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IELTS Listening Tips


The IELTS Listening tips are aimed at helping students know what to expect from there listening examination and also give you an indepth knowledge in forms of tips on how to navigate the questions much easier.

IELTS Listening Tips

The listening test is the same for both IELTS academic and IELTS general training. It lasts approximately thirty minutes and it is divided into four sections, with each section gradually becoming more difficult as you proceed.

In each section you will hear a recording of native English speakers and you will need to answer a series of questions. The questions are in the order – you will hear the answers in the same order on the recording.

It’s important to be aware that although all the recordings are of native English speakers, they will have a variety of different accents, including British, Canadian, New Zealand, Australian and American , so you need to be prepared for this.

IELTS Listening Question Types

The following types of question may appear on the test:

  1. multiple choice
  2. short-answer questions
  3. sentence completion
  4. notes/summary/diagram/flow chart/table completion
  5. labelling a diagram which has numbered parts
  6. classification
  7. matching 

You will be provided with instructions on the test paper on how to answer the questions, and they are clear and easy to follow.

IELTS Liistening Sections

In this Section a wide A range of English  dialects and accents  are used in the recordings which reflects the international usage of IELTS

Section One

In the first section there is a conversation between two speakers. For example – a conversation about travel arrangements, booking accommodation, or decisions on a night out.

Section Two

The second section is a monologue (a speech by one person). It will be set in an everyday social context. For example – a speech about student services on a University campus or arrangements for meals during a conference.

Section Three

Section three is a conversation between up to four people. For example – a conversation between a tutor and a student about an assignment or between three students planning a research project.

Section Four

The final part is another monologue. It is a lecture or talk of general academic interest such as a university lecture.


These IELTS listening tips will help you to increase your score:

1. Take care when you transfer your answersand pay attention to the word limit for your answers on your answer sheet!

2. Focus on what the speaker is saying not how they say it.

3. Attempt all questions– there are no penalties for incorrect answers. Be careful to not waste time on a question that you don’t know though – guess and move on.

4. Prepare to hear a potential answer that is not the actual answer. This is common when two people are making plans. They first agree on meeting at a certain time, but then one remembers that they cannot so they decide on a new time.

5. Try to guess what the speaker is going to say. Speakers, will often drop clue words or outline what they will to talk about beforehand. This gives you the ability to start your own outline to then fill in.

6. Listen to IELTS podcast, take notes and improve your note-taking skills.

7. Multiple choice answers will ask for a letter (a, b, c, d).Write the letter and not the corresponding answer.

8. Hyphenated words (like “part-time”) are considered as one word.

9. Watch out for plurals in answers. If the question requires a plural answer, a singular answer is incorrect.

10. Answers appear in the order they are heard in the audio.They come quickly or with large gaps between them.

11. A date (1990) is considered one number.

12. Don’t take notes in complete sentences – jot down the key points and abbreviate. You only need to write down enough to help your memory later.

13. Get the habit of distinguishing between essential and non-essential information. If two people are talking about making plans for a dinner date, the important information is the date/time they finally agree upon. Other dates/times they considered become irrelevant.

14. When asked to complete a sentence using no more than two words, and the correct answer is “leather coat,” then “a coat made of leather” is incorrect. Same goes for numbers.

Get more IELTS Listening tips here >>
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