IELTS Listening Tasks and Sections

IELTS Listening Tasks and Sections

The test consists of 4 sections, and you will hear the tape only once. There are 40 questions in total. The listening passages become more difficult as you progress through the test.

The Listening test takes about 30 minutes: approximately 20 minutes to listen to the tape and answer the questions, and 10 minutes to transfer your answers to an Answer Sheet.

You write your answers on the question paper as you do the Listening test, and when it is completed, you have 10 minutes to transfer them carefully onto the Answer Sheet. Make sure that each answer is transferred accurately and is legible. You must spell words correctly. Your answers need to be legible, that is, they must be able to be read; this applies to all the types of answers you give: letters, numbers and phrases.

Listening is the same in both IELTS modules: Academic and General.

4 parts of IELTS Listening - What is the difference between them?

Part 1

The first part is based on social or life situations: for example, travel arrangements, visiting a new city, or making arrangements to go out.

This is usually a conversation between at least two speakers on common everyday topics: organizing a birthday party or some other event, talking on the phone about car rental or hotel reservation.

You listen and should catch factual information:

  • dates
  • phone numbers
  • names/surnames
  • emails
  • postcodes
  • addresses

Part 2

The second part is also based on social or life situations: for example, a news broadcast, or a description of college facilities, information about the services of a water park or a museum. This is usually a passage with only one person speaking.

Part 3

The third part is usually based on education and training situations: for example, a group of students planning a project, or a tutor and a student discussing career options, essays, courses, etc. This is often a conversation with up to four speakers.

It is important here to capture not only facts, but also the people's attitude and feelings on the topic.

Part 4

The fourth part is also based on education and training: for example, a lecture or a talk of general academic interest, for example, about whales and why they throw themselves out of the ocean; management theories, environmental issues, etc.

4 Listening Sections

Section Context Number of Speakers
1 Social Needs Conversation between two speakers
2 Social Needs Speech by one speaker
3 Educational or Training Conversation between up to four speakers
4 Academic Subject Speech by one speaker

IELTS Listening Task Types

In IELTS Listening, you answer the following questions:

1. Short-answer questions

Write NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS AND/OR A NUMBER for each answer.
What TWO factors can make social contact in a foreign country difficult?

• 11 ...............................

• 12 ...............................


2. Multiple choice

Choose the correct letter, A, B or C.

11. What did the speaker’s friend say about his volunteering and travel experience?
1. He felt part of the community he visited.
2. It was a cheap way to travel a long distance.
3. The training he received on the trip was very useful.


3. Sentence completion (fill in a gap in each sentence)

Complete the sentences below.

Write NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS for each answer.
1 Studying with the Open University demanded a great deal of 27 ……………
2 Studying and working at the same time improved Rachel’s 28 ………… skills.


4. Notes/summary/diagram/flow chart/table completion

Complete the table below. Write NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS AND/OR A NUMBER for each answer.

 

Blooms Leisure Club

Good Life Centre

For non-members

Guided tour available

6..........for free

Café

7................members get 10% discount

Closed at present

Equipment

Wide range of machines

Machines arranged for doing8............


5. Form completion

Travel Safe

INSURANCE PLC

Department: Motor Insurance

Client details:
Name: Elisabeth 1 ....................
Date of birth: 8.10.1975
Address: 2 .................... (street)
Callington (town)
Policy number: 3 ....................

Accident details:
Date: 4 ....................
Time: Approx. 5 ....................
Supporting evidence: 6 ....................
Medical problems (if any): 7 .................... injuries


5. Labelling a diagram /plan / map - Questions 8-10

Label the diagram/plan below. Write the correct letter, A–G, next to questions 8–10.

8 traffic lights ....................
9 petrol station ....................
10 blue van ....................


6. Matching

Which hotel matches each description?

Choose your answers from the box and write the correct letter A-E next to questions 1-4.
A The Bridge Hotel
B Carlton House
C The Imperial
D The Majestic
E The Royal Oak

1 is in a rural area ……………….
2 only opened recently ……………….
3 offers facilities for business functions ……………….
4 has an indoor swimming pool………………