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IELTS Listening

Get your IELTS preparation off to the right start with our official preparation materials from Experts for the Listening test.

The IELTS Academic Listening test is identical to the IELTS General Test. The listening test will evaluate your capacity to comprehend the key points, specifics, opinions, goals, and attitudes of the speakers, as well as your capacity to trace the evolution of ideas.

In the listening test, you will listen to 4 recordings, and you will then have to respond to 40 questions based on these recordings. The first two recordings cover topics that you can encounter on a daily basis. The next two recordings focus on scenarios that could happen in a training or educational setting. You will hear each audio only once, and it will be a mixture of native speakers' monologues and conversations. 

Section 1 – Listening Conversation Between Two People 

This section will include two people having a conversation in a common social setting. 

Section 2 – Listening to a Monologue 

A monologue is presented in a typical social setting, such as a speech on local amenities.

 

Section 3 – Listening to a Conversation Between up to 4 People

This part will be a conversation between up to four individuals that takes place in an instructional or training setting, such as a university tutor and a student discussing an assignment.

Section 4 – Listening to a Monologue

A monologue on an academic subject, such as a university lecture.  

On recordings 1 and 3, you will hear a conversation between two or more people. On recordings 2 and 4, you will only hear monosyllabic speeches. You'll be asked to provide answers to questions about recordings that range from multiple choice to matching information, features, and sentence endings, as well as questions that require you to complete sentences, summaries, notes, tables, graphs, or flowcharts.  

What is the duration for the IELTS Listening Test? 

The IELTS listening test’s duration is 30 minutes. To back you up; here are some tips to follow during your listening test, as well as seven mistakes to avoid during your IELTS Listening test.

  • Can I do all parts of the test on the same day?
    The Listening, Reading, and Writing parts of the test are completed immediately after each other on the same day. In some test centres, you will sit the Speaking test on the same day, or up to 7 days before or after your test date. If you take IELTS on computer, the Speaking test will be taken on the same day, either before, or after the other three parts of the test.
  • What to do if I am late to my test due to situations beyond my control?
    If you experience difficulty on a test day, please inform the test centre immediately. The test centre may offer you a test on the next available test date.
  • What should I bring on my test day?
    You must bring the same passport or national identity card that you used to book your IELTS test. If you do an IELTS on paper test, you can take pens, pencils and erasers into the examination room. If you do an IELTS on computer test, the centre will provide you with pencils and paper. You must leave all of your personal belongings outside the examination room in a secure area or locker. Mobile phones, pagers and smart watches must be switched off and left with your personal belongings. If you keep mobile phones or electronic devices with you, you will be disqualified.
  • What order will I complete the IELTS test in?
    If you take IELTS on computer, you will do the tests in the following order on the same day: Listening, Reading and Writing, with the Speaking test before or after this test session. If you take IELTS on paper, you will do the tests in the following order: Writing, Reading and Listening. Depending on the test centre, the Speaking test can be done on the same day, or up to 7 days either before or after the test date.
  • What do I need to bring to my Speaking test?
    You must bring the same passport or national identity card that you used to book your IELTS test. Your ID will be checked before you enter the interview room and again during the interview.
  • What accents can be heard in the Listening and Speaking tests?
    As IELTS is an international test, a variety of voices and native-speaker accents are used in both the General Training and Academic tests.
  • Do I have to write in pencil for the IELTS on paper test?
    Pencil is recommended for the IELTS Listening, Reading, and Writing tests. This is because tests are scanned and work best with pencil. It also means that you can easily erase and rewrite words. If you forget to bring a pencil, the test centre will provide one for you.
  • If I take IELTS on paper, can I write notes in the question booklets?
    Yes, you are encouraged to write notes on the question booklets. IELTS examiners do not have access to your question booklets.
  • Can I make notes during the IELTS on computer test?
    Yes. IELTS on computer provides a note-taking and highlight function. You can also write notes on the login details sheet you receive at the beginning of the test.
  • Can I write my answers in capital letters?
    Yes, you can use all capital letters in the IELTS Reading and Listening sections. If you use capital letters in the Writing section, make sure that your punctuation is correct and the examiner can see where you start and finish sentences.
  • How can I improve my Writing band score?
    Read the assessment criteria used for both Academic and General Training Writing tests carefully before your test day. The examiner will assess your writing based on four criteria for Task 1 and Task 2. Remember that Writing Task 2 is worth twice as many marks as Task 1. You can improve your Writing band score by practising.
  • What happens in the IELTS Speaking test?
    The Speaking test is a discussion with a highly qualified IELTS examiner who assesses your ability to talk about a range of topics. The Speaking test has three parts and is recorded. A description of the three parts of the interview is found in the Information for Candidates booklet.
  • Should I apply for an EOR, or just wait to re-sit my test?
    EOR requests and all IELTS test day matters are handled by your test centre. IDP responds to the EOR requests by using a team of senior examiners.
  • Is a health condition considered to be a special requirement?
    Yes, it is. We can provide a variety of arrangements to support you during the test if you have special requirements due to hearing loss, low vision, learning difficulties, medical conditions or infant feeding. We can provide modified and enlarged print papers, braille papers, braille and enlarged print versions of the Speaking test, lip reading version of the Listening test, extra time for the Reading and Writing test or use of a computer (e.g. for candidates with dyslexia), a scribe to write answers on your behalf or a special Listening Test (e.g. using amplification equipment and/or lip-reading version of the Listening test for those with hearing difficulties). Test centres deal with all applications for special arrangements individually. You will be asked for full details of your particular circumstances.
  • Do I need to give my test centre notice if I have special requirements?
    Yes, it is best to contact your local test centre as early as possible informing them about your special needs. Giving adequate notice is necessary for the modified test versions to be prepared or special administrative arrangements to be made.

IELTS Listening Practice Questions 

Visit our Practice library to download the practice questions 

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