IELTS Listening Format

Today we are going to talk about the IELTS Listening format and will make you know more about the IELTS  Listening test. Let’s take a closer look at the IELTS Listening format.

The IELTS Listening Format

The IELTS Listening test is the same for both the Academic and General Training modules. Candidates will listen to a tape/CD and answer a series of questions. The tape will be played once only.

The Listening test is in four sections with 10 questions in each (i.e. a total of 40 questions). in order of increasing difficulty. The Listening test will last for about 30 minutes with an extra 10 minutes at the end to transfer answers to the answer sheet.

Speech styles

Survival English occurs in Part One and Part Two of the Listening test whereas academic English is used in Parts Three and Four. Each of the four sections of the IELTS Listening teat focuses on a different type of speech, as shown below:

  • Section 1: social or transactional dialogue (2 speakers)
  • Section 2: A talk 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)

Question types

The listening test measures how well candidates can listen for main ideas, specific information, supporting information, facts and opinions. A variety of question types are found:

  • Multiple choice.
  • Form/Gap-filling.
  • Short answer.
  • Sentence completion.
  • True/False/Not given.
  • Notes/Diagram/Summary/Flow chart completion.
  • Finding the location (on a map).

The variety of question types means that candidates sometimes need to write the answers of their own instead of simply choosing the right answers. This is important because in such cases, they also need to spell correctly or the answers will be marked wrong.

Even a small error can cause them to lose marks. For example, if the answer is “hat” and they write “hats”, it may be marked wrong.

Candidates also have to make sure they include the correct information. If the answer is a “greet hat” and they write only “hats”, they may also lose points.