Home IELTS Listening Useful Hints for Dealing with Numbers
Useful Hints for Dealing with Numbers Print E-mail
IELTS - IELTS Listening Test
Useful Hints for Dealing with NumbersAim: This section will give you some advice on how to make sure you answer questions with numbers in the answer correctly. You hear the same number as in the statement three times before you hear the correct one. So, again, answering too quickly will mean it is wrong.                                       

Problem: Candidates often hear the number in the answer but don’t think about what kind of number it is. This can lead to an incorrect answer. 

Look at this question:

What time will the airplane arrive at Sydney airport?

It is very easy when predicting your answers before you listen to the tape to think: “An easy one – I have to listen for a number”. You should also ask yourself the following 2 questions:

1)     What kind of number are you listening for?

2)     What does the number refer to?   
Look at the example above again. The answer will be a time; therefore, you need to think about:

  • How many digits there will be in the answer, and
  • What format they will take 

Do the following exercises and then check with the Answer Key.  
How many digits and what format do the following kinds of numbers have?

Type of Number Number of digits Format               
Mobile telephone numbers
Land telephone numbers
Telephone numbers abroad
A postcode in Australia
A postcode in the UK
Short-term dates (a few days or weeks)
Long-term dates (months or years)
Duration of time (eg: how long a journey takes)
A person’s age