Questions asked in the Listening module

The Listening module takes around 30 minutes. It is the same for both academic and general training.

Students have to answer 40 questions spread across four sections. The audio for the Listening module is played only once. During the test, you will be given time to read the questions and write down your answers. Remember that you have to write your answers on the question paper. You will be given ten minutes to transfer them to the answer sheet when the recording ends.

The first two sections of the Listening module are concerned with social situations. The first section is a conversation between two people. The second section contains a short monologue. The third and fourth sections are more academic in nature. In the third section, you will have to listen to up to four people engaged in a conversation of academic nature. The fourth section contains another monologue. It could be a lecture or a talk. Note that you will hear a range of native-speaker English accents.

Types of questions

A variety of questions are asked on the Listening test. Here is an overview.

  • Multiple choice questions
  • Short-answer questions
  • Sentence completion
  • Summary / flow chart / table completion
  • Labelling a diagram
  • Matching
  • Classification

Task Type 1: Outline completion

You will be given an outline in a set of notes, a table, a flow chart or a summary. You have to fill in the gaps. The outline covers part or all of the listening text. You will either have to identify the missing words from the recording or choose them from a list of answer choices given on the question paper.

Very important: Do not change the words from the recording in any way. You have to use the exact same words. You must also keep to the word limit stated in the instructions. So if you are asked to answer in three words, you have to do exactly that. Don’t write more than or less than three words.

Task type 2: Multiple-choice questions

Each question of this type will be followed by three possible answers labeled A, B or C. You have to choose the one right answer. The questions are about the main points of the listening text. Sometimes you will be given a longer list of answer choices. In that case, you will usually have to choose more than one of them.

Short answer questions

You will have to answer questions using information from the recording. Before you attempt these questions read the instructions carefully. There are word limits for each answer and you have to keep to them.

Sentence completion

You will be given a set of incomplete sentences summarising key information from the listening text. You have to complete them using information from the listening tape. You usually have to write no more than three words and/or a number.

Labelling a diagram

You have to complete labels on a visual such as a diagram or a set of pictures.

Manjusha Nambiar

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

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