What are the Important things to know about the IELTS listening test?

ielts listening
Are you preparing for the IELTS test?  Looking for the detailed information about the IELTS listening test?  Confused about the rules and the procedure for the listening test? If your answer for these questions is yes,  then you are at the right place.  You are about to read the instructions and the complete and accurate information about the IELTS listening test, and it is going to be really helpful in your preparation for the test.


In the IELTS test,  there are four main parts.
1. The listening test
2. The reading test
3. The writing test and
4. The speaking test.


It is very essential that you are well aware of all the necessary tips and tricks that can help you to get the best score.  In this article, we will provide all the details about the rules and the complete process of the IELTS listening test.  This will not only build your confidence,  but will also aid in the preparation for the test.


What is the IELTS test all about?
The IELTS test,  which is the International English Language Testing System, is a test which is taken by more than 3 million people every year. It is one of the most popular and sought after tests by the candidates. Although there are numerous reasons why the candidates take the IELTS test, the two most popular reasons are,


1. For immigration to an English speaking country
2. To study in a country where English is widely spoken.
Based on the reasons stated above,  there are two variants in the IELTS test.  These variants are known as


A.  The IELTS academic test and
B.  The IELTS general training test.


While the academic test is meant majorly for the candidates who wish to pursue their higher education in an English speaking country,  the general training test is taken usually by people who belong to a non-native English speaking country and are want to work and settle in a foreign country where English is the main medium for communicating with the locals and the fellow International immigrants.


You have two choices for taking the test. One can take the test on a computer or on a paper.  Accordingly,  there are two prime modes of writing the test.
a.  The IELTS paper based test and
b.  The IELTS computer delivered test.


Now,  having understood the basics of the IELTS test as a whole,  let us know about the rules and the process which has to be followed while attempting the listening test.


Basically,  the listening test is absolutely the same for both the academic and the general training test takers.  You have to attempt the listening test , the reading test,  and the writing test together on one day,  while speaking is conducted on a different date.



1. Understand the various fields that have to be filled in the IELTS listening answer sheet. It is quite essential for all the test takers to know the complete information about this. The first thing that should be filled is the centre number.  Every IELTS test centre has a number assigned, which is called the centre number.  It is usually alphanumeric. Fill this correctly.


Next,  towards the top right corner of the answer sheet,  you will be able to see six boxes,  which correspond to something called the candidate number.  This is a code which is used for the proper identification of the candidate who is taking the test.  In each of the six boxes,  the test takers are supposed to write one digit. Next to this digit,  you will see numbers from 0 to 9 which have to be shaded appropriately.


The next important column is the name of the candidate. Write your full name in block letters (capital letters)  only.  See that there is no mismatch between this name and the name that is written in the passport.


There will be separate columns to shade the day, month and year of the test date.  Be very careful while filling these.


2. Use a pencil to write the answers. Now, talking about writing the answers, it is not advisable to leave any answer blank. This is because there is a very important feature in the IELTS test. There is no negative marking in any of of the four parts of the test.


So,  you may take a chance and guess the answer using your memory and trying to recollect what you have heard, and based on this, you may write the appropriate answer.  Do not worry too much about this, as you will not lose any marks even if the answer is not correct.


3. When writing the answers, ensure that the spellings are accurate. This is very much important, as the IELTS is a test of your language skills. Hence, even a minute spelling mismatch will be considered as an error and will be marked as an error.


4. You should also mention the answer in the right way, that is, you should write the nouns in the way you listen them. For example, do not change the singular form of the nouns to their plural forms. Additionally, do not write the synonyms of the words you hear.  They have to be written as you listen.


5. You should not write the answers directly in the answer sheet. In the main test, you will be given 10 minutes to transfer the answers on to the answer sheet from the question paper.  So, write the answers in the question paper first and later, do not miss the flow of the questions. Transfer them properly.


6. Practice as many tests as you can. Practice is the key to scoring well in the IELTS test.  List out the various types of questions that you have to prepare.  Learn how to interpret the question, and then use the right strategy to listen and find the answers.


7. There are differences between the way the English language is spoken depending on the country and the region.  Practice listening to various accents in English.  Anything you listen in English is a useful practice.


These are some of the essential things to know about the IELTS listening test.  Make a note of these points and follow them appropriately.



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