Category Archives: IELTS Listening (all)

Improve your listening skills for IELTS 8

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Improve your listening skills for IELTS 8

Gnarls Barkley – Crazy

Level: Hard (3 words per answer!)

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

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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 are three words needed for each answer (contractions count as one word e.g. I’m / We’re / You’re)

I remember when, I remember, I remember when I
Show answer lost my mind

There was something so pleasant .
Show answer about that place

Even your emotions
Show answer had an echo

In so much space

And when you’re out there
Without care,
Yeah, I was
Show answer out of touch

But it wasn’t because I didn’t know enough
I just
Show answer knew too much

Does that make me crazy?
Does that make me crazy?
Does that make me crazy?
Probably

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And I hope that you are of your life
Show answer having the time

But think twice, that’s
Show answer my only advice

Come on now, who do you, who do you, who do you, who do you think you are,
Ha ha ha bless your soul
You really think
Show answer you’re in control

Well, I think you’re crazy
I think you’re crazy
I think you’re crazy

Show answer Just like me

My heroes had the heart to out on a limb
Show answer lose their lives

And all I remember is thinking, I want to
Show answer be like them

Ever since I was little, ever since I was little it
Show answer looked like fun

And it’s no coincidence I’ve come
And I can die
Show answer when I’m done

Maybe I’m crazy
Maybe you’re crazy
Maybe we’re crazy
Probably

Uh, uh

Show All correct answers

Did you know that Gnarls Barkley is the band name – the singer’s name is Cee Lo Green?

Improve your listening skills for IELTS 7

Improve your listening skills for IELTS 6

Adele – Rolling in the Deep

Level: Very hard!

Improve your listening skills for IELTS 7Learning 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 are TWO words required for each answer.

There’s a fire starting in
Show answer my heart

Reaching a , it’s bringing me out the dark
Show answer fever pitch

Finally I can see you
Show answer crystal clear

Go ‘head and sell me out and I’ll lay your ship bare
See how I leave with of you
Show answer every piece

Don’t underestimate the things that I will do

There’s a fire starting in my heart
Reaching a fever pitch
And it’s bringing me out the dark

The scars of remind me of us
Show answer your love

They keep me thinking that we almost had it all

The scars of your love, they breathless
Show answer leave me

I can’t help feeling
We could have had it all
(You’re gonna wish you never had met me)
Rolling in the deep
(Tears are gonna fall, rolling in the deep)
You had my heart inside of your hand
(You’re gonna wish you never had met me)
And you played it, to the beat
(Tears are gonna fall, rolling in the deep)

Baby, I have to be told
Show answer no story

But I’ve heard one on you
And I’m gonna make your
Show answer head burn

Think of me in the depths of
Show answer your despair

Make a home down there
As mine sure won’t
Show answer be shared

(You’re gonna wish you never had met me)
The scars of your love remind me of us
(Tears are gonna fall, rolling in the deep)
They keep me thinking that we almost had it all
(You’re gonna wish you never had met me)
The scars of your love, they leave me breathless
(Tears are gonna fall, rolling in the deep)
I can’t help feeling
We could have had it all
(You’re gonna wish you never had met me)
Rolling in the deep
(Tears are gonna fall, rolling in the deep)
You had my heart inside of your hand
(You’re gonna wish you never had met me)
And you played it, to the beat
(Tears are gonna fall, rolling in the deep)
We could have had it all
Rolling in the deep
You had my heart inside of your hand
But you played it, with a beating

Throw your soul through every (woah)
Show answer open door

Count your blessings to find what you look for (woah)
Turn into treasured gold (woah)
Show answer my sorrow

You’ll pay me back in kind and reap just what you sow (woah)
(You’re gonna wish you never had met me)
We could have had it all
(Tears are gonna fall, rolling in the deep)
We could have had it all
(You’re gonna wish you never had met me)
It all, it all, it all
(Tears are gonna fall, rolling in the deep)

We could have had it all
(You’re gonna wish you never had met me)
Rolling in the deep
(Tears are gonna fall, rolling in the deep)
You had my heart inside of your hand
(You’re gonna wish you never had met me)
And you played it to the beat
(Tears are gonna fall, rolling in the deep)

We could have had it all
(You’re gonna wish you never had met me)
Rolling in the deep
(Tears are gonna fall, rolling in the deep)
You had my heart inside of your hand
(You’re gonna wish you never had met me)

But you played it
You played it
You played it
You played it to the beat.

Show All correct answers

Did you know that Adele only quit smoking in 2015?

Improve your listening skills for IELTS 6

Improve your listening skills for IELTS 6

Pharrell Williams – Happy

Level: Medium (fast but only the first half of the song!)

Improve your listening skills for IELTS 6Learning 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.

It might seem what I’m about to say to you (1 word)
Show answer crazy

Sunshine she’s here, you can take a (1 word)
Show answer break

I’m a (3 words) that could go to space
Show answer hot air balloon

With the air, like I don’t (1 word), baby, by the way
Show answer care

Uh

[Chorus:]
Because I’m happy
Clap along if you feel like a room without a (1 word)
Show answer roof

Because I’m happy
Clap along if you feel like happiness is the (1 word)
Show answer truth

Because I’m happy
Clap along if you know what happiness is to you
Because I’m happy
Clap along if you feel like that’s what you wanna do

[Verse 2:]
Here come (2 words) talking this and that, yeah,
Show answer bad news

Well, give me all you got, and don’t (3 words), yeah,
Show answer hold it back

Well, I should probably (2 words) I’ll be just fine, yeah,
Show answer warn you

No (1 word) to you, don’t waste your time
Show answer offense Here’s why

[Chorus]

Hey
Go
Uh

(Happy)
Bring me down
Can’t nothing
Bring me down
My level’s too high
Bring me down
Can’t nothing
Bring me down
I said (let me tell you now)
Bring me down
Can’t nothing
Bring me down
My level’s too high
Bring me down
Can’t nothing
Bring me down
I said

[Chorus 2x]

Show All correct answers

Did you know that Pharrell Williams received only $2,700 for over 43 million streams of this song?

Predicting and anticipating in the IELTS listening test

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).

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.

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
Previous comments:

    1 million in US is different from that in UK ? Earlier, in UK, 1 million meant a million of millions i.e., 1000,000,000,000. It is now called trillion. Now billion means the same amount in UK and USA right ?

    Ieltsforfree says:

    Hi Asha – thanks for your comment! I have just done a little research and it turns out that the UK and the US standardised these numbers some time ago, so I have updated the correct information on the page. Thanks again!

    Bayo Salau says:

    Question 4’s answer is 80,400,000

    Franco Caon says:

    Bayo, it says: “Eight million four hundred thousand” and not “Eighty million four hundred thousand”. 8,000,000 + 400,000 = 8,400,000 Cheers buddy!

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

 

 

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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.

 

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