Category Archives: IELTS Listening (all)

Labelling a diagram in the listening test

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Labelling a diagram

One of the question types that you may face in the IELTS listening test is when you are required to label a diagram, map or plan. Typically you will be given an illustration with some labels already in place, but others you need to add as you listen to the recording.

One useful hint is that the answers in the listening test always come in order, so in the example below, the first answer you can expect to hear is the answer to question 1, then question 2, then question 3 etc.

It is a good idea to familiarise yourself with the other labels already given, and to think about how the other parts of the diagram, map or plan which you are required to label may be described.

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Practice by taking this short example below (this is an extract from a Section 2 IELTS speaking test). Start the recording, then type your answers into the boxes below. Click ‘Check your answers’ to see if you are correct.

labelling a diagram

Click here to check your answers
  1. Water level light
  2. Boiler metre (or Boiler meter)
  3. Steam tap
  4. Drainage pipe

1.
2.
3.
4.

Labelling a diagram practice exercise

Labelling a diagram practice exercise

In this post, there is a short listening exercise on labelling a diagram. We recommend reading the lesson about labelling a diagram before beginning this exercise.

Listen to the recording and identify the labels for questions 1 to 5.

NOTE: This is not a complete IELTS recording – it is only a short excerpt.

Labelling a diagram practice exercise

1. Show answer

Product

2. Show answer

Propellant

3. Show answer

Nozzle

4. Show answer

Inlet

5. Show answer

Spring

Text completion questions in IELTS listening

Text completion questions in IELTS listening

NOTE: Take a look at our video lesson for this question type here.

Text-completion questions in IELTS listening are the same as in the reading. They can be either in the form of a summary or as short sentences which you have to complete.

 

Text completion questions in IELTS listeningTip 1: With either type, you can expect some information on the recording that will not be required to answer the questions. This is a good opportunity to use your note-taking skills, just in case you miss anything. You will have a little time after the listening test (while you are transferring your answers) to complete any remaining answers.

 

Tip 2: As with all question types in the listening test, the answer for text completion questions will come in the order of the recording. That is, if you hear the answer to question 2 but haven’t heard the answer to question 1, you’ve already missed it!

 

Tip 3: The most useful skill with this question type is to look quickly through the summary or sentences you are completing and highlight key words. This will help you identify the important section of the recording when you hear it. You should also use the predicting and anticipating skills presented in this lesson.

 

Tip 4: Once you believe you have found the correct answer, read the completed text including your answer, making sure that the sentence is grammatically accurate. For example:

Many people argue that harsher (1)________ would reduce crime rates.

You head the speaker referring to ‘laws’ and ‘the law’ during the recording, and you think the answer is ‘the law’, so you add this to the sentence and it becomes…

Many people argue that harsher (1) the law would reduce crime rates.

This is grammatically incorrect, so when transferring your answers at the end of the test, your best chance of getting the correct answer is to change your response to better suit:

Many people argue that harsher (1) laws would reduce crime rates.

However, it is VERY STRONGLY recommended that your answer stay within the word or words you hear on the recording (thanks to Magnus Ukeje for reiterating this point in the comments below!).

Practice exercise 1 – summary completion

Listen to the recording and fill in the gaps using NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS AND OR A NUMBER. Remember to use predicting skills before starting the recording (spend no more than 30 seconds!)

Amongst increasing (1)_____ and political pressure to quit, there is finally some good news for smokers. Research presented to the (2)_____ of Cardiology states that there are sufficient beneficial (3)_____ in two glasses of red wine to suspend the negative impact that smoking (4)_____ has on the functioning of arteries. Of course, the (5)_____ do not suggest that drinking red wine allows you to smoke as much as you like, and it is still some distance from finding any kind of drug that is capable of reversing the harmful effects of (6)____ smoking. The health effects connected with red wine are not really new. The Romans and (7)_____ all considered it as a form of medicine, possibly because of the abundance of polyphenols, naturally occurring chemicals which have a (8)_____ effect on the arteries.

 

Completion question 1. Click here to see the answer
Social

 

Completion question 2. Click here to see the answer
European society

 

Completion question 3. Click here to see the answer
Chemicals

 

Completion question 4. Click here to see the answer
One / 1 cigarette

 

Completion question 5. Click here to see the answer
Findings

 

Completion question 6. Click here to see the answer
Long term

 

Completion question 7. Click here to see the answer
(The) Greeks

 

Completion question 7. Click here to see the answer
Cleansing

 

Practice exercise 2 – sentence completion

Now listen to the recording and complete the sentences using NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS AND OR A NUMBER.

1 The Health Sciences building is next to the _____.
2 There are _____ each term.
3 In the first module, students will study health and safety in _____.
4 Students will have to complete a _____ by the end of the course.
5 There will be speakers from various _____ backgrounds.

 

Completion question 1. Click here to see the answer
History department

 

Completion question 2. Click here to see the answer
2 / Two modules

 

Completion question 3. Click here to see the answer
The workplace

 

Completion question 4. Click here to see the answer
Thesis

 

Completion question 5. Click here to see the answer
Medical

Table completion questions in IELTS listening

Table completion questions in IELTS listening

Often in the IELTS listening test, you are required to complete missing information given in a table. One of the most useful skills  with this type of question is to look at the information already given and predict some of the answer types you will be listening for.

Table completion questions in IELTS listeningFor example, what type of answer would you expect for the table-completion question below?

Complete the table below with NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS OR A NUMBER.

Travel Abroad Ltd – summer trips to Europe departing from the UK

 Destination Paris  Berlin  (1)_______
 Mode of transport  (2)_________  Coach  Train
 Date of departure   12 May  17 May  (3)_______
 Cost of trip   £712   (4)__________   £245
 Travel time  Less than one hour  18 hours  2 days

This is a relatively simple example (although this is something you could be required to complete for Section 1), but it shows the basic skills that you should use. With table-completion questions, look at the other data in the
table. Often you will see patterns which will indicate the type of information you should be listening for. If one column has nouns, then it is reasonable to expect you are looking for a noun. Also, be logical – use the information you have to roughly predict the information you will be listening for. For example, it is logical that a coach trip will be cheaper than a train trip.

Here’s some of the information you could have predicted about each answer:

Answer 1: logically, this would be a place, and likely a city (possibly even a capital city as Paris and Berlin are both capitals). If your geography of Europe and surrounding areas is good, you should also have predicted it is likely to be some distance from Paris, Berlin or London as the trip is by train and will take 2 days. However, it is still in Europe as stated in the title of the table (‘trips to Europe’).

Answer 2: you should have predicted that this is a more expensive but faster trip to the destination, so likely to be by aeroplane.

Answer 3: Clearly this a date, but you should also be able to estimate that it is likely to be close to May as this is the date for the other two trips, and also that the date must be in summer (the title of the table is ‘Summer trips’)

Answer 4: obviously a price in pounds sterling (UK currency). This is probably going to be the cheapest of all three because it is travelling by coach, which is generally cheaper than a train, and takes 18 hours.

Now try with an audio recording.

Before listening to the recording, look at the table and predict the type of missing information. Use the table headings at the top and on the left hand side to help you. Then play the recording and complete the table.

NOTE: This is a practice exercise – there are no word limits for these answers.

Sam John Mary
Attitude to recycling Doesn’t have time (1) (2)
Availability (3) No local recycling areas (4)
Ideas for the future (5) A reward scheme for
people who recycle

Audio:

 

Click here to check your answers

This is a practice exercise with no word limit, so you do not have to have the EXACT wording below.

  1. Thinks it can be difficult
  2. Always recycles
  3. Limited local facilities
  4. Very limited facilities
  5. Fine offenders

.

IELTS listening strategies for section 4

IELTS listening strategies for section 4

IELTS listening strategies for section 4

IELTS listening strategies for section 4 Over the 4 sections of the IELTS listening test, the recordings and questions become more challenging, so by the time you reach Section 4, you should expect it to be the most difficult. In order to get a good result, here are some useful tips and suggestions. Thanks to Khaled Manasrah for questions that led to creating this post!

Tip 1 – be prepared!

Knowing what to expect when the Section 4 recording begins is a great advantage, so here’s what you can expect. Unlike Sections 1, 2 and 3, Section 4 does not pause midway through the recording for you to read the next set of questions. However, you have more time before the recording begins to read through the questions (40 seconds instead of the normal 20 seconds).

Tip 2 – use the time given in Section 3

At the end of Section 3, the recording will say ‘You now have 30 seconds to check your answers’. However, we strongly recommend you use this time to only briefly check your answers to Section 3 – it is more important to quickly move on to Section 4 and start looking through the questions there.

Tip 3 – underline, circle and highlight important words in the questions

As you look through the questions in your preparation time, make sure that you are identifying key words and qualifying words in the question. Don’t just read them – circle them, underline, highlight them – anything that will make it easier to focus on the key points.

Tip 4 – use the questions to help you understand the recording

As Section 3 ends and you start looking through the questions for Section 4, you should be building a mental picture of what the Section 4 topic relates to. Are they talking about people, places, animals etc? As Section 4 begins (but before your 40 seconds preparation time), the announcer in the recording will give a brief description as well (e.g. ‘You will hear a lecturer talking about the subject of deforestation’) – this should add to your understanding of the recording and make following the context easier.

Tip 5 – use the questions to show you where the recording may change direction

Keeping track of where you are in the recording in relation to the questions is very important, so before the recording begins, try to identify where the focus of the questions changes. For example, if the first three questions are talking about one particular place, then the fourth question refers to a person, this should indicate a change in direction for the speaker and will let you know where you are in the recording.

Tip 6 – always read one question ahead

This is not specifically a tip for section 4 only – it is a good idea to know not just the next question, but the next two questions so if you miss one answer you are prepared for the next. It is particularly useful in Section 4 because if you lose your place in the first few questions, there is no midway pause for you to catch up!

Tip 7 – be realistic about getting ALL the answers

During the test you may find that you are waiting for an answer that you don’t hear, but you do hear the answer to the subsequent question. Because the questions in the listening test are all answered in order, this tells you that you have missed an answer. The main point here is not to panic or become stressed about that missed answer – simply move on with the recording. Remember that at the end of the test, you have 10 minutes to check your answers, so will have time then to make an educated guess for any missing answers.

We hope these tips have helped, but if you have a tip or suggestion that you think could help others, we’d love to hear from you in the comments section below.

 

Improve your listening skills for IELTS 5

Improve your listening skills for IELTS 5

Alanis Morisette – Ironic

Level: Easy

Improve your listening skills for IELTS 5Learning English through music is not only fun, it is very effective for improving your listening skills.

Play the video below and as you listen to the words (lyrics), complete the gap fill with the words you hear. When you are finished, click ‘Show answer’ to check your answers.

NOTE: There is only ONE word required for each answer.

An old man turned ninety-eight
He won the 1. and died the next day
Show answerlottery It’s a black fly in your Chardonnay
It’s a death row pardon two 2. too late
Show answerminutes

Chorus:

And isn’t it ironic… don’t you think
It’s like rain on your 3. day
Show answerwedding It’s a free ride when you’ve already 4.
Show answerpaid It’s the good 15. that you just didn’t take
Show answeradvice Who would’ve thought… it figures

Mr. Play It Safe was afraid to 6.
Show answerfly He packed his suitcase and kissed his kids goodbye
He waited his whole damn life to take that 7.
Show answerflight And as the plane crashed down he thought
“Well isn’t this nice…”

(Chorus)

Well life has a 8. way of sneaking up on you
Show answerfunny When you think everything’s okay and everything’s going 9.
Show answerright And 10. has a funny way of helping you out when
Show answerlife You think everything’s gone wrong and everything blows up
In your face

A traffic jam when you’re already 11.
Show answerlate A no-smoking sign on your cigarette 12.
Show answerbreak It’s like ten thousand 13. when all you need is a knife
Show answerspoons It’s meeting the man of my dreams
And then meeting his 14. wife
Show answerbeautiful And isn’t it ironic…don’t you think
A little too ironic…and, yeah, I really do think…

(Chorus)

Life has a funny way of sneaking up on you
Life has a funny, funny way of helping you out
Helping you out

 

Show All correct answers

Improve your listening skills for IELTS 4

Improve your listening skills for IELTS 4

Everclear – Wonderful

Level: Medium

Learning English through music is not only fun, it is very effective for improving your listening skills.

Play the video below and as you listen to the words (lyrics), complete the gap fill with the words you hear. When you are finished, click ‘Show answer’ to check your answers.

NOTE: There is only ONE word required for each answer.

(Intro)

I close my eyes when I get too 1.
Show answersad I think thoughts that I know are 2.
Show answerbad Close my 3. and I count to ten
Show answereyes Hope it’s 4. when I open them
Show answerover

I want the things that I had 5.
Show answerbefore Like a Star Wars poster on my 6. door
Show answerbedroom I wish I could 7. to ten
Show answercount Make everything be 8. again
Show answerwonderful

Hope my mom and I hope my 9.
Show answerDad Will figure out why they get so 10.
Show answermad Hear them scream, I hear them 11.
Show answerfight They say bad words that make me wanna 12.
Show answercry

Close my eyes when I go to 13.
Show answerbed And I dream of angels who make me 14.
Show answersmile I feel better when I 15. them say
Show answerhear 16. will be wonderful someday
Show answereverything

Chorus:
17. mean everything when you’re little
Show answerPromises And the world’s so 18.
Show answerbig I just don’t 19. how
Show answerunderstand You can smile with all those 20. in your eyes
Show answertears Tell me everything is wonderful now

Please 21. tell me everything is wonderful now
Show answerdon’t

I go to school and I run and 22.
Show answerplay I tell the 23.  that it’s all okay
Show answerkids I laugh aloud so my 24. won’t know
Show answerfriends When the 25. rings I just don’t wanna go home
Show answerbell

Go to my 26. and I close my eyes
Show answerroom I make 27. that I have a new life
Show answerbelieve I don’t believe you when you say
Everything will be wonderful 28.
Show answersomeday

(Chorus)
No
No, I don’t wanna hear you tell me everything is wonderful now

I don’t wanna hear you say
That I will understand someday
No, no, no, no
I don’t wanna hear you say
You both have grown in a 29. way
Show answerdifferent No, no, no, no
I don’t wanna meet your 30.
Show answerfriends And I don’t wanna 31. over again
Show answerstart I just want my 32. to be the same
Show answerlife Just like it used to be
Some days I hate 33.
Show answereverything I hate everything
34. and everything
Show answereveryone Please don’t tell me everything is wonderful now…

I don’t wanna hear you tell me everything is wonderful now

 

Show All correct answers

Improve your listening skills for IELTS 3

Improve your listening skills for IELTS 3

John Lennon – Imagine

Level: Medium

Improve your listening skills for IELTS 3Learning English through music is not only fun, it is very effective for improving your listening skills.

Play the video below and as you listen to the words (lyrics), complete the gap fill with the words you hear. When you are finished, click ‘Show answer’ to check your answers.

NOTE: There is only ONE word required for each answer.

Imagine there’s no.1.
Show answerheaven It’s easy if you 2.
Show answertry No 3. below us
Show answerhell Above us only 4.
Show answersky Imagine all the people
Living for today…

Imagine there’s no 5.
Show answercountry It isn’t 6. to do
Show answerhard Nothing to kill or 7. for
Show answerdie And no 8. too
Show answerreligion Imagine all the 9.
Show answerpeople Living life in 10. .
Show answerpeace

Chorus:
You may say I’m a 11.
Show answerdreamer But I’m not the 12. one
Show answeronly I hope 13. you’ll join us
Show answersomeday And the world will be as one

Imagine no 14.
Show answerpossessions I wonder if you can
No need for 15. or hunger
Show answergreed A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
16. all the world…
Show answersharing

 

Show All correct answers

Did you know that John Lennon was one of the 4 Beatles?

Improve your listening skills for IELTS 2

Improve your listening skills for IELTS 2

Louis Armstrong – Wonderful World

Level: Easy

Improve your listening skills for IELTS 2Learning English through music is not only fun, it is very effective for improving your listening skills.

Play the video below and as you listen to the words (lyrics), complete the gap fill with the words you hear. When you are finished, click ‘Show answer’ to check your answers.

NOTE: There is only ONE word required for each answer.

 

I see trees of 1.
Show answergreen ,

Red roses too

I see them bloom for me and 2.
Show answeryou

And I think to myself what a wonderful world.

I see skies of 3. and clouds of white
Show answerblue

The bright blessed day,

The 4. sacred night
Show answerdark

And I think to myself what a wonderful world.

The 5. of the rainbow
Show answercolours

So pretty in the sky

Are also on the 6. of people going by
Show answerfaces

I see friends 7. hands
Show answershaking

Saying how do you do

They’re really saying ‘I love you’.

I hear 8. crying, I watch them grow
Show answerbabies

They’ll learn much more

Than I’ll ever 9.
Show answerknow

And I think to myself what a wonderful world

10. I think to myself what a wonderful world
Show answerYes

Show All correct answers

Improve your listening skills for IELTS 1

Improve your listening skills for IELTS 1

Oasis – The Importance of being idle

Improve your listening skills for IELTS 1Learning English through music is not only fun, it is very effective for improving your listening skills.

Play the video below and as you listen to the words (lyrics), complete the gap fill with the words you hear. When you are finished, click ‘Show answer’ to check your answers.

Level: medium

NOTE: There are TWO words required for each answer.

 

I sold my soul for the 1.
Show answersecond time

‘Cause 2. don’t pay me
Show answerthe man

I begged my landlord for some 3.
Show answermore time

He said “Son, the bill’s 4.
Show answerare waiting

My 5. called me the other night
Show answerbest friend

He said “Man – are 6.?”
Show answeryou crazy

7. told me to get a life
Show answerMy girlfriend

She said “Boy – are 8. ?”
Show answeryou lazy? Chorus:

But I don’t mind

As long as there’s a bed beneath the stars 9.
Show answerthat shine

I’ll be fine, if you give me 10., a man’s got a limit
Show answera minute

I can’t get a life if 11.not in it
Show answermy heart’s

Hey Hey

(Chorus again)

I lost my faith in the 12.
Show answersummer time

‘Cause it don’t 13.
Show answerstop raining

The sky all day is 14. as night
Show answeras black

But I’m 15.
Show answernot complaining

I begged 16. for one more line
Show answerMy doctor

He said “Son – words 17.
Show answerfail me

It ain’t no place to be 18.
Show answerkilling time

I guess I’m 19.
Show answerjust lazy

Show All correct answers