How to Excel in the IELTS Listening Skill Test?

Written by tarunchetwani  »  Updated on: April 03rd, 2024

How to Excel in the IELTS Listening Skill Test?

Since 1980, the IELTS test has been the world's most trusted English language skill test. This test consists of 4-main components. These include listening, reading, writing as well as speaking. Also, these sections cover all the skills needed to excel in the native English language. Thus, getting a good band score on this test will aid in the analysis of your efficiency in the language. But do you know how you can excel on the IELTS listening skill test? You can attain better scores in the listening test if you have a proper idea about this test's component. Thus, this article will help you to know details about the IELTS listening topics and the types of questions asked in every test section.

Sections of IELTS Listening Skill Test

The listening skill test is one of the 4-main components of the IELTS test. The time limit for this section is around 30 minutes. In this time limit, you have to cover questions based on 4-different audios. These audios consist of 2 conversations as well as 2-monologues by the native speakers. Based on these audios, you must solve the given questions. Also, each audio may have a variety of voices and accents. Here, you will learn about the 4-main sections of the IELTS listening skill test in detail.

Section 1 - A Conversation Between Two People About a General Topic:

In this section, you will get an audio of a conversation between 2 people related to a general topic. It is usually a talk over the phone. Also, in this audio, you will listen for specific data. These details include names, times, places, numbers as well as dates. The common topics used in this section are a school, interviews, tourist things as well as asking for some information.

Section 2 - A Monologue Regarding a General Topic:

During this section, you will have a monologue who is talking about a common topic. It can often be a talk from either an instructor or a guide of some kind. In this audio, you will have details about some common IELTS listening topics. Shopping malls, going to the doctor as well as and events are some of the examples of these topics.

Section 3 - A Conversation on an Academic Topic:

In the audio of this section, you will find a conversation based on an academic topic. Usually, it can be a talk between 2 - 4 people. Also, it may be 2 to 3 students talking to an expert about something crucial. Thus, the common topics for discussion in this audio can be homework, talk about a course and many more.

Section 4 - A Monologue Based on an Academic Topic:

In this audio, you can listen to a monologue related to any academic topic. Usually, this is an academic lecture. Thus, computers, business, education as well as social issues are the common IELTS listening topics for the test.

Types of Questions Asked in the IELTS Listening Test

There are 5-most famous types of IELTS listening questions that you could get on the test. Knowing these types will help you to meet your desired band score in the IELTS test. Therefore, the following are the 5-main types of questions asked in this test:

1. Multiple Choice Questions:

In this type of question, you will have 3 options for the answer and need to choose the suitable one. The answer can be based on the need of the question whether it needs a direct answer or a phrase to complete the given sentence. Not only this but also, you may have a long list of right answers. In that case, you will also be able to choose more than one options.

2. Matching:

During these questions in the test, you may have to match a list of items to things based on the given audio. These questions will help in the deep analysis of your ability to detail listening. Also, these queries are common in Section 1. Thus, you have to listen for details in the conversation between two people.

3. Plan, Map or Diagram Labeling:

While solving these questions, you need to put labels on a plan, map as well as a diagram. Also, suitable answers are usually given to you in a list. Thus, your task here is to listen to the audio and identify various areas, features or rooms.

4. Form, Note, Table, or Sentence Completion:

In this type of question in the IELTS listening skill test, you will need to fill gaps in a form, note, table as well as sentence. Usually, these queries will focus on the main points of the audio passage. Also, to solve this a list of words will be given or you may have to take words from the audio. Moreover, you will have to write one or two words or numbers to complete it.

5. Short Answer Questions:

To solve these queries, you have to read it and then write down a short answer using the details from the audio. For this, you have to pay a keen focus on the word as well as the number limit. Also, in these questions, the contractions (such as can’t) count as a single word. Not only this but also, but hyphenated words (like check-in) also count as a word.

How to Score Better in IELTS Listening Skill Test?

There are many things you can do to improve your band score on the test. Usually, the commonly used accents used in this test are British as well as Australian. Thus, make sure to practice and understand these accents. Also, many IELTS coaching classes online are focused on helping you to improve your scores in this exam. So, here are a few points to keep in mind for the IELTS listening.

1. Pay Attention to the Clues Provided in the Audio:

At the start of the audio in this section, the person will ask who is talking. Also, they can ask questions like what they are talking about. This is very crucial. Thus, always pay attention to the clues or hints given in the audio.

2. Always Look for the Questions First:

Since you will have less time to read the questions before listening to the audio thus, use it well. It not only helps to make it easier to do well but also will aid in knowing what you are listening to. Since there will be extra details other than the relevant ones. Thus, reading questions before will aid in focusing on the specific details that are needed to answer them.

3. Pay Attention to the Word Limits and Spellings:

Always pay attention to the word or number limits as well as spelling. Also, focus on whether the question says number or numbers. The same also works for the word limits. Also, if the spelling is incorrect, then your answer will be marked wrong. However, British or American English spelling are both applicable to the IELTS listening skill test.

4. Become Multi-Tasking:

While solving the listening questions, you need to become multi-tasking. Thus, you have to do multiple things at the same time. This means that you must be able to read questions, listen to the audio as well as write down the answer all at a time.


In conclusion, if you want to excel in the IELTS listening test, you need to focus on several key points. You should know the main sections of this test as well as the common topics often used in them. Also, you must have an idea related to the various types of questions that can be asked in the exam. But that does not mean that you are fully prepared for the test. Thus, you should follow the above mentioned rules that will aid in excelling in the test. Therefore, several IELTS coaching classes online come into action to help you during preparation.

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