Listening test #1

Free IELTS listening test 4 Section 4

Free IELTS listening test 4 Section 4

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

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

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

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

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


Section 4:

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


Questions 31-40

Complete the summary below using NO MORE THAN ONE WORD

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

31. Show answer EDUCATED

32. Show answer POLITICAL

33. Show answer COST

34. Show answer EUROPE

Questions 35-38

Decide which of the answers the statements refer to.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Questions 39 and 40

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

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

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



Show All correct answers

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


Click here to read the transcript of the recording

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Please help us reach more people by sharing!