IELTS Listening

IELTS Listening

Listening test pattern and tips to Score 8 band in IELTS 

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This segment on preparation for IELTS  Listening will focus on the four components of the IELTS for test, namely – Listening, Reading, Speaking & Writing and brief about the pattern of each of these four components. The Listening, Reading and Writing tests are conducted on the same day while the Speaking test can be taken up to seven days after or before the other three tests. The order in which these tests are conducted is listening, reading and finally writing. There is no break between these three tests. The following segment highlights various aspects of Listening Test.

IELTS Classes Bangalore for LISTENING

In the listening test, a pre-recorded tape is played and candidates are provided with a headphone to listen discussions / conversations / speeches by various speakers. Candidates must check the sound quality in their headphone before commencement of the test. In case of any malfunction, candidates should immediately contact the invigilators present at the test centre.


The time allotted in IELTS Classes Bangalore Listening Test is 30 minutes to answer the questions and additional 10 minutes to transfer the answers from question paper to the answer sheet. Hence the total time provided for completion of Listening test is 40 minutes.

The total number of questions to be answered is 40 and all of them are compulsory to be answered. A range of question forms are used which includes following:

  1. Multiple choice questions
  2. Labelling of a diagram or a geographical map
  3. Fill in the blanks in a given note, summary or a sentence
  4. Fill in the blanks in a flow-chart
  5. Fill in the blanks in a Table
  6. Short-answer type questions

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Test Parts
There are 4 sections in a Listening Test:

Section 1 entails a discussion in the form of a conversation among two people related to everyday social context (For Example, a conversation involving enquiry about booking of a concert).

Section 2 is a monologue or a speech given by a person, mostly to articulate his or her intellectual thoughts and sometimes to directly address other person or audience. The context of this monologue is related to daily life social context. (For Example, a speech about harmful effects of green house gases).

Section 3 is a discussion among two to four people laid down in an educational or training perspective (For Example, a university lecturer and a student having a conversation on a research project or a group of students sharing their experience on assignments they completed during winter break).

Section 4 is again a monologue or speech on an academic topic (For Example, a lecture on ancient artefacts).

Each of the above sections can be heard only once. To give objectivity to the task, a variety of voices and accents are used in all the sections.

Skills Assessed
A broad range of candidate’s skills are tested in the Listening test which includes:

  1. Comprehending the main thought of a speech
  2. Understanding of particular factual data
  3. Following the development of an argument
  4. Identifying opinion, outlook and aim of a speaker


The listening test carries a total of 40 marks for 40 questions, which implies that each correct answer gets 1 mark. The marks out of 40 are converted as per the IELTS scale to a 9 band score. Scores are awarded in whole as well as half bands (For example, 7 & 7.5). There is no negative marking for the wrong answers; hence the candidates can attempt all the questions.