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IELTS Listening Overview

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We are going to learn an overview of the Listening test on the IELTS exam.
There are 4 sections. Each section contains 10 questions making a total of 40 questions. You can only hear each section once. The test lasts 30 minutes. You will be given a Test Booklist and an Answer Sheet. During the listening time, you should write your answers on the test booklist. At the end of the test, you have 10 minutes to transfer your answer to the answer sheet.

During the test, you might be able to hear a range of different accents, such as British, Australian, American and New Zealand.
There are different types of questions on the Listening test, such as:
• Multiple choice
• Sentence completion/ Fill in the blank
• Table completion
• Putting labels on a diagram
• Write a short answer
• Matching
• True/ False questions might appear, but it’s very unlikely.

In section 1, you will hear a dialogue between two people. This will be an everyday social context, in which one of the speakers asks for information, such as time, dates, price, names, directions, etc. Section 1 always begins with an example question. All other sections of the listening test don’t have example questions. Section 1 covers questions 1-10. You are often asked to fill in the blank or complete the notes.

In Section 2, you will hear a monologue on a topic of general interest, such as an explanation of tours, a weather report, a speech about a local family, a talk about charity work, etc. Section 2 covers questions 11 – 20. The types of questions you often see in Section 2 are multiple choice and sentence completion.

In Section 3, you will hear a conversation between two, three, or four people in an academic context. For example, a university student is discussing an assignment with his professor. Section 3 covers questions 21 – 30. You can see many different types of questions in this section, but putting labels on a diagram or table completion are the most common types. Since there are a number of speakers, you will have to identify who say what, and whose opinion it is.

In Section 4, you will, again, hear a monologue on an academic topic, usually in a lecture style. This is the last section of the listening test, and it’s usually considered the most difficult section, and lasts around 5 minutes. There is no break in the recording so you will have to stay very focused as you may have to wait quite a long time for the next answer. Section 4 covers questions 31 – 40. The most common questions are note completion or diagram labeling.

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