Category Archives: IELTS Listening (all)

Predicting and anticipating in the IELTS listening test

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Predicting and anticipating in the IELTS listening test

Predicting and anticipating in the IELTS listening testAs the listening begins, you hear a voice on the recording telling you what section you are about to complete, as well as the question numbers. Then you are given a short amount of time to read the questions (more about timing here).

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During this preparation time, it is important that you read the questions, thinking about some of the language you might hear so that you can predict the approximate type of answer.

Here is a typical set of questions for a Section 1  recording:

APPLICATION FORM

NAME: Mary ________(1)
ADDRESS: _______(2), Lansdale Street, Meldon, Warwickshire
TELEPHONE NUMBER: ______________(3)
REQUIRED MEMBERSHIP TIME: ___________________(4)
MEMBERSHIP TYPE Circle as appropriate: FULL / GYM AND SWIMMING / GYM ONLY (5)
HOW DID YOU HEAR ABOUT US? ____________________(6)

Using the time you are given before the speakers begin, you should be able to logically predict or anticipate the following information:

General: the title of the questions says application form, so this is someone who is joining or enrolling in something. Question 5 refers to a gym so logically it is a gym enrolment form. It is likely to be for new members, not a renewal of membership because it is asking for basic personal questions.

Question 1: The answer here is likely to be a family name. Listening for ‘Mary’ will also be a useful indicator, as generally people in English speaking countries state their first name followed by their last name (in some cultures, it is common to use the family name first).

Question 2: This is likely to be a number (e.g. 14) or a number and a letter (e.g. 14 A), because the street address is given afterwards, followed by the suburb and the county.

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Question 3: This is highly likely to be a string of numbers, possibly including an area code.

Question 4: The answers here are given – it will be FULL, GYM AND SWIMMING or GYM ONLY

Question 5: Looking at this logically, the answer is likely to be something like ‘From a newspaper’, ‘On the internet’, ‘From a friend’ or something similar.

Important note: KEEP AN OPEN MIND!

Although it is essential to use the time you are given to predict or anticipate some of the answers, it is very important that you listen closely for the unexpected. For example, it is possible that for TELEPHONE NUMBER, the person may not have a telephone, meaning that the answer could be ‘NONE’.

Test yourself

Look at the following form and predict as much as you can. Remember that you will have a limit on the number of words, so think of possible answers that do not go beyond the limit.
Complete the following using NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS OR A NUMBER.
Evening Classes for Adults

a Courses will run for _____ .
b Maximum of _____ students per class.
c Cost will depend on _____
d Those interested should contact _____ Edwards on 263-8147.
e Evening courses will be held at the _____ .

Now listen to the recording and fill in the missing information USING NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS AND / OR A NUMBER

Predicting and anticipating

Predicting and anticipating for pictures / diagrams

Predicting and anticipating in the listening is also useful when you have to select a picture or diagram in a multiple-choice question. Look at the pictures below – they have the same context but there are obvious differences, and spending a few seconds thinking of those differences can help you identify the correct answer.

predicting-anticipating-listening

Click here to see some of the points you could have noted.

Legs – straight in picture A, left leg bent in pictures B and C

Head – faces straight down in picture A, to the side in pictures B and C and forward in picture D

Golf club – vertical to the floor in picture A and C, horizontal above the head in picture B and behind the back in picture D.

 

 

IELTS listening multiple choice questions

IELTS listening multiple choice questions

In both the reading and the listening test, one question type you may be required to answer is multiple choice, where you have to choose the correct answer from three or four given options.

There are two basic styles of multiple choice question:

1. Answering a short question

Example: What did the student say about the lecture?
A. It was boring.
B. He couldn’t understand.
C. He had heard it before.
D. He disagreed with the lecturer.

2. Completing a sentence

Example: One of the most notable changes in our leisure time is that
A. we have longer holidays
B. we get paid more for our holidays
C. people are increasingly going abroad.

Tip 1: Highlight the differences

Multiple choice in the IELTS test can be difficult because very often there is no grammatical or logical reason to reject any of the answers. When the answers have similarities and differences, the first thing you can do is highlight the differences between the options. Also remember that in most questions, parallel expressions may be used to express the same information

For example, in the question below, listening only for the word flower is obviously not good enough, as all the options include that word. Instead, concentrate on the differences between them – in this case, it is the colours.

The pohutukawa tree has…

A. yellow flowers
B. dark orange flowers
C. red flowers.

 

Tip 2: think of parallel expressions

In some multiple-choice questions, however, there are no real similarities. In this case, the second thing you can do is think of other ways the information may be expressed. Look at the example below.

Question: What does Professor Roberts say about sports injuries?

A. Apply an ice pack to the injured area
B. Bandage the area firmly and rest
C. Call for medical help only in serious cases

  • Option A could be rephrased as: Put/press / something cold/frozen / painful/hurt
  • Option B could be rephrased as: Wrap/bind tightly/hard / relax/sit down
  • Option C could be rephrased as: Contact the doctor/ an ambulance / not trivial/light

 

Tip 3: All options may be mentioned

It is common in the IELTS listening test to hear a reference to some or all of the options in the multiple choice question, but only one answer will be correct. Be careful to think about what is being said, what is being contradicted (directly or indirectly) and what is not exactly being said.

Here’s an example:

Question:

The doctor says the patient…

  1. should take regular exercise
  2. should not spend any time standing
  3. should stay in bed as much as possible
  4. should not go back to work yet

Transcript:

“Well, you are certainly looking better than the last time I saw you. For the next few weeks, I recommend that you do some gentle exercise but only when you feel you have the energy. Try to spend some time on your feet rather than keeping immobile for too long. At this point, I would suggest arranging for another week away from work.”

1. should take regular exercise

This is not exactly what is being said. The speaker says ‘only when you have the energy’, so therefore not ‘regularly’

2. should not spend any time standing

This is directly contradicted. The speaker says ‘try to spend some time on your feet’.

3. should stay in bed as much as possible

This is indirectly contradicted. The speaker says ‘rather than keeping immobile for too long’, which is an indirect way of saying not staying still, in bed.

4. should not go back to work yet

This is correct. The speaker says ‘I would suggest arranging for another week away from work’

 

Tip 4: Be sure to match the whole meaning of the option

In the IELTS test (both listening and reading), it is important to match the whole meaning of the option. To illustrate, look at the question below and the notes the candidate  has made. What’s wrong with the notes?

Sports psychologist Dr Johnson argues that today’s top athletes

A. win because of a positive mental attitude         CANDIDATES NOTES: They feel positive.
B. occasionally use performance-enhancing drugs       CANDIDATES NOTES: They take drugs.
C. are under considerable pressure from the media.       CANDIDATES NOTES: They talk to people from newspapers, etc.

What's wrong with the notes?
  • A. The candidate’s notes do not refer to ‘win‘ which is an essential part of the option
  • B. ‘occasionally’ has been ignored
  • C. they don’t talk to, they are under considerable pressure from

 

Now practice with this short test. Use the 4 tips above to answer this question. Listen to the recording and put a letter (A–D) in each of the columns below.

According to the speaker, why do more people rent rather than buy their houses?
A Most people do not have the money to put down as a deposit.
B There are fewer worries about maintenance and repairs.
C Job mobility means people do not want to make long-term commitments.
D There is a risk of buying a house and losing money.

The correct answer
Show answerC – ‘fluidity in the job market’

Directly contradicted
Show answer D – ‘house prices are stable’, a direct contradiction to losing money.

Indirectly contradicted
Show answer A –  ‘This is not a reflection of financial pressures’ which indirectly means ‘do not have the money’ is not correct.

Not exact
Show answer B – ‘there is no need to worry’ is not an exact match for ‘fewer worries’

 

Show the transcriptGiven the general standard of living in New Zealand, many people are surprised by the decline in the level of home ownership over the last 15 years the number of homeowners has fallen by over 7%, yet this is not a reflection of financial pressures. House prices in New Zealand are relatively stable, so there is no need to worry about a house losing value, and few people are dissuaded by the cost of maintenance on the building itself. The reason for the increasing popularity of renting is in fact the result of fluidity in the job market, and the fact that obligations involved in a house often tie people to specific locations which do not support this lifestyle.

Now test your skills with this complete practice exercise

 

IELTS short answer questions

IELTS short answer questions in the listening test

IELTS short answer questions in the listening test

IELTS short answer questionsIn the listening test, one of the common types of questions are short answer questions, where you have to write one, two or three words or a number as an answer.

As with all question types, make sure you read the question instructions carefully before you answer. Do not write more than the number of words / numbers the question asks for. Generally the instructions and limits on word numbers are written in CAPITAL LETTERS, with bold and italic script.

For example: Answer the following questions USING NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS

If you write three words for the answer here, your answer will be marked as wrong even if you have included the two words that are correct. However, it is OK to use only one word.

Here are some common instructions for this type of question:

Answer the following questions USING NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS

This means the answers will be either one or two words.

Answer the following questions USING NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS OR A NUMBER

This means that at least one of the answers will be just a number – a useful tip!

Answer the following questions USING NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS AND / OR A NUMBER

This means that at least one of the answers will include a number and probably another word as well

Answer the following questions USING NO MORE THAN ONE WORD

This means that all of the answers are single words only

Practice with this short answer style sample

Listen to the recording and answer the three questions below:

Short answer questions in the listening test

Free IELTS listening practice


Tips and hints for IELTS short answer questions in the listening test

One of the most useful techniques with this type of question is to look at the question word being used. In the three questions above, the questions words are ‘What (festival)’, ‘when’ and ‘how many’. This should tell you that you are looking for the name of the something for the first answer, a date or time for the second answer and a number for the third answer.

Here are some common question words and the type of information they are most likely looking for.

Who – A name, a person, a company, a group or community, an institution, a job title

When – A date, a time, a part of the day (morning, evening etc)

Where – A place, a location

Why – A reason, an explanation

What – A thing, a name

Which – One of a given or limited choice

How – A description

How many – A number of times

How often – A frequency (monthly, daily, every hour etc)


Now practice a more difficult example by answering the 5 questions below.

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

Short answer questions in the listening test #2

Free IELTS listening practice test

Previous comments:
Listening test #1

Free IELTS listening test 2 Section 1

Free IELTS listening test 2 Section 1

Jump to Section 2  | Jump to Section 3  |  Jump to Section 4

Free IELTS listening test 2 Section 1Note: 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. If you have any questions or concerns about your answers or this test, simply let us know by putting a comment in the comment box at the bottom of the page.

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.

We 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 the test, take a note of the number of correct answers you got and move on to Section 2.

SECTION 1

Example:

The customer went to South Africa

  1. last month
  2. last week
  3. last year. C

Questions 1-10

Questions 1 and 2
Choose the correct letter A–C.

1 The travel agent:

  1. thinks Europe is a good destination
  2. can personally recommend Vancouver
  3. does not think America is a good choice.

    Show answerB

2 The customer:

  1. is going to Europe next year
  2. knows people living in Canada
  3. wants to go to the warmest place.

    Show answerB


Questions 3 to 6

Complete the form using NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS OR A NUMBER.

The Travel Depot flight reservations
Customer’s name: Jim (3)   Show answerJackson
Address 10 Allen Road, Oldham
Destination Vancouver, Canada
Contact number: 0151 (4)    (home number) Show answer433 398
Flight number (5)     Show answerVN217
Length of stay (nights): (6)     Show answer20 or Twenty

 

Questions 7 to 10

Complete the sentences below USING NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS OR A NUMBER

  1. The travel agent recommends some form of (7)    cover for peace of mind. Show answer‘Travel insurance’ or just ‘Insurance’
  2. There are two types of cover, but the best cover is offered with the (8)     Star policy. Show answerGold
  3. The client can see a play at the theatre for $ (9)   Show answer54 or Fifty four (the currency symbol is not needed as it is in the question)
  4. The flight and the insurance together costs £ (10)   Show answer433 (the currency symbol is not needed as it is in the question)

 

Show All correct answers

Once you have finished, check your answers then move on to Section 2.

Previous comments:

Listening – writing numbers as answers

IELTS listening – writing numbers as answers

numbersIn the listening test, some answers may be in number form. Often, the instructions will indicate whether a number is required if it states NO MORE THAN (ONE/TWO/THREE) WORDS AND/OR A NUMBER. When transferring your answer, make sure you write it correctly as often an easy point is lost for making a simple mistake.

  • One thousand = 1000
  • Half a million = 500 000
  • One million = 1 000 000
  • One billion = 1 000 000 000*
  • One trillion = 1 000 000 000 000*

*British English and American used to have different numbers for billion and trillion. However, they have been standardised since 1975. Thanks go to Asha for this update!

Practice by converting the words below into numbers  (NOTE: these are slightly harder than anything you will need to do for the IELTS test).

Example: Four thousand six hundred and eighty two = 4682

  1. Twelve thousand six hundred and eighteen Show answer
    12618
  2. Seventeen thousand and two Show answer
    17002
  3. Seventy four thousand two hundred and seventy two Show answer
    74272
  4. Eight million four hundred thousand Show answer
    8400000
  5. One million, four hundred and twenty-two thousand six hundred and nineteen Show answer
    1422619
  6. Eight hundred and eighteen million six hundred and fourteen thousand Show answer
    818614000

About the IELTS listening test

The IELTS Listening test

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

Timing and requirements

About the IELTS listening testThere are four sections in the IELTS listening test, with each section having one recording. The recordings are approximately 6 minutes long, and you need to answer 10 questions in each section. At the end of all four sections, you are given 10 minutes to transfer your answers to the answer sheet. This is important, as it means you shouldn’t waste time during the recordings writing answers neatly on the answer sheet; instead, use this time to pre-read the questions for the next recording.

IMPORTANT TIP: there is a short break in the middle of the recording for Sections 1, 2 and 3. However, there is NO break in Section 4 – this will play through from the beginning to the end. The sections become progressively more difficult, with Section 1 being approximately pre-intermediate level and Section 4 being an advanced level.

Specific timings for the IELTS listening test

  1. Introduction and one example: around 45 seconds
  2. Break: 30 seconds to pre read the first set of questions for Section 1
  3. First part of Section 1: around 3 minutes
  4. Break: 30 seconds to pre read the second set of questions for Section 1
  5. Second part of Section 1: around 3 minutes
  6. Break: 30 seconds to check your answers for Section 1
  7. Section 2 is announced: about 5 seconds
  8. Break: 30 seconds to pre read the first set of questions for Section 2
  9. First part of Section 2: around 3 minutes
  10. Break: 30 seconds to pre read the second set of questions for Section 2
  11. Second part of Section 2: around 3 minutes
  12. Break: 30 seconds to check your answers for Section 2
  13. Section 3 is announced: about 5 seconds
  14. Break: 30 seconds to pre read the first set of questions for Section 3
  15. First part of Section 3: around 3 minutes
  16. Break: 30 seconds to pre read the second set of questions for Section 3
  17. Second part of Section 3: around 3 minutes
  18. Break: 30 seconds to check your answers for Section 3
  19. Section 4 is announced: about 5 seconds
  20. Break: 40 seconds to pre read ALL questions for Section 4
  21. Section 4 played without a break: around 7  minutes
  22. Break: 10 minutes to transfer your answer to the answer sheet

The difference between the sections in the IELTS listening test

Section 1 is a conversation between two people on a non-academic subject. For example, it could be two people talking about membership to a library or a shop assistant talking to a csutomer about a product. Section 2 is a single speaker talking about a non-academic subject, such as buying your own home or a presentation about a holiday destination. Section3 is a conversation between two or more people about an academic subject, such as completing an assignment or working together on a project. Section 4 is a single speaker discussing an academic subject, such as academic regulations at a university.

Recordings are played once only

You only hear each recording once, with the exception of the first example in section 1. All sections of the test have approximately 30 seconds reading time before the recording begins and 30 seconds after the recording ends to pre-read the questions or check your answers. In sections 1 to 3, there is a pause midway through the recording for you to pre-read the remaining questions in the section. In section 4, there is no break in the recording.

IELTS listening test question types

  1. Short answer questions
  2. Sentence completion questions
  3. Form/summary/table/flowchart/notes completion questions
  4. Labelling a diagram
  5. Matching and classifying
  6. Multiple choice

What accents do they use for IELTS listening?

The IELTS test is not a purely British English test. You can expect to hear a range of a accents – British, American, Australian, New Zealand, Canadian and even non-native English speaking English. It is important to use a range of different sources in your IELTS preparation so that you can become familiar with them. However, you will NOT be required to distinguish between accents.

Previous comments:
Listening test #1

Free IELTS listening test 3 Section 4

Free IELTS listening test 3 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.

Free IELTS listening test 3 Section 4Looking 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.

We 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:

SECTION 4

Questions 31 and 32. Complete the following sentence using ONE WORD.

31. East feels    therapy is a better word than ‘alternative’.

 Show answerNatural 32.Osteopathy involves the manipulation of    in order to remove stresses and strains.

 Show answerMuscles

 

Questions 33-36. Answer the following questions using NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS.

According to Matthew East,
33. what must be considered when treating a patient?

    Show answer(the) Whole body 34. what was the original cause of the baby’s discomfort?

    Show answerA difficult birth 35. How does East describe the use of drugs and operations?

    Show answerInvasive 36. According to East, what is the percentage cost of natural remedies compared to western medicine?

    Show answer10%

 

Questions 37-38. Circle the correct letter A-C

37. East believes western medicine
A. is not suitable for the young
B. has not had sufficient trials
C. is overly influenced by pharmaceutical companies

    Show answerC

 

38. Natural remedies
A. are sometimes used indiscriminately
B. can be used with patients of any age
C. do not affect diet or lifestyle

    Show answerB

 

Questions 39-40. Answer the following questions using NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS

39. What examples does East give for the benefits of western medicine?

    Show answerEmergency surgery 40. Who is next week’s guest?

    Show answerDr Moore

 

 

Show All correct answers

 

Click here to read the transcript

Interviewer: Over the past 50 years, there have been some radical changes in medicine as it is known in the west. This is largely the result of vast improvements in technology, but also in the rising importance of ‘alternative’ treatments. I have with me today Matthew East, a registered osteopath and a supporter of alternative techniques in healthcare. Matthew, can you tell us more about osteopathy?

 

Matthew East: Well, perhaps the first thing say is that the term ‘alternative’ is actually a little misleading, as I am referring to approaches and attitudes to health that were in common use long before western medicine was established. I prefer the term ‘natural’. Anyway, I’ll begin by telling you a little about osteopathy. Basically, osteopathy is the manipulation of muscles in order to alleviate stresses and tensions that lead to pain. Now, unlike western medicine, osteopathy considers the whole body, not just the affected area, and this is a very important principle of natural remedies.

 

The whole body must be considered before a course of treatment can be decided upon. You see, the aim of therapies like osteopathy is not only to repair the body, but also to get the body treating itself, and this does not come from treating the symptoms. To give an example, l recently treated a two-month-old baby who was screaming all day and was even worse at night. The couple had taken the baby to their doctor, but the only advice they were given was that the baby ‘would grow out of it’. However, the real problem stemmed from a difficult birth which put pressure on their baby’s neck. After ten minutes of gentle manipulation the pressure was released and within 20 minutes, the baby was quiet and calm for the first time. This was achieved without drugs or operations. Avoiding such invasive methods of treatment highlights another of the differences between western medicine and a more natural approach. You see, western medicine often uses surgery in order to find a solution to problems that could have been addressed with simple remedies. A medical approach that looks closely at how essential an operation is before it is performed would offer patients a considerably less stressful method of treatment, not to mention the financial savings. Natural remedies actually amount to about ten per cent of the cost of a western course of treatment.

 

I’d like to mention the subject of surgery again a little later, but l would like to say at this point that there are those that claim that the benefits of osteopathy and herbal therapies are largely psychological, that they have not undergone the clinical trials that pharmaceuticals have. To answer that, you only need to look at the example l gave earlier, of the baby that stopped crying less than an hour after treatment but was obviously far too young to react because of purely psychological factors. Another example can be seen in the successful use of acupuncture in the treatment of animals.

 

In response to criticism regarding clinical trials, it is worth noting that the power of pharmaceutical companies is such that although some drugs fail the standards required of them, they are sometimes still prescribed by doctors.

 

Moving on to another point, it should be stressed that natural remedies, in addition to having no side effects, can also be applied to any patient. Now I’m not suggesting that the same treatments are used indiscriminately. Although natural remedies can be used with any age group, the treatment selected is very specific to the person. By this I mean that not only the general health of the patient needs to be considered, but also their habits, diet and lifestyle in order to build a complete picture.

 

However, I am not suggesting that we should reject western medicine entirely. In fact, there have been occasions when I have referred patients to their doctor as I felt that in those cases it was the most suitable course of action. There are many situations in which it is by far the best option. Take emergency surgery, for example. Obviously more natural remedies do not provide the speed required in such cases. The best solution would therefore be an open-minded combination of the two forms.

 

Interviewer: Well, thank you very much, Matthew. That was a very interesting insight into alternative… sorry… natural, treatments. Next week we’ll be inviting Dr Moore that’s M-O-O-R-E onto the programme to argue his case as a doctor. Until next week, then, goodbye.

 

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

Listening test #1

Free IELTS listening test 3 Section 1

Free IELTS listening test 3 Section 1

Updated: we’ve now added the transcript at the bottom of the page!

Jump to Section 2  | Jump to Section 3  |  Jump to Section 4

Free IELTS listening test 3 Section 1Note: 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.

We 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 the test, take a note of the number of correct answers you got and move on to Section 2.

SECTION 1

Example:

She wants to study an MBA

Questions 1-10

Questions 1-5. Complete the form below with the applicant’s personal details using NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS OR A NUMBER.

Applicant information form:
Name: Ann (1)  
D.O.B.: (2) , 1991
Address: (3) Simon Place, Brighton
Contact number:  (4) (01903)  
Mobile: (5)

1. Show answerHawberry

2. Show answer22nd May

3. Show answer26

4. Show answer714721

5. Show answerNo mobile phone

 

Questions 6 to 10

Answer the following questions using NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS.

6.  What is the applicant’s current job?
Show answerSecretary

7.  What university course has she already completed?
Show answerBusiness (degree)

8.  Why might the student not get on the MBA course?
Show answerGets full quickly / fills quickly / it fills quickly

9.  What is her second choice?
Show answerInternational marketing

10. Which department will contact the applicant?
Show answerAdmission(s) (Department)

Show All correct answers

Once you have finished, check your answers then move on to Section 2.

Previous comments:
Listening test #1

Free IELTS listening test 1 Section 1

Free IELTS listening test 1 Section 1

Updated: we’ve now added the transcript at the bottom of the page!

Jump to Section 2 | Jump to Section 3 | 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 complete online IELTS course has 15 complete practice tests as well as lessons, exercises and end of lesson tests with complete IELTS recordings. In the online course, your practice test answers are also automatically marked and graded by our online system.

Free IELTS listening test 1 Section 1We 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 the test, take a note of the number of correct answers you got and move on to Section 2.

Section 1:

SECTION 1

Questions 1-10

Questions 1-5
Complete the form below.
Write NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS AND/OR A NUMBER for each answer.

Southern Rental Car – booking

Name: William (1) 
Show answerWaddell (exact spelling required for this point)

Address: 10 (2)  Nelson
Show answerRobyn Place (exact spelling required for this point)

Contact number: (3) 07 
Show answer263 8666 (if you have this number in a different format, for example with different spacing, it would still be marked correct)

Payment by credit card type: (4)  card.
Show answerVisa  (‘credit’ is not enough to get this marked as correct)

Card No. 4550 1392 8309 3221

Card expiry date: July 20XX

Rental period: (5) days
Show answer10 (‘days’ is not required as this is included in the question)


Questions 6 to 10

Answer the following questions USING NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS OR A NUMBER

  1. How much is the car per day?
    Show answer$35
  2. What does the price include?
    Show answerUnlimited kilometres
  3. Who will he be visiting?
    Show answerRelatives
  4. What kind of car does the agent recommend?
    Show answer(An) automatic
  5. What does he need to collect the car?
    Show answerDriving license / Drivers license (‘a driving licence’ would be incorrect as this is three words when the instructions state ‘NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS’ )

 

Show All correct answers

Show the transcript
Receptionist Good morning, Sir. How can I help you?
William Hello. ls this Southern Rental Car?
Receptionist Yes. it is.
William I wonder if you could help me. I’m ringing from  Nelson, but I’m coming over to Auckland
for 12 days and I’d like to hire a car
Receptionist Okay, I’ll fill in a booking for you now. First, can l take your name?
William Yes, it’s William Waddell.
Receptionist Sorry, could you spell your surname?
William Yes, it’s W A D D E L L
Receptionist Thanks. Now, can I  have an address and a phone number?
William Sure. I live at 10 Robyn Place. That’s R O B Y N Place.
Receptionist And that’s Nelson, isn’t it?
William That’s right. Do you want my home number or my mobile?
Receptionist Home number will be fine.
William OK, it’s 07 263 8666.
Receptionist Great. Now, can I also have a credit card number?
William Do I have to pay by credit card?
Receptionist Well, we need to credit card number as a guarantee. It’s a standard policy for car rentals.
William OK, well I’ll pay by Visa then. The card number is 4550…1392…8309…3221
Receptionist And the expiry date?
William Sorry?
Receptionist Your card – when does it expire?
William Oh, next July.
Receptionist Right. Now, how long did you want the car for? Twelve days did you say?
William No, I only need the car for 10 days, from the 2nd to the 11th of next month.

Receptionist Now, what type of car are you looking to hire?
William Well, I’m not too worried about the model of the car but I understand that you have rental cars from just $25 a day. Is that correct?
Receptionist We do sometimes have the $25 deals, but only in the low season. For the period you are looking at, the cheapest we have is $35. However, that price includes unlimited kilometres.
William Sorry, did you say unlimited kilometres? What does that mean exactly?
Receptionist That means that no matter how far you go, the cost is the same. Some companies charge for rental and then charge again for every kilometre you actually drive.
William Well l am going to be travelling quite long distances – I’m visiting relatives and they live quite far apart from each other, so unlimited kilometres are probably a good idea.
Receptionist If you’re travelling long distances, you would be better off with an automatic. Changing gears in a manual can make it more expensive for petrol.
William OK, I’ll take an automatic then.
Receptionist Right, so that’s an automatic car for 10 days from the 2nd to the 11th. That’s all booked. Is there anything else I can help you with?
William No that’s fine. Oh, sorry – what do I need to bring with me when I pick up the car?
Receptionist All you need is your driving licence.
William Right, well thanks very much. Bye.

Once you have finished, check your answers, then move on Section 2.

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IELTS listening improving your result

IELTS listening improving your result

So you’ve practiced, you’ve listened to the radio, taken practice tests, you’ve even taken the IELTS test – often a number of times – and you’re still not getting the result you’re looking for in the IELTS listening test. What’s going wrong?

Here’s a handy 7 point checklist for IELTS listening to work through when taking practice tests to help you identify your weakness and strengths.

1. Using the available time

Throughout the listening, there are breaks in the recording where the narrator will tell you ‘You have now time to…’. Some of these breaks are to give you time to read the next set of questions, but there are also breaks given so you can check your answers from the previous part. Although checking your answers is important, remember that you have 10 minutes at the end of the test for this too, so spend the majority of the ‘free’ time you are given moving on to the next set of questions. The more prepared you are for what is coming, the better the result will be.

DO: use the time given to check upcoming questions.

DON’T: spend too much reviewing answers you have already written down.

2. Did you answer all of the questions?

Never leave an answer empty! In the 10 minutes given at the end of the listening test, put an answer that (a) seems logical (b) suits the requirements of the question – e.g. if the instructions say NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS, your answer isn’t three words (c) very often is a word or words from the text. Remember that you do not lose points for giving the wrong answer, so there’s no harm in taking an educated guess!

DO: Put an answer for EVERY question

DON’T: leave an answer key blank

3. Is there one particular question type that is causing more difficulty than others?

By looking at your answers, check if there is a particular question type that you seem to make more errors with more often than others. For example, did you know that most multiple choice questions will have at least part of each option mentioned? Knowing some tips and hints for each question type can definitely help.

DO: identify question types that you find difficult, study any tips and hints about those question types, practice them repeatedly

DON’T: keep making the same errors with the same question type!

4. For questions you answer incorrectly, do you understand why the given answers are correct and why your answer was incorrect?

Analysing your own work, focusing on the answers you got wrong, retracing why you put that answer and spending time looking at why the correct answer was correct will help you work a lot faster through the listening test. Taking practice tests is a good plan, but you need to spend at least the same amount of time working through the test after you know the answers. Reading through the transcript where available (let us know in the comments section if we’re missing a transcript!) while listening to the recording again can help you improve your overall listening ability.

DO: spend as much time analysing your incorrect answers as you did taking the test, even if that means playing the recording or reading the transcript repeatedly until you can see the logic of the correct answer.

DON’T: simply move on to a new practice test hoping it will improve – without looking at your own mistakes, your result is likely to stay the same!

5. Maintain your focus by using active listening

This is a tricky skill to master for IELTS as you are not allowed to make any noise, but ‘active listening’ means being a part of the conversation or monologue that you are listening to. Imagine you are there as part of the discussion – what are the speakers wearing? How old are they? Are they smiling or looking stern? By imagining yourself in the recording, it’s a lot easier to keep focused and stay with the flow of the conversation. You can nod your head, smile in agreement or shake your head in disagreement – all of these actions have the ability to fool your brain into thinking that you are there, and natural good manners means you will keep listening rather than drifting of thinking about other things.

DO: Become an active (although silent) part of the conversation

DON’T: think of yourself in a room taking a test

6. Always be one question ahead

So you’re listening carefully for the answer to Question 2, which you’re sure is a person’s name, but you don’t hear it. Then you find that you’ve been waiting for the name for so long that you’ve missed the next two questions! To avoid this, be prepared by knowing what the next question is too. If you hear the answer to Question 3 before you hear the answer to Question 2, then you’ll just have to accept that you missed it and move on – losing one point is better than losing two or more because you lost your place!

DO: know what the next TWO questions are

DON’T: focus only on the next question

7. Make the question paper your own

Once the test is finished, the test invigilator will collect all of the papers on your desk. However, your answer paper is separated from the questions and the markers will not see what you have written on the question paper, so make a mess of it! Underline key words, put large circles around qualifying words – even write synonyms for words you think might be rephrased.

DO: Write on your question paper; underline / circle key words

DON’T: leave your question paper in a neat and tidy state!

 

We hope the 7 point checklist helps, but we’re always open to new ideas, so if you have a technique you think would benefit other IELTS candidates!

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