Frequently Asked Questions About IELTS Listening?

We have listed down some important FAQs on IELTS listening.

How many sections will there be in the IELTS listening test and what are they based on?

IELTS Listening is composed of 4 different sections and they are based on social and academic situations.

  • Section 1 and Section 2 will be related to a social situation.
  • Section 3 and Section 4 will be related to academic situation.

Is IELTS listening same for everyone at test centre?

Well, yes, it will be the same for everyone. There will be no two different tests.

How many questions do I have to answer?

You will be given 40 questions and you will have to answer all of them. Each section of the test will have 10 questions.

How many times, the recordings will be played?

Remember you will listen to the recordings only once. There will be no second chance. So, you will have to be very attentive and listen to the information well.

How the score will be for the listening tests?

Score is points-based.

Check out different band scores.

Band score 8 (it means you have given 35 correct answers out of40 questions)
Band score 7 (you have given 30 correct answers out of 40 questions)
Band score 6 (only 23 correct answers out of 40 questions)
Is there any penalty for the wrong answers given?

No, there is no penalty for the wrong answers. You will not lose a point for any wrong answer. Therefore, it is always advisable that you should not leave any space empty. If you do not know the answer then you can at least, try to guess out and give the answer. Who knows it may turn out to be a right answer!

What is the duration of the test?

It will be for 40 minutes. You are expected to complete the test well within 30 minutes. You will have 10 minutes to check, and transfer your answers to the answer sheet.  

Will the answers always be in order?

In most of the cases, it will not be in order.

Will I be given time to read the questions before the recordings are played?

You will be given time to read the questions at the start of every recording. You will have to use this time wisely. You can read the questions. And pick the important keywords. While listening to the recordings, pay close attention to the keywords to find the right answers. In majority of the cases, keywords are also paraphrased or other similar synonyms or antonyms are used. So, be very careful.

Can I write my answers on the question paper before transferring it to the answer sheet?

Yes, you can write your answers on the question paper. You can underline or mark but, remember, it will be your answer sheet that will be graded. So, you will have to transfer the answers to the sheet before submitting the papers.

Can I get extra paper to create notes?

Sorry, you will not get any extra paper for the notes. You are expected to make use of the question paper for the purpose of creating useful notes for yourself.

Do I have to use only capital letters for the answers?

It will be your wish. Even if you do not use, it won’t affect your score.  And if you want, you can write all your answers in capital letters.

What should I use – a pen or a pencil to write answers?

It is always recommended that you use a pencil. or the choice will be yours.

Will speakers use different types of accents?

Your listening test will have four recordings. And all the four recordings may use different types of accents (UK, Australian, US, Canadian accents).

Shall answers be spelled correctly? Does spelling matter when it comes to answers?

Yes, correct spelling is very important. If you write pneumonia as neumonia, it will be marked wrong.

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