How to answer the different tasks in the Listening module

The Listening Module takes about 30 minutes. It has 4 sections and 40 questions in all. During the test, you will get time to read the questions and write down the answers. The audio is played only once. As you listen, write your answers on the question paper itself. When the recording ends, you will get 10 minutes to transfer your answers to the answer sheet.

The Listening Module consists of 4 sections. The first 2 sections deal with social situations. The first section is usually a dialogue between two people. The second section is usually a monologue. The third and fourth sections are related to training or educational contexts. The third section is usually a conversation between 3 or 4 students. The fourth section is a monologue. This could be a lecture of general academic interest. You will hear a variety of accents in the listening test.

A variety of questions are asked in the Listening Module. These include the following:

  • Table / flowchart / summary completion
  • Short answer questions
  • Multiple choice questions
  • Matching
  • Labelling a diagram
  • Classification
  • Sentence completion

Summary/table completion tasks

You have to fill in gaps in a table, summary or flow chart. You may have to identify the missing words from the recording or you may have to choose them from a list given on the question paper. Keep to the word limit given in the instructions. If you write more than the required number of words, you will be penalised. You also need to ensure that you are not changing the words from the recording in any way.

You can use the notation form to complete tables, flowcharts or notes. That means you can omit auxiliary verbs or articles if they are not necessary. You have to use grammatically correct phrases to complete the summary. A summary is basically a set of connected sentences. It should be grammatically correct, so avoid the notation form while completing a summary.

Short answer questions

You may be asked to answer a question using information given in the recording. You should know the word limit for each question, so read the instructions carefully.

Multiple choice questions

These questions are usually followed by three possible answers labelled A, B or C. There is only one correct answer and you have to choose it. Multiple choice questions may also include sentence completion tasks. You may be given the first part of a sentence and then you have to complete it using one of the given options.

Sentence completion

A set of sentences summarising important information from the recording will be given. Each sentence will have a gap and you have to complete it using information from the recording. The words are to be taken directly from the listening text. Keep to the word limit.

Labelling a diagram

You may be asked to complete a piece of visual information such as a diagram or a map. You will most probably have to select the answers from a list given on the question paper.

Manjusha Nambiar

Hi, I'm Manjusha. This is my blog where I give IELTS preparation tips.

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