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IELTS Listening Test Pattern

IELTS or the International English Language Testing System is a test designed to test the English proficiency of the non-native speakers of the language. This test is divided into four sections: Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing. In this article, we are going to discuss the IELTS Listening test pattern in detail.

The IELTS Listening test is 40 minutes long and is a common test for both the IELTS Academic and General Training test takers. In this test, the test taker is given to listen to an audio file for each section and has to answer questions depending on the content of the audio prompt. The IELTS Listening test pattern is designed with the purposes of assessing the test taker’s ability to understand spoken English, understand the purpose of the oral text, the main point and any supporting point mentioned in the oral text and also to infer information based on that oral text. The scoring is based on correct answers which are grammatical and in the correct spelling. There are 40 questions and each correct answer is awarded 1 mark. You get 30 minutes to figure out the answers and write in a rough space and 10 minutes to transfer your final answers into the answer sheet. For further details regarding the scoring, click ######.

Note: You can listen to the audio only once.

The IELTS Listening test pattern is further divided into four sections. In the first section of the test, the test taker is to listen to an audio file which consists of a dialogue, i.e. a conversation between two people, mainly in the form of an enquiry. For example, a telephonic conversation wherein a person A is calling a person B (who is a representative of a hotel) to enquire about their booking availabilities, tariffs, etc. The second section of the test consists of a monologue, i.e. one person talking. The content of the monologue is usually genetic in nature, for example, a nutritionist talking about the benefits of a good diet, a travel guide giving a tour of a fort, etc. The third section of the test consists of a conversation between more than two people. This conversation is academic in nature, for example, two students talking to a professor, etc. The last section of the IELTS Listening test pattern consists of a monologue again, which is in the form of an academic lecture. Each audio file is followed by a few questions which the test taker is supposed to answer depending on the content of the audio.

The IELTS Listening test keeps getting difficult as one proceeds in the test. In other words, the first section of the test is the easiest and the fourth section is the toughest. The difference lies in the content, accent, information generation and answering techniques.

IELTS Listening Test Pattern

Types of Questions:

The types of questions asked in the IELTS Writing test are fill in the blanks, match the following, choose the correct answer, etc.

Each type of question is discussed below:

1. Fill in the blanks:

The questions vary from time to time and test to test ranging from filling in the blanks given in a sentence, a paragraph, a table, a diagram, a chart, etc. While filling in the blanks, the skills that are tested are listening for specific information, selecting an appropriate word, following the rules of grammar, and understanding information in the file.

2. Match the following:

In this task, one is asked to match the information given in the question with that in the audio file. The skills tested in this type of question are your ability to listen through the text for information and the ability to identify specific information.

3. Choose correct answer:

In this task, you are to choose the correct answer to a question, or the correct ending to a sentence, the correct option from a list of words or names. The skills tested in this type of question are listening to the audio for information and identifying the related information. This set of questions often get a little confusing because of the method of answering. Follow the instruction clearly to answer this question. Note if the instruction demands you to choose a letter, tick on the box or otherwise.

While appearing for the IELTS Listening test, be careful of the instruction given. For details, please read our articles on the ####

Please go through our article on #### to practice on each type of the IELTS Listening question.

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