The IELTS listening test is a four-section exam. The applicant must listen to four recordings which are a mix of conversations and monologues. You will be allowed to listen to each recording only once.

Each section of the listening test contains 10 questions. The listening test aims to assess your ability to understand detailed factual information, ideas, attitudes and opinions of the speakers and the candidates’ ability to follow the development of ideas.

If you wish to improve your IELTS listening score, you must identify your weaknesses and try to improve them via constant practice. You will be able to improve your band score by attempting the IELTS listening practice test. There are many websites that offer IELTS listening practice tests online. This blog will help you understand how to improve your band score with the IELTS listening practice test with answers.

Also Read: IELTS Listening Practice: Tips and Tricks to Get a Good Band Score in IELTS Exam

What is the Pattern of the IELTS Listening Section?

The IELTS practise test is divided into four parts.

#1 The first part of the listening test contains a conversation between a couple of people in a social context.

#2 The second part contains a monologue of a single person on a social issue.

#3 The third part contains an educational conversion between four individuals and the final section contains a single person talking about an academic subject.

Is it Different for Academic and General Test?

The IELTS listening test is the same for both the candidates appearing in the academic test and the general training test.

Each section contains 10 questions, and you will have 40 minutes to complete the IELTS listening test. If you are attempting a paper-based listening test, you have to listen and write your question at the same time. Once the recording ends you will receive extra 10 minutes to copy your answers from the question paper to the answer sheet.

If you are attempting a computer-based IELTS listening test, you need to answer directly to the computer. You won’t get the extra ten minutes, instead will get two minutes to review the answers.

Also Read: How to Do MCQs in IELTS Listening? Mastering the IELTS Listening Strategy 

What are the Different Types of Questions Asked in the IELTS Listening Test?

Multiple Choice Questions

Multiple-choice Questions are answered as a single correct answer or more than one correct answer. You have to read the question carefully and check how many answers are required.

You will be given a long list of possible answers and will be asked to choose an answer.   MCQs are used to test a wide range of skills of the candidates.

Match the Following

You are required to match several items from what you hear in the audio to a set of options mentioned on the question paper.

Matching assesses your skill of listening to details and whether you can understand the information mentioned in a conversation, such as identifying different types of hotels or guests. It also tests your ability whether you can follow a conversion between two individuals. These questions also assess your ability to recognise different relationships between the individuals in the listening questions.

Form, Note, Table, Flow-chart, and Summary Completion Questions

In these questions, you need to fill in the gaps in a summary in either part of the complete listening text. The summary will focus on the main ideas or facts discussed in the audio. They may be:

  1. A form that might be used to record details such as names, telephone numbers or addresses.
  2. A set of notes, which summarise information using the layout to show how different items are related to each other.
  3. Tables that summarise information related to multiple categories – e.g. place, time or price

You must select the missing words in either the form of a list presented in the question paper or the from the recording. You must stick to the word limit stated in the questions and use the exact words you hear from the audio recording.

Sentence Completion Questions

In the sentence completion questions, you are asked to read a set of sentences summarising the complete information from either the complete listening text or either a part of it. You will then need to fill a gap in each sentence using information from the listening question. A word limit is mentioned in the question as well. Sentence completion focuses on the candidates’ ability to identify the key information mentioned in the listening text.

Short – Answer Questions

In the short-answer questions, you have to read a question and then write a short answer using information from the listening questions. Candidates are given a question that asks them to list two to three points. These questions check the candidates’ ability to listen to facts, such as places, prices or times, mentioned in the listening questions.

Also Read: How to Improve Listening Skills for IELTS: Lift Your IELTS Listening Band Score

Where can I Attempt IELTS Listening Practice Test Online?

You must attempt the practice test because they will allow you to get ready for the IELTS test as they are going to be in reality. There are multiple sources from where you can enrol in a practice test. You can visit either the British council or the IDP IELTS website to attempt a free IELTS test.

You can also visit the IELTS Ninja website and register in the Listening Focus Program to improve your score in the IELTS Listening Test. You will get more than 35 hours of personal training which includes 15 practice tests and 1 mock test. This will help you score a better band score in the IELTS Listening Test.


After reading this blog you might have received a clear idea of what kind of questions are asked in the Listening Section in the IELTS exam and where you can practice for the test. You can visit the IELTS Ninja website to know more about IELTS preparation techniques, visa requirements of various countries and different questions asked in the IELTS exam. Let us know in the comments how this list of questions benefitted you.

Content Protection by

About the Author

Aaditya Anand

Aaditya might have completed his engineering in computer science, but he has always had a passion for writing. He believes that writing a code and a story are much more similar than they might seem. You need to imagine the end product in both of them and you can only reach there once you start writing. Aaditya’s love for food is the only thing he can’t describe with words and more than eating he enjoys cooking for his family and friends. In his free time, Aaditya enjoys watching cricket and football. He knows how to lighten the mood with one-liners in a serious situation. If he is not writing or reading about any of his interests, you can find Aaditya in a sports bar cheering for his favourite sports club.

View All Articles