IELTS Listening Tips

IELTS – Test Preparation – Listening

IELTS is an international exam; therefore a candidate can expect to hear a variety of accents with which English is spoken in different parts of the world.


The listening section of the IELTS exam lasts for 30 minutes. It will have 40 questions which are spread over four sections. Candidates should listen intently as the pre-recorded listening module will be played only once. Most test centres provide candidates with headphones. While the recorded tape is being played, candidates are allowed to read the questions, write down and then check the answers.

After the recording has ended, students are allotted 10 minutes to transfer their answers to the answer sheet. Of the four sub sections in the listening section, the first two are based on a social situation. They are in the form of a conversation between two people, followed by a monologue. The final two sub sections deal with situations based on educational and training aspects. These are in the form of conversations where up to four people may be involved.

The IELTS listening section may include a note completion task. It is basically of two types.

Type 1: Prompts are not in full sentences but in note forms.
Type 2: Prompts are given in the form of sentences which the candidate must complete using up to three words.

The IELTS listening module may also include a table complete with information that is to be culled from the passage read. All the information given in the table must be read carefully so that the listening for information is more focused.

At the beginning of the third section in the listening module, there is usually an introduction to the topic. The candidate must listen intently as the sound effects or music that is heard will help to recognize the scene and help in giving answers to questions such as ‘Where are the speakers?’

The candidates may also be asked to label a printed diagram from the information that is heard.

Manjusha Nambiar

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

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