International English Language Testing System is an English proficiency test that assesses four essential skills- reading, speaking, listening and writing. Besides, the IELTS score is significant in securing admissions into foreign institutions all over the world. However, most students find the listening section challenging.
Candidates have to answer 40 questions & hear 4 different recordings. These recordings are daily conversations, academic lectures, group conversations as well as monologues. The IELTS listening practice test is approximately 30 minutes. However, the major challenge in this section is that candidates get to hear the audio only once.
To ease the process, here is a detailed overview of the IELTS listening practice test, along with a few tips to prepare for the exam. In the following sections, you will learn about the format & prepare along with the samples.
IELTS Listening Practice Test: Format & Test Parts
The listening, reading and writing tests take place on the same day. However, in 2020, some minute changes were brought into the listening format:
- The word ‘sections’ will no longer be used. It will instead be referred to as ‘parts’.
- The sample recordings commenced before the exam will no longer take place.
- Students will hear the instructions and begin with the listening test straightaway.
This test is divided into four parts, and the recordings are mainly conversations between English speakers. It includes:
- Part 1: A conversation betwixt two people discussing societal needs.
- Part 2: A monologue in an everyday social background. For instance, a speech about local amenities in the area.
- Part 3: A conversation between four people set in an educational context.
- Part 4: It is an academic lecture by one speaker only. However, there are no pauses in the recording, making it challenging to use all parts mentioned above in the IELTS listening practice test.
Types of IELTS Listening Questions
Candidates must answer 10 questions in all four parts. They are allowed to circle their answer in the booklet. After 30 minutes, candidates can transfer their answers from the booklet to their answer sheet.
For easier understanding of the students, we have underlined below some IELTS listening questions: Form, Note, Table, Flow Chart
- Form – After listening to the conversation, candidates must fill in details, such as contact number, name, and address.
- Note – Here, they must summarise the information according to the layout and show different items relate to one another.
- Table – Candidates must fill up information related to categories, such as place, cost or arrival.
- Flow chart – Test-takers must complete the process as displayed by arrows.
Note: Candidates must fill with the exact number of words as asked. Generally, in the instruction, there is a set word limit. If the candidates cross the word limit, they may end up losing marks.
Common Types of Multiple-Choice Questions
These are the most common type of questions that appear in the IELTS listening test. It is further divided into:
1. Sentence completion
Candidates have to choose one correct answer out of the three possible answers given. Or they must complete the sentence from those three choices given. However, they must not cross the stipulated word limit.
Candidates must complete the answer using information from the conversations. They must answer within two or three words.
Candidates must match a list of items. From a list of options, candidates need to match the right option from the audio played. A candidate’s ability to recognise facts and relations is assessed.
4. Plan, Map, Diagram
Candidates must complete a map (e.g. part of town), plan (building, factory) and diagram (equipment).
In plan labelling, the conversation is about the structure, for example, a building or factory.
On the other hand, students’ ability to listen and visualise a place for map labelling is assessed.
Here, a diagram will be given. The speaker will be describing a process.
Samples of IELTS Listening Test with Answers
Candidates can follow the IELTS listening test samples with answers to prepare for their exam. However, they can also go through the IELTS listening past papers and practice them to attain a good score.
For instance, they may be asked to finish the task with only two or three words in the form completion task. In this task, they must provide the contact number, shipping address, and details of where the package will be collected from.
On the other hand, in the plan, map, diagram labelling task, candidates must label the areas as they hear from the audio. It may look like this:
Label the plan below.
Choose FIVE answers from the box and write the correct letters A-I next to questions 11-15.
Calculate IELTS Listening Test Scores
Both the Academic and General modules are marked on a 1 to 9-band scale. For example, if the average component ends up in .25, it gets converted to the nearest half band. If the score is more than .75, then the nearest whole band will be considered. However, if it is lesser than .25 or .75, it will be converted to the nearest lower whole or half band score.
The formula is this: Total score = (Listening score + Reading score + Writing score + Speaking score) / 4
The listening band score is calculated out of the 40 questions answered. However, there is no concept of negative marking in the IELTS listening test.
|Correct Answers||Band Scores|
Tips for IELTS Listening Practice Test
Candidates who aspire to achieve a good score must follow these essential tips. However, it is best to write in capital letters to avoid errors.
Practice before the final exam
Candidates should aim to finish the test in the stipulated time. Hence, it is advisable to practice it multiple times and try completing the answers by listening to the audio only once.
Read instructions carefully
Candidates must read all the instructions carefully before the exam. This can help them develop an idea of what is expected in that question.
Candidates must try to listen, answer and write them down, all simultaneously. They must practice this skill on a daily basis so that they don’t lose out on marks.
Attempt all questions
Since there are no penalties for incorrect answers, students must try to attempt all the questions.
Transferring answers to the sheet
Students will only have 10 minutes to transfer their answers. Hence, they must practice doing this and not miss out on any while practising.
Look out for synonyms or keywords
Candidates must be attentive and hence, they must try to look for keywords or synonyms that express the same meaning. For instance, if students hear, “She prefers going to the gym and playing tennis”, this can be expressed as “She is an active person” and students must try identifying that.
Listening for words that indicate the question
Candidates must hear carefully for words such as ‘firstly’, ‘to sum up’ or ‘my next point’. This can help understand which question one may have reached.
Crossing options that do not fit
It is advisable to cross out those options that do not fit in the beginning. This way, candidates will save time to recheck.
Be cautious of the spelling
Spelling mistakes must be avoided at all costs. On writing incorrect spellings, the full answer is marked wrong.
Hear out for potential answers that may not be the correct one
In many cases, students will hear answers that may not be the correct ones. Sometimes, many write down the potential answer. For instance, in a recording, two people have decided on a date and time, but suddenly, the speaker decides on a new time as he\ she might be unable to go.
To crack the IELTS listening practice test, candidates must follow a systematic approach. It entails understanding the structure of the IELTS listening task 1 and other parts of the exam. However, before they choose to appear for the exam, they must fill out the registration form with their essential details.
Candidates require rigorous practice to achieve a good score. Apart from that, following the ones mentioned above ardently will also help them nail their exam. IELTS Aspirants can join LeapScholar crash course for live classes, study materials, and one on one guidance.
Frequently Asked Questions
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