Frequently Asked Questions IELTS Listening

IELTS Listening: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

The questions below are among those most frequently asked about the Listening module of IELTS. If you are looking for basic information about the structure of the Listening module, you should probably read IELTS Listening: Introduction first.

What kinds of recordings will be played?

There are four listening passages, or sections, and these always follow the same order: Section 1 is a general conversation; Section 2 is a general monologue; Section 3 is an academic conversation; Section 4 is an academic monologue. You might hear, for example, a telephone interview, followed by a radio programme, followed by a seminar discussion and finally an academic lecture.

How much time is there to read the questions?

Before each section begins, you will have a short time of up to 30 seconds to preview questions. There will usually be one more short break in the recording to preview further questions. That is why you should listen carefully to the instruction which tells you exactly which questions will be covered in the next part of the recording. For example: You now have some time to look at questions one to five.

How many times will each listening passage be played?

Once only. If you miss the answer to a question, you should quickly have a guess and then focus your attention entirely on the next question.