1. FORMAT AND DESCRIPTION

For most students the Listening test is challenging, but remember practice makes perfect. Let´s have a look at the structure of the exam and some tips that can help you boost your exam scores.   

The Listening test is the same both for the Academic and General IELTS. This exam tests your English ability through 4 skills that show your comprehension and production of English. 

On the day of the exam, you will be asked to do the Reading, Writing, Speaking, and Listening parts. On some occasions, the Speaking part is moved to another day.

The different purposes that the Academic and General IELTS exams can be used for are:

  • TO STUDY FOR UNIVERSITY (UNDERGRADUATE OR POSTGRADUATE DEGREE)
  • PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
  • TO STUDY (OTHER COURSES)
  • TO WORK
  • FOR A VISA (TO EMIGRATE)

Your results will appear as a band score that corresponds to a certain level of English, and it will be an average score of the four skills you are tested on.

2. TEST FORMAT OF THE IELTS LISTENING (ACADEMIC AND GENERAL)

The whole exam will take around 30 minutes. There are 4 parts to this exam with 40 questions in total.

You will listen to four recordings (one recording for each part). You are only able to listen to each recording once and there will be a range of questions for you to answer. The speakers in the recordings are generally native speakers so their accents may range from American, Australian to British, etc.

RECORDING 1

A conversation between two people in an every day situation.

RECORDING 2

A monologue /speech from a person about a topic/situation.

RECORDING 3

A conversation between up to four people set in an educational or training scenario.

RECORDING 4

A monologue/speech on an academic subject.

This exam will challenge your listening skills and your ability to understand the contexts of the recording in various scenarios while answering the questions correctly. The types of questions (similar to the reading exam) will vary and change with each exam. There are 6 possible types of questions in total. The exam will get more difficult with each part.

Each question is worth 1 mark.

4. TYPE OF QUESTIONS

As mentioned before, the question types will change with every exam. Generally, there are 6 types in total.

The 6 types are:

Task type 1 – Multiple choice – Choose the one correct answer – A, B, or C.

Task type 2 – Matching – Connect the numbered question to a set of options.

Task type 3 –Sentence completion – You will be given some sentences, and you need to complete the gaps. The instructions will say how many words are needed and sometimes the answer may be a number. 

Task type 4 – Short-answer questions – You are given a question to answer, it will state the number of words required.

Task type 5 –Plan, map, or diagram labeling – Complete the spaces on the images with the correct information.

Task type 6 –Form, note, table, or flow-chart summary completion – Similar to task 5, complete the spaces with the relevant information.

ADVICE TO IMPROVE YOUR LISTENING SCORES

  1. Read the questions carefully – identify the key words and understand what it is you need to listen for.
  2. Find synonyms – you may see a word in a question and hear a different word with a similar meaning in the audio.
  3. Check the number of words allowed – You will lose points if you write more than what is allowed.
  4. Listen to English as much as possible when at home – for instance by watching films, YouTube videos, listening to podcasts, etc. The more you listen, the more you will improve.
  5. Check for silly mistakes – Plurals, spelling, etc.
  6. Don’t leave any blanks – An incorrect answer is better than no answer.
  7. Don’t lose focus – Remember that you can only listen to the recording once.

5. HOW IT'S MARKED

The Academic Reading test is marked by certified markers. All answer sheets are further assessed by Cambridge Assessment English.

Band Score Conversion

A Band Score conversion table is produced for each version of the Academic Reading test, which translates scores out of 40 into the IELTS 9-band scale (1 to 9). Scores are reported in whole bands and half bands. Click HERE  to see the score table.

One mark is awarded for each correct answer in the 40-item test. You must be careful when writing answers on the answer sheet as poor spelling and grammar mistakes are penalized.

6. RESULTS

Your Test Report Form (TRF), will be sent to you via mail, 13 days after taking the paper-based exam and 3 to 5 days after the computer-based exam.

You can preview your results before receiving your certificate. The number of days will depend on which exam you decide to take. 

– paper-based test: 13 days from the exam date. 

– computer-based test: 3 to 5 days from the exam date.

7. RECOMMENDED MATERIALS

To improve, you can use some of these materials: 

BOOKS:

If you need extra help, just contact us!

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