IELTS: Academic IELTS Listening Test Format and Description

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IELTS includes two types: academic IELTS listening test and General test. IELTS Academic may now be taken online at home or any private place with a reliable internet connection in addition to on paper or on a computer in a testing facility. IELTS General Training may only be taken on paper or on a computer in a testing facility.

Academic IELTS listening test
IELTS test

You take the same Speaking and Listening examinations for Academic and General Training, but different Reading and Writing tests. Make sure you prepare for the appropriate test type.

There are no gaps between the Listening, Reading, and Writing portions of any IELTS exam; they are all finished on the same day.

However, it is possible to arrange the Speaking test up to a week before or after the other exams. Your Speaking test will often happen before your other tests if you scheduled IELTS online. The test lasts two hours and forty-five minutes in total.

You can Access IELTS official site here:

IELTS Listening Test

Format of Academic IELTS Listening Test

You will be required to respond in writing to a series of questions after listening to four recordings of proficient English speakers.

  • Recording 1: A two-person discussion that is taking place in a typical social setting.
  • Recording 2: A monologue that is presented in a typical social setting, such as a speech on neighborhood amenities.
  • Recording 3: A discussion between two to four persons taking place in an educational or training situation, such as a university tutor and a student talking about an assignment.
  • Recording 4: comprises a monologue about an academic subject, like a university lecture.

Examiners will be on the lookout for evidence that you can comprehend the major concepts and specific factual information, the viewpoints and attitudes of speakers, the aim of an utterance, and proof that you can follow the evolution of ideas.

Description of Academic IELTS Listening Test

There are four sections to the paper, each with 10 questions. The structured responses to the questions are presented in the same sequence as the audio.

The first two parts deal with hypothetical situations that occur in typical social settings. There is a dialogue between two speakers in Part 1 (for instance, a discussion about trip plans), then a monologue in Part 2. (for example, a speech about local facilities). The latter two parts discuss scenarios that take place in instructional and training environments. Part 4 has a monologue on a topic relevant to academics, whereas Part 3 is a conversation between the two main speakers (for example, two college students debating under the direction of a professor).

You only hear the recordings once. British, Australian, New Zealand, American, and Canadian accents are among the many ones that are present.

TimeNo. of QuestionsTask TypesAnsweringMarks
The duration of the film is around 30 minutes (plus 10 minutes of transfer time).40 questions totalThe question types used include multiple choice, matching, labeling plans, maps, and diagrams, and completing forms, notes, tables, flow charts, summaries, and sentences, to name just a few.As they listen to the questions, test-takers take notes on their answers, and they have 10 minutes at the end of the exam to write them down on an answer sheet. Be cautious when filling out the answer sheet since errors in spelling and grammar will result in penalties.Each question has a single point.

Full Details of IELTS Listening Test

A comprehensive study of the paper with citations to relevant sources.

Academic IELTS listening test
IELTS Listening Test Questions

Task type 1 – Multiple choice

Task type and format: Multiple choice assignments consist of a question and three alternative answers, or the first part of a statement and three methods to finish it. The only legitimate answer is one of the following: A, B, or C.

On rare occasions, test takers may be prompted to choose from a long list of possibilities. In this case, they should carefully review the query to determine how many answers are required.

Focus of the task: A variety of abilities are tested using multiple-choice questions. It could be necessary for test-takers to have a thorough knowledge of some details or a general comprehension of the listening text’s major ideas.

Number of questions: Variable

Task type 2 – Matching

Task type and format: Examinees must match a series of choices on the question paper to a numbered list of elements from the listening text in this task type and format.

The focus of the task: Matching tests a test taker’s ability to listen carefully and absorb the information shared in a discussion about a common subject, such as the many kinds of hotel or guest home accommodations. Additionally, it evaluates a person’s capacity for conversational comprehension. Additionally, it may be used to judge how well test-takers can identify links and correlations among the data in the listening text.

Number of questions: Variable

Task type 3 – Plan, map, diagram labeling

Task type and format: Candidates must fill labels on a plan (for example, of a building), a map (for example, of a portion of a town), or a diagram (e.g. of a piece of equipment). Typically, candidates choose their responses from a list on the question paper.

The focus of the task: This kind of test evaluates a person’s capacity to comprehend, for instance, a geographical description and connect it to a visual depiction. This may entail understanding words used to communicate spatial connections and directions (such as “straight on/through the far door”).

Number of questions: Variable

Task type 4 – Form, note, table, flow-chart, summary completion

Type of task and format: The outline of the listening text, in its entirety or in part, has holes that test-takers must fill in.

  • A form: A common tool for capturing factual data such as names.
  • A series of notes: which may be used to summarize any kind of information by illustrating how various elements link to one another through layout
  • A table: used to summarize data relating to distinct categories, such as place/time/price.
  • A flowchart: This is used to summarize a process with distinct stages and feature arrows to indicate the process’s direction.

The word limit specified in the instructions may require test takers to choose their responses from a list on the question paper or recognize the missing words from the audio. Participants in the exam do not need to change the audio’s words in any way.

The number of words or numbers that should be used to fill in the gaps will vary; therefore test takers should carefully study the directions. There is a word restriction specified, such as “NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS AND/OR A NUMBER.” Test-takers are penalized for exceeding the word limit; therefore they should carefully review the word limit for each activity. The use of contracted words will not be examined. Hyphenated words are counted as individual words.

Task focus: This concentrates on the key points that a listener would naturally take down in a scenario like this.

Number of questions: Variable

Task type 5 – Sentence completion

Task type and format: Test-takers must read a series of lines that highlight the most important details from the entire listening material or from a selected section of it. The listening text is then used to fill in the gaps in each phrase. The phrase “NO MORE THAN ONE WORD AND/OR A NUMBER” serves as an example of a word restriction.

Writing more words than required on a test carries a penalty. (Test takers should carefully review the word restriction for each task: it is ONE, TWO, or THREE words.) Contracted words won’t be examined. Hyphenated words are handled separately from other words.

The focus of the task: Completing sentences emphasizes finding the important details in a listening text. Test participants are expected to comprehend causal relationships, such as cause and effect.

Number of questions: Variable

Task type 6 – Short-answer questions

Task type and format: Examinees must read a question and then swiftly write an answer using details from the listening passage. Task type and format: The word count is limited, for example, “NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS AND/OR A NUMBER.” Test takers are punished if they write more words than necessary. (Test takers should carefully review this word restriction for each task.) Contracted words won’t be put to the test. Words with hyphens count as separate words. On occasion, test takers may be required to provide two or three points in response to a question.

Task Focus: Sentence completion is a task that emphasizes listening for specific information in the listening text, such as locations, costs, or timeframes.

Number of questions: Variable

How the IELTS Listening Portion is Graded?

Certified examiners who are routinely observed to verify their dependability grade the Listening test. After grading each answer sheet, Cambridge English does extra research.

Conversion of Bands Scores

For each listening test version, a band score conversion table is created that converts scores out of 40 to the IELTS 9-band scale. Scores are reported in both full bands and half bands. The 40-item exam awards one score for each accurate answer. When writing answers on the answer sheet, be careful since bad spelling and grammar will result in penalties.

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