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Home Introduction
IELTS Listening Test Introduction Print E-mail
IELTS - IELTS Listening Test
 IELTS Listening Test Introduction
The IELTS Listening Test determines a candidate’s ability to function in both ‘Social’ and ‘Academic’ situations. If you are living in a country where English is spoken as a first language, there are a number of 'Social Context' situations where you will have to listen to someone speaking English. For example, you may need to telephone a landlord about renting an apartment, or you might want to arrange a night out in a restaurant with your friends from university or college. Likewise, if you are studying in a country where English is spoken as a first language, you may have to listen to a lecture or presentation, take part in workshops and discussions, and perhaps speak to your tutor or classmates about an assignment you receive. The listening module of the IELTS Test establishes your ability to be able to deal with such situations.

The purpose of the IELTS Listening Module is to:

- Establish your ability to function on a daily basis in a country where English is spoken as a first language;

- Establish your ability to function in an academic environment where English is used as a tuition medium.

Listening in a 'Social Context'

If you are living in a country where English is spoken as a first language, there are a number of 'Social Context' situations where you will have to listen to someone speaking English. For example, you may need to telephone a landlord about renting an apartment, or you might want to arrange a night out in a restaurant with your friends from university or college. The IELTS Test establishes your ability to deal with such social interactions.

Listening in an 'Academic Context'

If you are studying in a country where English is spoken as a first language, there are going to be a number of 'Academic' situations where you will have to listen to spoken English. At university or college you may have to listen to a lecture or presentation, take part in workshops and discussions, and perhaps speak to your tutor or classmates about an assignment you receive. The listening module of the IELTS Test establishes your ability to be able to deal with such situations. 

The listening test always has the same format:

The test is 30 minutes long, there are always four sections and 40 questions.

Sections one and two test your ability to deal with situations where English is spoken in a social context (for example, buying a plane ticket over the telephone). You will be expected to listen to dialogues and monologues and answer questions based on what you hear. 

Sections three and four test your ability to listen to English spoken in an academic context. This might include listening to a presentation or some form of dialogue. 

The questions get increasingly difficult as the test progresses. This does not mean the test starts easy and gets difficult - the test is difficult from the beginning and the questions and listening excerpts get increasingly more sophisticated and complex.

All instructions on what to do and how to answer questions are provided on the recording you listen to during the test, so listen carefully! 

Unlike other tests, in the IELTS listening test you only hear a recording ONCE. This is intended to replicate natural situations where you do not often get a second chance to listen to something. This makes the IELTS listening module extremely difficult if you are not properly prepared for it!   

As you listen to the recording, you are allowed to take notes and write your answers on the question paper. You receive 10 minutes at the end of the test to transfer answers to an 'Answer Sheet'. 

Tip: In the test, after each set of questions (i.e. questions 1-5,6-10, etc.) you will be given 30 seconds to check your answers and 30 seconds to look at the next questions. As you will only listen to the recording once, don’t try to check your answers during the first 30-second period. It is much more useful to check the next questions for the whole 60 seconds available. If necessary, check spelling and grammar, etc. when you transfer your answers to the answer sheet - see example answer sheet below: 

listening answer paper

 

Get an overview of the test: IELTS Listening Test, IELTS Reading Test, IELTS Writing Test, IELTS Speaking Test...

When you have an overview of all parts of the test, try our IELTS quiz.

Check your answers against our Answer Key.

Do you have any specific listening issues you need addressing? Use the comments form below to let us know what you need… {fcomment}

 
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