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A Complete IELTS Listening Overview


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This PPT contains information about the IELTS listening exam and some advice on how to pass it. It's intended for teachers and students alike. Check out for more free IELTS resources.

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A Complete IELTS Listening Overview

  1. 1. IELTS Listening Important Information
  2. 2. Basic Facts About IELTS Listening ▫ The listening test is the same whether you do Academic or General IELTS ▫ It is comprised of four parts ▫ It requires no specialist knowledge ▫ It is quite predictable in regards form and topic
  3. 3. Purpose The purpose of the IELTS listening exam is to test your ability to do the following: ▫ understand main ideas ▫ follow logical arguments ▫ find specific information (ie numbers, addresses) ▫ recognize opinions or attitudes
  4. 4. Timing You will listen for about 30 minutes and then have 10 minutes to transfer your answers to an answer sheet that looks like this: (The 30 minutes includes time given before listening to check the questions.)
  5. 5. Structure There are 4 sections. Each section is more difficult than the previous. Section 1-2 are in a social setting Section 3-4 are in an academic setting
  6. 6. Structure Section 1 – a conversation between 2 people in an everyday setting, like a phone call to a hotel You will listen for information like phone numbers or other basic details and possibly fill in notes like this:
  7. 7. Structure Section 2 – this is a monologue (one person speaking) in a general setting, usually giving information about something like a service A common question type here is filling in a table
  8. 8. Structure Section 3 – this is a conversation in an academic context, like students discussing an assignment. There will be 2-4 voices involved and you have to keep track of each person’s attitude and ideas.
  9. 9. Structure Section 4 – this is the most difficult section. It is a monologue in an academic context, usually a lecture. You will have to identify attitudes and opinions, as well as gathering factual information.
  10. 10. Question Types Some common questions
  11. 11. Multiple Choice This could involve answering a question or finishing a sentence. You may have to pick one answer or two answers, so read the instructions carefully. Example:- ▫ What is John going to do before the course starts? ▫ A. attend a class ▫ B. write a report ▫ C. read a book
  12. 12. Label a Map, Diagram, etc Listen to the verbal description and relate the different parts or areas to one another to fill in the gaps on a picture like this:
  13. 13. Form, Table, Summary Completion You will be presented with some information that is missing some words. You listen and fill the blanks. Pay close attention to the instructions: WRITE NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS AND/OR A NUMBER
  14. 14. Short Answers Students often find these difficult because the answers are not so obvious. You will be asked a question and you will need to answer in a few words. Again, pay close attention to the instructions for how many words you can use.
  15. 15. “ Hints and Tips
  16. 16. How to Prepare for IELTS Listening You will hear different accents, so try listening to a range of English accents (English, Scottish, American, Australian, etc) before the test. Work on your time management skills by doing practice tests in advance. This will also help you with predicting material.
  17. 17. How to Prepare for IELTS Listening Never leave a blank answer on your paper. Always take a guess. Think in terms of synonyms. Just like in IELTS reading, you need to find words in the passage that have the same meaning as those in the question.
  18. 18. How to Prepare for IELTS Listening Sometimes finding the wrong answer can help you by narrowing down your possibilities for the right one. For example, if the answer is not C, then it must be A or B. Listen to everything before choosing your answer. People often change their mind in the passage, so don’t write down the first thing you hear.
  19. 19. Finally Pay attention to spelling and be careful transferring your answers. TURE is not the same as TRUE TRUE is not the same as YES Read the questions, answer carefully, and check for mistakes.
  20. 20. Good Luck Here are some more resources for helping you improve your IELTS listening 10 IELTS Listening Tips A Complete Guide to the IELTS Listening Exam How to Teach IELTS Listening