IELTS Listening Preparation

There are four sections in the listening test. Each section has 10 questions, making a total of 40 questions. The sections become progressively harder. The answers to the questions come in the same order as the information on the recording. The whole test lasts about 30 minutes, including the instructions, your reading and listening time, and the time allowed for transferring your answers from the questions paper to an answer sheet. The instructions are included on the recording.

Free IELTS exam preparation can be difficult to find on the Internet. We have gathered together the best of the free IELTS exam preparation materials.

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Section 1

This is a conversation between two speakers on an everyday, social topic. This means that you listen to two people talking to each other about arranging a trip, organising an event, etc. The focus is on listening for specific factual information.

Section 2

This is a talk by one speaker on a general topic. This means that you listen to one person giving information about a public event, a service provided, etc. The focus is on listening for specific factual information.

Section 3

This is a discussion between two to four speakers on a topic related to ‘academic needs’. This means that you listen to up to four people talking to each other about an assignment for a course, an academic subject in a seminar, etc. The focus is on listening for specific factual information, attitudes and speakers’ opinions.

Section 4

This is a lecture or talk by one speaker on an academic or study-related topic. This means that you listen to a person giving a lecture, a talk, etc. The focus is on listening for main ideas, specific factual information, attitude and speakers’ opinions.

You will be allowed approximately 30 seconds to study the questions before the test begins. You can use this time to check what types of answers are needed (for example, dates, times, names, money, etc.), and pay special attention to the first question.


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