The IELTS Listening Test is for 40 minutes, including the 10 minutes which candidate gets at the end to transfer the answers to the answer sheet. There are a total of four sections, and each section contains 10 questions, which makes a total of 40 questions.
- In section 1 there will be a conversation between two people about the everyday context. It can be about enquiry regarding booking for a perfect getaway, rent an apartment, formulating travel plans, purchasing tickets for a show, questions regarding job opportunities to name a few.
- Section 2 is a monologue in an everyday context. Which can be about a public place, any plans to improve an area, about a local event.
- Section 3 is a conversation of an academic context. It could be two students or a tutor or a student discussing an assignment, a project, a course or something academic.
- Section 4 is a monologue again of an academic lecture. It could be on any one of many academic subjects, but will not require specialized knowledge to understand it.
Each recording will be played only once and you will get some time to read the questions the recording starts. The questions are in same order as the recording. The test gets tougher as it goes on – Section 1 is generally easiest and Section 4 is the most difficult one. Sections 1 to 3 have two parts each but Section 4 is played in one go. Each test includes a range of accents including British, American, Australian and New Zealand.
The test gets harder with each passing section, so one should make sure to get most of the correct answers in the first and second sections.
IELTS Listening Test Scoring
The test is for 40 marks and these scores are converted into band scores which range between 0 to 9.
IELTS Listening Test Question Types
There are six types of the questions in listening:-
- Form, note, table, flow-chart, summary completion
- Plan, map, diagram labeling
- Multiple choices
- Sentence completion
- Short answer question
How to complete the IELTS Listening Test
The important thing here is that student should always focus 100% for 30 minutes. It’s easy to lose concentration in between the recording and miss the answers of four or five questions, which might reduce the band score by a whole band. Practice maintaining concentration on listening (for example, a podcast, a TED talk or a movie) for 30 minutes plus.
Here is the process which a candidate should use to answer most listening test questions:
- Read the questions before the recording starts and predict what the recording is about. What can be the situation? Who can be the speakers? Where and what’s the reason of the talking?
- More importantly, the candidate should also use this time to predict language you might hear. It’s important to focus on synonyms and collocations used in the questions, as well as possible answers.
- As you listen, follow the questions along with a pencil so you keep track of where the speaker / conversation is in relation to the questions.
- Student should not panic if they miss an answer this may lead to missing other answers also so, just move on to the next question
3 Common Problems with the IELTS Listening Test
- If you listen to audio just to get the information without getting the meaning. It’s important to understand the audio and listen to it blindly. It’s important to look for the clues and find the important word which might help in answering the questions. Also, reading the questions before hand will always help.
- Not being able to keep up with the speed: Sometimes for some students it’s hard to keep up with the recording because the speed of the test is too fast. This happens with most of the students, the solution of this problem is to spend more time listening to English being spoken at a natural speed. The key here is to listen to things that are too hard to understand. .A student should be able to understand from 50% to 90 % of the recording in order to get the desirable score
- Not understanding the language: Not having the knowledge of a wide enough vocabulary is the most significant issue. As all the candidates should know that high vocabulary in IELTS leads to a high score. Which cannot be developed in a day or two it needs practice, implementation and being consistent in building the vocabulary every day.
- Making Spelling Mistakes: Students don’t take it seriously that listening to audio properly won’t help only, student needs to focus on their spellings also. Spellings are really important in IELTS listening any words which is spelled incorrectly will be marked wrong.