Frequently Asked Questions
Yes. At the beginning of the test, and before each section candidates receive instructions.
Yes, there is usually an example at the beginning of Section 1, and for this section only, the recording relating to the example is played twice.
At the beginning of each section candidates hear a short description of the situation they are about to listen to. This may give information about who the speakers are, where they are and what the general topic is. This description is not written on the Question Paper, so it is important for candidates to listen carefully.
Each recording is heard ONCE only.
As IELTS is an international test, a variety of English accents are used in both of these examinations. British, Australian, New Zealand, American, Irish, etc. Learn more about IELTS listening accents. →
Yes. Students will be encouraged to listen in different ways for different purposes and to become more aware of the strategies that English speakers use to communicate in speech. Prepare yourself online. →
No. You must do it in pencil only.
Questions and Task Types
Yes. This is the case for all task types in IELTS Listening.
Yes, there is time for candidates to look at the questions before each section. They are told which questions to look at. Learn what to do before you listen. →
Yes, candidates have half a minute to check their answers at the end of each section. More information about timing in the listening test. →
No. Each test version will contain a different combination of task types. Learn about the question types. →
No. IELTS Listening tests a wide range of abilities, and in order to allow this, the sections gradually get more difficult from Section 1 to Section 4.
Candidates write their answers on the Listening Question Paper as they listen. At the end of the listening test they are given 10 minutes to transfer their answers onto the Listening Answer Sheet. Learn how to transfer your answers accurately. →
Yes. Incorrect spelling and grammar are penalized. However, words which the candidates have to write will generally be high-frequency words. Both UK and US varieties of spelling are accepted. Proper names may be spelled out in the recording. Learn the main spelling rules here. →
Yes, the examiner will not see your question paper.
Listening Band Score
One mark is awarded for each of the 40 questions. A Band Score conversion table is produced for each version of IELTS listening which translates scores out of 40 onto the IELTS 9-band scale. Scores are reported as a whole band or a half band. Calculate your listening score here. →
The overall score is worked out based on the band scores for each of the four Modules; the final score may be reported as a whole band or a half band. Calculate your scores here. →
Yes. Answers which exceed the word limit will be marked incorrect.