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IELTS Listening

WHAT IS IELTS LISTENING?

IELTS Listening test assesses your English Language skills through your listening ability. It evaluates your comprehension of the main concepts, specific details, viewpoints, intentions, and demeanour of the speakers in addition to your ability to track the evolution of ideas. In IELTS Listening exam, different recordings will be played for you, and you will be asked different types of questions based on those recordings.

A variety of accents are used such as New Zealand, Canadian, British, American, and Australian. The recording is played only once, and you need to answer the questions while you are listening to the recording.

WHAT IS THE FORMAT OF THE IELTS LISTENING?

The IELTS Listening test for the Academic exam and the General Training exam is the same so therefore, the format also remains the same. The test consists of 40 questions that are divided into 4 sections. Each section contains 10 questions. You will have to answer these questions based on the recordings that you will hear. The first two recordings cover scenarios that you could come across daily. On the other hand, the last two recordings concentrate on scenarios that could arise in a training or educational setting. The Listening test lasts for about 30 minutes. However, you get extra 10 minutes to transfer your answers on the answer sheet in case of paper-based test. If you are giving a computerized test, no extra time will be allotted to transfer your responses.

WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF RECORDINGS?

Recording 1

It includes conversation between two people. These are the kind of conversations that takes place in day-to-day social settings. For example: a tourist asking for directions, applying for a gym membership, booking travel arrangements, enquiry about a service, etc.

Recording 2

It is a monologue which means it is a speech that is given by one person. The speech is also set in an everyday social scenario. For example: a guide talking about the history of a place, a committee member talking about the new update, etc.

Recording 3

It is a conversation amongst up to 4 people. The conversations are set in an educational or training environment. For example: students consulting with professor about a presentation, students discussing about a project, etc.

Recording 4

It is a monologue that is based on an academic subject. For example: a university lecture.

WHAT KIND OF QUESTIONS ARE ASKED IN IELTS LISTENING TEST?

Different types of questions will be given in each section that will assess your listening skills in different ways. These include:

MULTIPLE CHOICE

In this question type, you must answer the questions by choosing the correct option out of the different choices given. Sometimes you may have to choose more than one correct answer. This will be mentioned in the instructions so read them carefully. If you are required to choose one option, then you will be given three choices to choose from. However, if you are required to choose more than one option for your answer, then you will be given more than three choices to choose from. To figure out the correct answer for this question type, you should be able to comprehend the major ideas of the listening text in general, and at the same time certain aspects of the listening text in greater detail.

LABELLING (PLAN, MAP AND DIAGRAM)

In this question type, a plan, a map, or a diagram will be given to you with some missing information (labels). You must complete the given plan, map or the diagram with the correct labels based on the recording that you will hear.

This question type evaluates how well you can comprehend and follow the information that you can hear in the recording and then relate that information to the image given in the question in the form of a plan, map, or a diagram. Usually, you are also given a list of words and you are required to select the correct labels from that list.

Matching

In this question type, you will be given a list of items as questions. There will be another list containing some information related to the questions. You must match the items listed in the questions with the correct option given in another list based on the recording that you will hear. This question type also assesses a wide range of listening skills such as attentive listening for details, to comprehend the information presented in a conversation on an ongoing subject and the ability to figure out how different information and facts are related to one another.

Form, Table, Note, Flow Chart, and Summary Completion

In this question type, you will be presented with some information from the listening text using the layout of a form, a table, a note, a flow chart, or a summary. The information will have some missing blanks which you must fill in using the correct words to complete the task. You will be required to choose the words from either the list of words given to you or from the recording itself. This will be mentioned in the instructions along with the word limit.

Short- Answer Questions

In this question type, you are required to provide short answers to the questions asked, based on the information you hear in the recording. Make sure to follow the word limit.

Sentence Completion

In this question type, you will be given some incomplete sentences from either the entire listening recording or only from a part of the recording. You must complete the sentences using the words and/or a number that you will hear in the recording following the word limit.

HOW IS IELTS LISTENING MARKED?

In total you get 40 questions that are divided into 4 sections. Each section contains 10 questions, and each question carries one mark. Your band score depends on the score (number of correct answers) you get out of 40. The table shown below will tell you the score conversion for IELTS Listening test.

SCORING BANDS
39-40 9
37-38 8.5
35-36 8
32-34 7.5
30-31 7
26-29 6.5
23-25 6
18-22 5.5
16-17 5
13-15 4.5
11-12 4

IMPORTANT TIPS

  • 1. Be careful of any spelling or grammatical errors while transferring your answers on the answer sheet.
  • 2. Always read the instructions carefully and make sure that you do not exceed the word limit. Hyphenated words are counted as single words.
  • 3. If you miss some information while listening to the audio, do not get stuck there. You must maintain your focus and pay attention to the remaining audio because the recording is only played once. Only then will you be able to answer the rest of the questions.
  • 4. Utilize the time given to you to go through the questions and as well as the time given to you to transfer the answer on the answer sheet efficiently. Looking at the questions before will give you an idea about the kind of monologue or conversations you can expect in the recording, and this will help you to connect the information in the recording with the questions given. You would also have a better understanding of the information you need to focus on in the audio text.
  • 5. When you will be practicing for your Listening Exam, always time yourself, play the recording only once and practice different sample papers where different accents have been used.
  • 6. For any difficult words, they will spell out the words for you. Make sure to listen to that carefully to avoid any spelling mistakes.
  • 7. Even if you miss some information and you do not know the answer, take a guess. There is no negative marking for the incorrect answer so do not leave any answer blank.

SO, WHAT’S THE STRATEGY TO WIN?

Just like the Reading Test, IELTS Listening Test has many different question types. Each of these question types are assessing your listening skills in distinct ways, hence, necessitate various approaches to address them. It is crucial that you comprehend each of these categories of questions to score higher bands in IELTS Listening. Also, since you will be hearing the recording only once, it is imperative that you determine the ways to concentrate on the relevant information in the recording without overlooking any details.

At Xpertmyy IELTS, our aim is to set you up for success. You will discover various techniques that will help you to perform well in each of these question types. The methodologies that will be taught at Xpertmyy IELTS will help you achieve higher bands along with enhancing your overall English Listening skills.

SAMPLE QUESTION IELTS LISTENING QUESTION FOR REFERENCE

Source: takeielts.britishcouncil.org

The sample question shown below is an illustration of the note completion question type in IELTS Listening. This example is only a small portion of the test that will give you an idea of how questions and instructions are given in the actual exam. The recording related to the questions given is provided below that also includes the instructions in the beginning.

We have provided some quick tips on how to solve this question type after the questions. Go through the tips before you attempt the questions.

PART 1

Questions 1–5

Complete the notes below.

Write NO MORE THAN ONE WORD AND/OR A NUMBER for each answer.

Second-hand Bedroom Furniture for Sale

Example Answer
Number of items for sale three

Bedside tables

Construction: wood

Colour: 1...............

Drawers: two (in each table), handles made of 2.............

Height: 3................cm

Condition: 4.................

Price: 5................(for both)

Quick tips on how we would do it:

  1. It is important to use the time given in the beginning to go through the questions efficiently. In that time make sure to read the instructions so that you know about the word limit. If there is any heading in the note, then do not miss that as the heading can give you an idea what the topic is about and then go through the questions to understand that what kind of information you need to focus on in the recording.
  2. In this example, since it is a question from part 1 of the test, we know that it is going to be a conversation between two people. Looking at the heading we know that it is going to be a conversation regarding the sale of a second-hand bedroom furniture and the enquiry is about bedside tables.
  3. Looking at the questions, we know that in the recording we need to focus on important keywords such as the color, handle material, height, condition, and price of the tables.
  4. Now because we have utilized our time effectively and gone through all these details, it will be easier for us to focus on the relevant information in the audio text and figure out the correct answer.
  5. Keep in mind that the information that you hear might use paraphrases or synonyms of the words that you are trying to locate in the recording.
  6. Once the recording begins, be alert and focus on the important keywords.
  7. 7. Now use these tips and try to solve the sample question.

  1. Cream
  2. Brass
  3. 65 / sixty-five
  4. Perfect
  5. 30 pounds / thirty pounds

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