IELTS Listening Tips – Simply IELTS

IELTS Listening Tips

IELTS listening tips

IELTS Listening Tips
IELTS Listening Tips

In this article from, you will find all information about IELTS Listening test with IELTS listening tips and tricks.

IELTS listening Test

The IELTS Listening Test is the same for the Academic and General Training modules. You listen to language spoken in a social or academic context and answer a series of questions.

The tape is played only once so you have to practice sufficiently beforehand to pick up what’s being said the first time around.
The listening test is divided into four sections with 10 questions in each part (a total of 40
questions). This module lasts about 30 minutes. You get an extra 10 minutes at the end to
transfer your answers to the answer sheet.


The listening test measures how well you can listen for main ideas, specific information, supporting information, facts and opinions. You will find a variety of question types :

  • Multiple choice
  • Short answer
  • Sentence completion
  • Notes/diagram/flow chart completion
  • Matching
  • Classification

The variety of question types means that you sometimes need to write in the answer in your own writing, versus simply choosing the right answer. This is important because in such cases, you also need to spell correctly or the answer will be marked wrong. Even a small error can cause you to lose marks. For example, if the answer is “hat”; and you write “hats”, it may be marked wrong.

You also have to make sure you include the correct information. If the answer is “Green hats” and you write only “hats”, you may also lose points.

You will get a better sense of how precise you need to be by doing as many practice listening exams as possible before your actual test. Believe it or not, you will improve with practice, though it might seem impossible at first. Your ear and your concentration can be trained.

Over time, you will improve – but only if you remain patient and move steadily towards your goal of the highest score possible.


Each of the four sections of the IELTS Listening Test focuses on a different type of speech, as shown below:

  • Section 1 – A social or transactional dialogue – 2 speakers
  • Section 2 – A topic or short speech on a general topic – 1 speaker
  • Section 3 – A conversation in an academic context – 2-4 speakers
  • Section 4 – An academic lecture – 1 speaker

IELTS Listening Tips and tricks

  • Remain focused on the exam questions. This is one of the most crucial requirement to score well. Do not let your mind wander and do not worry about the left out questions as doing so may ruin other questions as well.
  • Use the time allowed wisely between different set of questions such as 1-5, 10- 15 and so on you normally get around 30 seconds to look over questions, use this time to go over as many questions as possible so that you have an idea as to what kind of questions you would need to answer.
  • The answers to questions are in sequence , for example if you have found answer to question number 9 but have not yet found answer to question number 8 , then you have missed it and hence do not try to look for answer of 8th questions , focus on questions 9 onwards and so on.
  • Most of the accents in the test are British , American and Australian , so practice listening to accent of different nationalities such as British , USA and Australia, you could do this by listening to news channels and documentary movies.
  • Try to anticipate as to what would be possible answer of question, this can offer valuable clues while attempting the exam.
  • Follow instructions very carefully. If the instructions state, “Write no more than two words, then you must not write more or you will receive no marks for your answer, even if some of the words you wrote were part of the correct answer.

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