaller Canadian community has increased amongst migrants. One of the major appeals being that trends show immigrants in smaller areas are more likely to earn equal income to the Canadian-born population much faster than those who decide to make new lives in larger metropolitan areas. Over recent time, the smaller Canadian communities have begun to work proactively to develop their own immigration strategies, to attract and encourage newcomers to their own particular part of the country.

IELTS Listening for personal information

IELTS Listening for personal information

You should also take a look at the lesson ‘Listening for details in IELTS

In the first section of the IELTS listening test, it is common to have to take a note of some personal information from one of the speakers. This can be there name, their address, a telephone number or other similar details.

IELTS Listening for personal informationIn this section of the test, it is also common for the speaker to spell a word (for example, that speaker may say ‘I live in Arlene Road, that’s A – R – L – E – N – E Road’.).

Here are just some of the points you may need to listen out for when listening for personal information:

  • Surname / Family name
  • Other names (this could include nicknames of abbreviations)
  • Telephone number
  • Current occupation
  • Marital status (e.g. single, divorced, married, separated)
  • Educational qualifications
  • D.O.B (date of birth)
  • Nationality
  • Current address

These questions can often be the easiest way to pick up points in the IELTS listening test, but points can also be lost for not spelling the answer correctly. Practice by listening to the recording below and putting the word you hear in the boxes below. To simulate the real IELTS test, don’t pause the recording – see if you can keep up with the spelling.

 

Listen to the recording and type the names you hear in the boxes below.

You should also take a look at the lesson ‘Listening for details in IELTS

Signpost words in IELTS listening

Signpost words in IELTS listening

 

NOTE: we recommend you take a look at the post on linking words before beginning this page.

In the listening test, the type of linking words you hear can help you predict the general direction of what you hear. You can tell if points are connected as:

• comparisons
• concessions
• additions
• sequences
• opposites
• cause and effect constructions.

These are called ‘signpost words’ (also ‘discourse markers’), as they are a signpost to tell you what is happening next. Understanding and following signpost words can be a very helpful way to improve your IELTS result as it will help you better follow the conversation.

Listen to the recording. You will hear the first part of a sentence. What point do you think it will be followed by? Write the linking word that helped you decide. The first one has been done for you.

Sentence 1 (example): The next point is likely to be an opposite because of the word although.

Sentence 2: The next point is likely to be   because of the word
Show answer SEQUENCE because of the words ‘NEXT STEP’

Sentence 3: The next point is likely to bebecause of the word
Show answer ADDITION because of the words ‘NO ONLY…BUT ALSO’

Sentence 4: The next point is likely to bebecause of the word
Show answer CONCESSION because of the word ‘ADMITTEDLY’

Sentence 5: The next point is likely to bebecause of the word
Show answer CAUSE/EFFECT because of the words ‘AS A RESULT’

Sentence 6: The next point is likely to bebecause of the word
Show answer COMPARISON because of the words ‘IN THE SAME WAY’

Linking words in listening are only one example of discourse markers – the words and expressions used to show how speech is constructed. They are particularly useful for you in Sections 2 and 4 of the listening test as they indicate changes in the direction of a thought, idea or opinion. That means if you have a question asking about reading ability and the next question is asking about new additions to the school building, then you can expect to hear a discourse marker announcing the change of topic.

Here are some of the more common signpost words and phrases, with their meanings.

First = This it the beginning of a list of points.
Like = An example is going to be given.
Anyway = This could mean a change of subject or nearing the end of the talk.
I mean = The speaker is about to rephrase or give an example.
So = An effect or a result of a previous point is about to be stated.
Moving on = Another point is going to be introduced.
As I said = The speaker is going to recap an earlier point.
To make myself clear = The speaker is going to rephrase a point.
Right = This could mean the speaker is about to begin,change the subject or is nearing the end of the talk.
To put it another way = The speaker is about to rephrase a point.
This isn’t always so = The speaker is about to give exceptions to or contrasts to a previous comment
Now = The speaker is about to begin a new subject.
Talking about that = The speaker is going to expand on a point.

Test your skills! You can either try completing the text below using the list of signpost words presented above then listen, or you could just listen and complete the answers!

(1) I’d like to thank you all again for coming to this meeting, and to say that I have received apologies from Mrs Brownlow, who won’t be able to attend today. (2), I’d like to talk to you about our English language department. (3) in the last meeting, we are looking for some of you to act as mentors for our international students arriving over the coming weeks. Although our college prides itself on having a welcoming environment in which international students can feel at home from the very first day, we know (4). Feelings of homesickness, isolation and loneliness are somewhat unavoidable, but I would like, as much as possible, to reduce these factors by teaming new students with existing students who have been here some time. (5), I am looking for volunteers to show the new students around, introduce them to people and generally ease them into their studies, so if any of you are willing to help, then please come to my office anytime during the week and let me know. (6), I’d also like to talk to you about a temporary teacher who will be joining us for the next week or so. He will be teaching history and sociology, and substituting for Miss Kinsale until her recovery. (7), if anyone
wants to send her a card then just let me know by the end of the day as I will be going to the hospital this evening to visit her. (8), unless there is anything else you want to add, we’ll close the meeting. I hope to see some of you during the week.

Show answer 1. First
2. Now
3. As I said
4. This isn’t always so
5. To put it another way
6. Moving on
7. Talking about that
8. Right

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In addition to discourse markers, the intonation pattern of the speaker’s voice can also indicate a change of topic. The tone of voice generally falls at the end of one topic, followed by a pause then starts on the next topic in a higher tone.

Here are 2 examples. In the first part, the speaker has clearly indicated that they have finished by having a falling intonation. The second speaker has a rising intonation, indicating more is to come.

IELTS test day listening exercise

IELTS test day listening exercise

For this listening exercise, we’ve used ALL the different question types you will find in the IELTS listening test.

The listening is about a candidate’s experience on test day – this is not a topic you would normally have in the IELTS test (and it is easier than normal IELTS recordings), but is an opportunity for you to get some idea of what other people feel on test day!

 

 

Answer the following using NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS (this is a short answer question).

1. How did Eileen feel before the test?
Show answer NERVOUS

Circle the correct answer A–C  (this is a multiple choice question).

2. She felt calmer
A. when her friend got her results
B. after she had spoken to her mother
C. the night before the test.
  Show answer B

Complete the sentence below in ONE WORD (this is a sentence completion question).

3. The hardest part of the listening test was ____________________.
Show answer SPELLING

Label the diagram below (this is a labelling a diagram question).

4. In which room was Eileen’s speaking test?
Show answer INTERVIEW ROOM 5

IELTS test day listening exercise

Match a problem with a solution (this is a matching/classifying question).

A. If you feel nervous…
B. If you make a mistake…

5.  stop and rephrase your sentence. Show answer B

6.  stop and take a deep breath. Show answer A

Questions 7-9. Complete the table below using NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS/AND OR A NUMBER (this is a table completion question).

 The most difficult section  The most difficult question type
 Writing  (7)  Writing about tables
 Reading  (8)    (9)

7. Show answer TASK 1/ONE 8. Show answer PASSAGE 2/TWO 9. Show answer MULTIPLE CHOICE

Choose the correct letter A–D (this is a labelling a diagram question)
10. What does Eileen recommend just before going in to the test?
Show answer C

labelling

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Click here to read the transcript of the recording Teacher: So Eileen, tell me how you felt just before your test.

Well, it was the first time I had taken a test for such a long time that l was very nervous. Actually, didn’t sleep very well for nearly a week before the test. I felt a little under pressure because a friend of mine had got results a week before, and just his he’d done very well. Anyway, rang my parents the night before, and my mother reminded me that there was no point in worrying, and that made me feel a little calmer.

Teacher: So tell me how things went on the day. What about the listening test?

Eileen (student): Surprisingly, the listening test wasn’t as difficult as I’d thought. The hardest part was spelling, but didn’t feel that the sections got much more difficult as the test went on. By the end I felt quite confident in my answers.

Teacher: Tell me about the speaking. What was that like?

Eileen (student): I didn’t make a very good start. From the waiting area, l was supposed to go up to in end of the corridor and turn right. My interview room was on the right, but I the the room on the left and when showed the interviewer my ID he told me I was in wrong room! Anyway, he took me where I was supposed to go so it wasn’t too bad. Anyway, my real interviewer was great She made me feel so relaxed. Before the interview began, she asked me if taken the test before, and when told her was my first time, she just smiled and said “relax. I did find myself getting a nervous, but have little just took a breath and relaxed. As for the actual interview, I felt that I could done a little better but then I suppose most people feel that. Once or twice l realised I’d made a mistake so just corrected myself and went on

Teacher: Okay. What about the writing test?

Eileen (student): Well, I spent a few minutes too long on Task One l had to write about a table, a they’re easier to write about. Actually, I think tables was hoping for a graph because because the title was are the most difficult Task wasn’t too bad though to something I had studied in my class. I wrote a plan, so I just followed what I had written. Near the end I changed a few parts the plan a of didn’t follow my original idea but I still felt that Id done a good job

Teacher: And finally, then, the reading?

Eileen (student): Well, when the examiner handed out the test, l thought the size of the booklet was a little intimidating. To calm me down, I had a quick look through the three passage before began, and didn’t have much problem with the first and the third, but though Reading Passage 2 was quite difficult. There were some multiple-choice questions and I’ve always found them a little difficult. But just left them and moved on, an found I had a few minutes a the end to go back and answer them

Teacher: Good. Well, just before we finish, do you have any advice you would give to someone just about to take their test?

Eileen (student): Yes, a couple of things actually. A few days before the test, look through the work yo have done, but the night before the test, don’t do anything. Relax and go to bed ear In the morning, have a good breakfast. But the most important advice l would give to avoid speaking or listening to anything but English on the day. Listen to the radio when you get up, and take a portable cassette player to listen to when you’re waiting to go into the test room. Don’t speak your native language even if there are people that you know at the test centre.

Teacher: Well, thanks very much, Eileen. When do you get your results?

Eileen (student): Next Friday, I think.

Teacher: I hope you’ve done well.

Eileen (student): Thanks

Listening for numbers in IELTS listening

Listening for numbers in IELTS listening

In the IELTS listening test, it is very common to have to listen for numbers to get a correct answer. In this exercise, you can practice your listening by listening to the recording and entering the numbers and dates into this news report.

There are three different ways you can try this exercise!

Listening for numbers in IELTS listening1. Look at the numbers below, read the text carefully and logically there is only one place each number can go.
2. Listen to the recording and enter the numbers as you hear them.
3. Look at the numbers first, then listen to the recording and enter the numbers as you hear them (the easiest option!)

You can choose to make this exercise a little easier by showing you all the numbers, or you can listen to the recording without looking at the numbers!

Show all of the numbers (don't click this if you want more of a challenge!)
  • 0.3
  • 6
  • 5.6
  • ¼
  • 17
  • 1100
  • 7 00 000
  • II
  • 4 000 000
  • 30

 

Good evening and welcome to the Show answer 6 o’clock news. Tonight’s top story: a second earthquake in months has struck Japan. Preliminary reports claim that up to Show answer 1100 people are missing and the damage is estimated to be over $Show answer 700,000 . In other news, unemployment statistics released today show a slight decrease at Show answer 5.6 %, a Show answer 0.3 % drop over last year’s figure of 5.3%. This has come as welcome news to the government, especially with the upcoming general election.

Plans to make Auckland city the new capital of New Zealand have been scrapped. Despite  home to over Show answer 1/4 of the population, there has been overwhelming popular support to maintain Wellington’s status as the nation’s capital.

In entertainment news, Tom Cruise has denied that he will be returning to New Zealand to start filming The Last Samurai Show answer II . In the first movie, The Last Samurai, Cruise was reported to have earned $US Show answer 24,000,000 , and stated that he was looking for another eight-figure deal before signing the contract to do the sequel.

Now to sport, where the All Blacks have come home victorious once again, beating Wales by only one point in a thrilling ending. Wales had kept the lead with 16 points up to half time, but were unable to score again as the All Blacks dominated the second half to finish on Show answer 17 points.

Finally, the weather. It looks like summer has finally arrived with the temperatures on the east coast reaching a high of Show answer 30 degrees tomorrow.

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