Here are the most frequently asked questions about IELTS listening test.

 

Question:

Do General and Academic candidates take the same test or are there different listening tests?

Answer:

There is only one listening test for everyone.

 

Question:

How many sections are there in IELTS listening test?

Answer:

There are 4 sections in the IELTS listening test. Section 1 and 2 are based on social situations while sections 3 and 4 are academic.

 

Question:

How many questions are there in the IELTS listening test?

Answer:

There are a total of 40 questions in the listening test. 10 questions in each section.

 

Question:

How long is the listening test?

Answer:

The paper based IELTS listening test lasts for 40 minutes. You listen to the recording and answer the questions for 30 minutes. After that you have 10 minutes to transfer your answers to the answer sheet.

The computer delivered IELTS listening test lasts for 30 minutes. You do not get extra 10 minutes to transfer your answers since the answers are entered on the screen.

 

Question:

How many times will I be able to listen to the recording?

Answer:

You get to listen to the recording only once. So make sure you prepare well and most importantly that you concentrate during the exam.

 

Question:

What is the listening answer sheet for paper based IELTS?

Answer:

in the paper based IELTS test, you will have time to transfer your answers to the answer sheet when you have finished listening. You will have an extra 10 minutes to transfer your answer to the answer sheet. You should practice using the answer sheet at home before you take the test.

 

Question:

How can I find my score for listening?

Answer:

Here is a list of minimum points for band scores 6-9
• band score 6 = 23 correct answers out of 40

• band score 6.5 = 26 correct answers out of 40

• band score 7 = 30 correct answers out of 40

• band score 7.5 = 32 correct answers out of 40

• band score 8 = 35 correct answers out of 40

• band score 8.5 = 37 correct answers out of 40

• band score 9 = 39 correct answers out of 40

 

Question:

Do I lose a point if my answer is wrong?

Answer:

No, you don’t lose a point for a wrong answer. So, never leave an empty space on your answer sheet – always have a guess.

 

Question:

Do the answers come in order?

Answer:

It depends on the type of question. For some questions the answers are in order, for other types they are not.

 

Question:

Will I have time to read the questions before I listen?

Answer:

Yes, you will be given some time to look over the questions before the recording begins. Use this time wisely. Read the questions, underline key words and think of any possible paraphrases you might hear. They will tell you how many questions to read through “you will now hear questions 4-10….” – this for this information to make sure how many questions you must read through before the recording starts.

 

Question:

Can I write on the listening question paper?

Answer:

Yes, you can. You can make notes, underline words and write on any part of the question paper. Only your answer sheet will be marked. In fact, it is very useful to make notes on your question paper and can help you locate answers.

 

Question:

Can I have extra paper for making notes?

Answer:

No, you should use the question paper to write on while you listen.

 

Question:

Are capital letters important?

Answer:

Yes, they are. If it is a name, a place name or a month, you will need to write a capital letter at the start of the word for the answer to be correct.

 

Question:

Can I write all my answers in capital letters on my listening answer sheet?

Answer:

Yes, you can. Sometimes this is a good idea because usually your writing will be easier to read and also you avoid the problem with remembering to put capital letters at the beginning of proper nouns. If you want to learn about how to write your answers in capital letters, see the video on the main IELTS listening page of this page:

 

Question:

Should I use a pen or pencil in the listening test?

Answer:

For your paper based listening, you must use a pencil. so don’t forget to take a pencil and an eraser with you.

For computer based test, you will enter the answers on the screen.

 

Question:

In multiple choice questions, can I write words or do the answers need to be letters?

Answer:

It is very important that if the instructions ask you to choose a letter, then your answer must be a letter, not words. Read the instructions very carefully so you don’t lose points.

 

Question:

What accents will there be in the listening test?

Answer:

IELTS is an international English language test so you might hear a variety of different accents in the recording including, British, Australian, American and South African. You should practice listening to different accents before your test.

 

Question:

Is spelling important?

Answer:

Yes, it is. If the answer is spelled incorrectly, it will be marked wrong.

 

Question:

How can I improve my listening?

Answer:

You can improve by doing lots of IELTS listening practice exercises. And you can develop by listening to a range of accents and topics on You Tube. Remember that this will improve your listening ability but you will still need to work on listening skills for your IELTS test in order to listen for specific information and answers to questions.

 

Question:

What does “two words and/or number” mean?

Answer:

It means you can write two words with a number (for example “10 red apples”) or you can just have a number. You can also have one word with a number. But you can’t have more than two words with a number.

 

Question:

Should I use “the” or “a” with my answer?

Answer:

If you are completing a sentence then you must make sure the sentence is grammatically correct when you fill in the answer. That means you might need to use articles (a / the). However, if you are only writing notes, forms or completing a table, diagram or flowchart, you won’t need to think about grammar.

 

Question:

How can I write the time? 10am or 10.00am?

Answer:

IELTS accept all forms of written time: 10AM, 10am, 10.00AM & 10.00am.

 

Question:

If I write Weststreet instead of West Street, is the answer correct?

Answer:

No, it is wrong. If the answer contains two separate words, then they must be written separately. This is testing your spelling of compound nouns.

 

Question:

If I use all capital letters in listening, do I need to do the same for reading?

Answer:

No. For each part of the test, you decide if you want to use capital letters or lower case. This means you can use all capitals for listening and lower case for reading.

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