IELTS Listening Test

In this lesson, you will find out the requirements of IELTS listening test section 1 and the most common question types. We recommend some useful strategies and hope they also work for you.

A. Something You MUST Know About Section 1 of the IELTS Listening Test:

  1. In this part of the IELTS listening test, you’ll hear a conversation between two people. The conversation is usually about everyday life and social needs when you live, work, or study in an English-speaking country. The aim of the people having the conversation is to give and receive information. For example, you might want to arrange some accommodation or book a holiday.
  1. You’re being tested on your ability to listen for specific factual information, you know, like phone numbers, or places, or dates. In this section, you’ll have to listen and answer ten questions. And remember, you only listen once!


B. Common Question Types in IELTS Listening Test Section 1

There are three common question types in IELTS listening test section 1: multiple choice, form completion, and matching. However, these question types could appear in any part of the Listening Test.


Multiple Choice Questions


As you can see, there’s a question or an unfinished sentence followed by three possible answers, A, B, or C. Now, only one of these answers is correct. The possible answers may be a paraphrase of what is said in the conversation. In other words, it’s the same thing said in a different way.

Once you think you know the answer, and especially during answer transfer time, It’s important to write your answer in the right place on the answer sheet. Just the letter, A, B, or C, is enough.

In other variation of the task, the question or unfinished sentence is followed by a longer list of possible answers and you have to choose more than one answer. Make sure you read the instructions carefully so you know how many answers you’re supposed to choose.


Some tips on how to do this task.

Before you listen: The first thing you should do is read the instructions carefully to see how many answers you need to find. You will have some time to read the questions first before you listen.

Look at the question and underline keywords. Listen out for these words, as they will help to guide you through the listening.

You also should look at the options and think about how these could be paraphrased or said in a different way.

While you listen: By the way, the answers are always in text order. Try to listen for keywords and synonyms and choose the answer which has the same meaning as in the listening text. 



Form Completion Question

A form completion task looks like this:

In this task, you have to fill in the blanks in a form which is based on the Listening text. You often have to write down facts, such as names or numbers. The instructions will tell you how many words or numbers you need to write. Remember, correct spelling and grammar are important in IELTS.


How to do the form completion task.

First, before you listen, make sure you check the instructions to see how many words you need to write in the gaps.

Second, use the preparation time to quickly read through the form and see what main points are covered.

Third, look at the gaps and try to predict what words or numbers might fit. It helps if you look at the words that come before and after the gap.

While you listen, use the headings in the table and the information that is already there to guide your understanding. Then, write the answer, being careful that the words or numbers fit correctly in the gap. And don’t forget, be careful about spelling!


Matching Question

In this task, you are given a list of options and a list of questions. You have to match the options to the questions. Each of the options has a letter, so you write a letter, such as A, B, or C next to each question.

Be careful to check the instructions, because you may not need to use some letters, while other letters may be used more than once.

In the preparation time, you need to read the task to find out the topic, what the task covers, and what the keywords are.

In the example, the options are from A to G. These are all features of hotels and here are the names of different hotels; they’re numbered 1 to 5.

Here’s the question. What does the travel agent say about the hotels? So while you listen, you’ll listen for what the speaker says about each hotel. The questions are in this order in the text, so Hotel Mayfair will be the first one you hear about.

While you listen, look at the options and think of how they may be paraphrased, that is, how they might be said in a different way with the same meaning.

For example, instead of large rooms, the speaker might say that the rooms are spacious. Consider that the speaker might mention other options but rule them out so that they’re not correct.

For example, they might say that the hotel doesn’t have a view of the sea. So C here would be wrong.

The most important of the steps I have just described is to look at the options as you are listening. This will make it easier to match them to the question numbers.

If you want to get your target band score, you should improve your English first! Follow your website, we will help you step by step to achieve your goal.


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