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IELTS Listening

 IELTS Listening test is the same for both IELTS Academic and IELTS General modules.
The test is of 30 minutes, with extra 10 minutes given for transferring your answers to the answer sheet.You will be given four recorded texts, monologues and conversations by a range of native speakers to listen to and write their answers to a set of questions. A variety of voices and native-speaker accents are used. You will be allowed to hear each section only once so be attentive during the recordings.
Total time duration

40 mins ( 30 mins for attempting)

(10 mins for transferring answers to answer sheets)

Total no. of Questions

40 Objective Questions

4 sections/ 4 recordings

The IELTS Listening test consists of four sections:

Section 1: A conversation between two people set in an everyday social scenario.
Section 2: A monologue set in an everyday social scenario, e.g. a speech about local facilities.
Section 3: A conversation between up to four people set in an educational or training context, e.g. a university tutor and a student discussing an assignment.
Section 4: A monologue on an academic subject, e.g. a university lecture.

Nature of the questions
  • Multiple Choice Questions
  • Matching
  • Map labeling, plan or a diagram
  • Form completion
  • Table completion
  • Flow chart completion
  • Note completion
  • Summary completion
  • Sentence completion
  • Short-Answer Questions
Listening skills
  • These include questions which test your ability
  • to understand main ideas behind a detailed information,
  • speakers’ opinions and their attitude,
  • to understand the purpose of what is said and ability to follow the development of ideas.

Detailed information about the question type and their purpose of assessment.

Question Sort  Purpose of Assessment

 Multiple Choice Questions

Candidates are required to choose one correct answer out of the given 3 choices.

Read carefully what has been asked in the questions about the number of chosen answers as you can be given a longer list of options with more than one answer.

Multiple choice questions are meant for testing a wide range of skills.

It tests thorough understanding of specific points or main points of the test recording.


candidates are required to match a list of items from the listening text to a set of options on the question paper. The set of options can have variable criteria.

 Matching questions test whether a test taker can understand information given in a conversation on everyday context, for example different types of colleges. It also assesses your capability to recognise connections between points and understand conversation between two people in the recording.

 Labeling of Map, Plan, Diagram

Test takers are required to select answers from a list on the question paper to complete labels on a plan, for instance of a building, map, of an area or diagram of an equipment.

This task assesses your ability to understand and relate to a visual depiction of various factors, such as, elucidation of a place, directions, spatial relationships.

Sentence Completion

You will be given a set of sentences that summarise important information from the recording. You will be required to fill in the gap in each sentence.

Sentence completion assesses your ability to identify the key information in a listening text. Test takers should be able to understand functional relationships such as cause and effect.

Form, note, table, flow-chart, summary completion

You will be required to fill in the gaps in an outline of part or of all of the listening text. The outline will focus on the main facts in the text. It may be a form, a set of notes, a table or a flow chart.

Test takers may have to select their answers from a list on the question paper or identify the missing words from the recording, keeping to the word limit stated in the instructions. Test takers do not have to change the words from the recording in any way.

Read the instructions very carefully as there is a penalty for over writing. Moreover, shortened words will not be tested and hyphenated words count as single words.

These type of questions focuses on the main points which a listener would naturally document in this type of situation. Such as paying attention to main points listed in the recording.

Short answer questions

You will be required to read a question and then write a short answer using information from the listening text. Instruction for word limit is given and test takers will be penalised for writing more than the stated number of words.

Short answer questions analyses your ability to listen to details of the information given in the recording.

Key points to remember

  • Carefullylisten to the recordings and note down their answers under timed conditions.
  • Do-not go overboard with words. Some questions penalise you if you go beyond word limitation.
  • Improve your spelling skills.
  • Don’t invest too much time on one question. That will cost you!
  • Learn time management with focus training.
  • Join a good coaching centre for complete preparation.

For sure shot success in IELTS listening, join G-SOL Institute and reap benefits from our efficiently structured coaching program.

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