IELTS listening General Information
Listening is one of the four sections of IELTS test. The other three sections are reading, writing and speaking. In the listening section of the IELTS test, the test-takers listen to a variety of recordings and answer questions as they listen. The recordings are either conversations or monologues. Some of the recordings will deal with social situations whereas others are concerned with education and training. The candidates can listen to the conversations or monologues only once.
The Number Questions and Sections in IELTS Listening.
In the IELTS listening, the test-takers will have to answer 40 Questions. The 40 questions are equally apportioned among the four sections so each section will have exactly 10 questions. At the beginning of the test, the test-takers are provided with a listening question booklet, so the test-takers should write their answers in the listening question booklet initially. The test-takers will then be provided with a listening answer-sheet. They should then transfer all answers that they have written in the IELTS listening -question booklet to the IELTS listening answer sheet.
Time Distribution in IELTS Listening
The overall time allocated for IELTS listening is 40 minutes. This will include 30 minutes for listening to the recordings and answering questions and 10 minutes for transferring the answers to the listening answer sheet.
Source Material Available in IELTS listening
We get a variety of source material in the IELTS listening. The first two sections present recordings related to social needs and last two sections deal with education and training. The reason that we get these types of materials is that the IELTS listening test is same for both academic module and general training module.
Monologues and Conversations in the IELTS Listening
Furthermore, the tapes are also different when it comes to the number of people involved in it. Some tapes involve only one person and some other involve many. To be precise we can say that section 1&3 of the IELTS listening test present conversations whereas section 2&4 present monologues.
The Listening Question Booklet
The listening question booklet accompanying the IELTS listening module also exhibits this heterogeneity. The test-taker is provided with normal sentences, notes and tables. The test-taker will also get maps, plans, and diagrams.
What are the Common Accents Used in IELTS listening?
The accents and pronunciations provided in the IELTS listening also vary considerably. We get a variety of accents prevailing in all major English-speaking countries including the UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the US, though Australian and British accents are so common. Sometimes accents that are heavily influenced by languages other than English will also be presented for example, English influenced by Indian or Japanese languages.
IELTS -Listening test uses a variety of accents. But the most common accents are the accents prevailing in the five main English-speaking countries i.e. The UK, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the US. However, the choicest ones are the British and the Australian as IELTS is co-owned by Australian and British entities.
In order to understand these accents used in IELTS, we should listen to listen to as many tests as possible during IELTS preparation stage. However, watching television channels like BBC news can make a lot of difference. Likewise watching Australian channels would also help, as Australian accents are also very commonly used in the IELTS. Watching Hollywood movies can also help as they give you better understanding of conversational English
What is anticipatory listening in IELTS?
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
What are the different questions types in IELTS listening?
A Variety of questions are used in the IELTS listening. The following are the list of commonly used questions used in IELTS listening.
Multiple choices: Question is followed by 3 or 4 choices. Normally the choices are denoted by a, b, and c. The test-taker will have to choose the appropriate letter denoting the answer.
Short answer: this question type places some restrictions on the way a test-taker can answer the questions. The restrictions are mostly about the number of words or numbers that can be used in the answers. Example the questions come with directions such as ‘write no more than three words’ or ‘write one word and or a number’. It is very important that we pay attention to these directions.
Sentence completion, Notes completion, Form completion, Table completion, Summary completion, and Flow-chart completion are all about filling the blanks one way or other
Labeling a diagram, labeling a plan, and labeling a map all deal with marking an illustration with the help of a tape.
Classification and Matching questions require the test-taker to correlate and match answers most often from a common list.
How do we handle map/plan questions in IELTS listening?
These types of questions a map or plan is presented to the IELTS test-takers and they will have to identify and locate certain places and label them. This is really a tough task as it involves focusing on both the listening and at the same time examining the map or the plan. Directions, clues, even the way question numbers are organized in the map or plan question can be quite disorienting for an IELTS test-taker
The IELTS test-takers will always have to bear in mind the fact that in a map, top always indicate north, bottom indicates south, right-hand side indicate east and left-hand side indicate west. Remember common refrains ‘up north’ and ‘down south’. Listen to the instructions about different directions. Carefully identify where the question numbers marked on the map and follow the tape accordingly. The placement of question numbers on the map can follow clockwise or counterclockwise directions. In trickier situations, it can even follow a zig-zag pattern. So rather following the map follow the numbers!
How can we handle multiple choice questions in IELTS? Best IELTS Coaching center in Hyderabad
Multiple choice questions or MCQs are one of the most difficult question types in IELTS Listening. The reason MCQs are so tough is that the options given to us as answer choices are so similar. Moreover, all the choices given to us will also be mentioned in the recording. So, it is by creating confusion that MCQs often beat us in the IELTS Listening.
So, what is the solution? We have already seen that all the answer choices are similar in MCQs, so we have to carefully analyze and differentiate the choices from one another. One technique used to eliminate the wrong answer choices is to eliminate the choices that are not mentioned in the tape, however since all the answer choices that are given in the IELTS listening question booklet are normally mentioned in recordings, we will not be in position to eliminate the choices that are not given in the tape.
The best technique that we can rely on is to commit late on the choices. Most often the right choices are placed towards the end of the recording. So before committing too early on any choices wait for all the choices to be spelled out and then carefully place our bet.