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Home IELTS Listening What should I listen for with picture questions?
What should I listen for with picture questions? Print E-mail
IELTS - IELTS Listening Test
Problem: When candidates see questions as pictures and not words, they often ‘go blank’ and don’t think logically about what they can see in the pictures.

This is simply because they are not expecting this kind of question and it is very easy to overcome.

Picture questions are often in section 1 of the listening test in the form of multiple-choice questions. Normally, you will see four pictures that have something in common and there will be a written question above the pictures. You have to listen to a conversation between (usually) two people and decide which picture answers to written question.

Look at the example below:

Which car has John just sold?

What should I listen for with picture questions?

What you need to do is to ‘translate’ the pictures into words. In the test, you will have to do this in your head, but here you can write the words down. Remember – In the test the pictures will be in black and white!   
     
Look carefully at the pictures and write down exactly what you see – the question above has been done as an example:

Picture A
Picture B 
· Sports car
· 4 doors
· No roof
· Small boot
· Sports / city car
· 2 doors
· Roof
· Small boot
 Picture C
 Picture D
· Family car / saloon
· 4 doors
· Roof
· Large boot
· Small family car / city car / hatchback
· 2 doors
· Small boot

You should notice that some of the pictures share the same things. For example Pictures A & C both have 4 doors and Pictures B & D have 2 doors. In this way you can put the pictures into ‘groups’ and this will help you when listening because if you hear that the person has sold a 4-door car then you can forget about pictures B & D and just concentrate on A & C. This will cut down the amount you have to listen for.

Tip: Don’t answer the question too quickly because you will often hear one or more incorrect answers before you hear the correct one.

Read the written question carefully so that you know exactly what you’re asked to do. In the above example it is which car John has “sold”, not “bought”?

Click here for Practice One, here or Practice Two... 

Comments

avatar clara
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I'm absolutely fed up with your tactics to trick us - this is completely irrelevant in regard to our skills in English. Instead of studying the language we end up studying the structure of your test and the endless means in which you attempt to induce error. A language test ought to be structured in such a way that a native speaker be able to obtain a maximum score even if he/she is unfamiliar with the details of the test's structure - whereas this is impossible with IELTS. If only the tricks were at least logical I might be more inclined to say that ielts also tests IQ, but most of this ridiculous deceptive attitude is in fact based upon the ambiguity and ambivalence of the questions - not on the wit of the candidate. You're doing a great job, thanks for the 'tips'
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avatar John
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Clara - it's not our test... the British Council, IDP and Cambridge own the test... and I agree - people focus on strategies for passing the test rather than speaking English well. What we are providing here is tips, but there are no short cuts... If people can't use English well our tips might help them get a higher score, but alone it's unlikely they will get them to live or study abroad...
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avatar GUEST
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Hi
thank you for you useful website.I enjoyed reading it.
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