Category Archives: IELTS Listening (all)

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.

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.

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.

Previous comments:

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!

IELTS listening multiple choice questions practice exercise 1

IELTS listening multiple choice questions practice exercise 1

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

Listen to the recording and answer the 6 questions below:

Multiple choice listening

Free IELTS listening multiple choice

Tips for IELTS listening

Tips for IELTS listening

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

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

 

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

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

Keeping focused on the listening

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

Always be two questions ahead

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

Pre-read the questions

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

Highlighting key words

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

ALWAYS write an answer

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

An introduction to the IELTS listening test (Page 2)

An introduction to the IELTS listening test (page 2)

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

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

Video 2 of 2

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


Look at the situations below.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

An introduction to the IELTS listening test

An introduction to the IELTS listening test

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Video 1 of 2

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

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

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


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

The listening test has three sections.

This is TRUE
This is FALSE

Show the answer
FALSE: The listening has four sections.

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

This is TRUE
This is FALSE

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

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

This is TRUE
This is FALSE

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

You get to hear the recordings twice.

This is TRUE
This is FALSE

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

Now move on to Page 2