The listening module in the IELTS exam is markedly different from the listening modules in other English proficiency tests such as TOEFL & PTE. The biggest advantage that the listening module provides to IELTS test-taker is that it allows the test taker to have a quick look at the questions just before they start listening. This places the IELTS test-taker in an advantageous position compared to the takers of the other language proficiency tests such as TOEFL and PTE.
In the IELTS listening module, all the questions in a single section do not come from the same recording. Most often 3-4 questions are asked from a single tape in the initial sections however towards the end of the listening test normally in the first 4 sections all 10 questions could come from the same sections. Before the tapes are being played the test-takers are given 30 seconds time to look at the questions which they would get from that particular tape. So, the test-takers can now listen anticipating the questions they have already ready.
Though the IELTS test-takers get some time beforehand to look at the questions the distribution of question is not uniform among the different recordings. So, the decision as to how much time one should spend on each question for reading it before the tape starts is a tricky one. However constant practice help eliminate this issue