IELTS Listening is a far cry from just a simple test in listening: it tests your understanding, reading, writing, vocabulary and spelling skills. And it doesn’t help that you get to hear the recording only once.
Scroll down because this page has everything you need to do well in your IELTS test.
Here is what you will get on this page:
- IELTS Listening format explained, so that you know what to expect
- IELTS Listening Scores
- IELTS Listening Tips to save you from making unnecessary mistakes
- ILETS Listening Tricks to ensure you get your maximum score
There are two types of IELTS: Academic and General Training. Listening and Speaking are the same for both tests, but the subject matter of the Reading and Writing sections differs depending on which test you take.
1. IELTS Listening test format
- It lasts for 30 minutes, plus additional 10 minutes to copy answers from the booklet to the official answer sheet
- There are 4 parts with 40 questions in total
- You will hear each recording only ONCE
- BEFORE you hear the recording you will have time to read the questions
- At the END of each recording you will also have half a minute to check your answers
- You get 1 point for each correct answer
- You must use a pencil, so make sure you take an eraser with you, too
2. IELTS Listening Scores
3. IELTS Listening Tips
For each set of the questions there is a word limit so it’s essential to pay close attention to the instructions and notice how they change for each part. Word count in IELTS can be very confusing. If you want to know how words are counted in IELTS, click here.
For example, you’ll often find instructions like this in the listening test:
Write one word only for each answer.
This is straightforward: make sure you only write one word. If you add as much as an article, it counts as two words (e.g. “a house”) and your answer will be wrong.
Write one word and / or a number for each answer.
This basically means the following is possible:
- one word (e.g. May)
- one number (e.g. 14th)
- a word and a number (e.g. 14th May)
Write no more than two words and / or a number for each answer.
Here your answer can be any of the following:
- one word (e.g. street)
- one number (e.g. 18)
- a word and a number (e.g. 18 Street)
- two words (e.g. High Street)two words
- two words and a number (e.g. 18 High Street)
If you see this instruction, it is likely that one of the answers in that section will require two words or two words and a number.
Write no more than three words for each answer.
The fourth instruction means that your answer can be any of the following: one word, two words, three words. If you see this instruction, it is likely that one of the answers in that section will require three words.
– Hyphenated words (e.g. hard-working) are counted as one word.
– You won’t be tested on contracted words (e.g. doesn’t).
If a word is misspelt, it is marked wrong.