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Complete Guide to IELTS Listening [Updated]

IELTS listening test is also significant like its speaking counterpart, and you must have a good band score to crush the IELTS. Do you want to excel in the IELTS listening strategies, types of questions, and the entire section? This guide has you covered IELTS Listening Practice tips.

It is among the best 4 parts of this IELTS test that is similar irrespective of whether you opt for taking the general or academic tests. Here, recordings will be played once, and you have to answer 40 questions to a total of 4 recordings.

Stick to last, and this complete guide to IELTS listening will showcase all the necessary information you need to know to crack this exam. Let’s get started.

IELTS Listening Exam: Overview

The duration of this test is 30 minutes, and it is identical to both the IELTS General Training test and the IELTS Academic test. The rule of the IELTS exam is you have to listen to 4 recordings which are the blending of lectures and conversations from a wide array of native speakers. Each recording contains 10 questions, which will be played once.

As far as the difficulty level of IELTS is concerned, it doesn’t require any specialized knowledge to pass. Hence, it’s all about verifying your English speaking, writing, reading, and listening ability. The motive of the IELTS listening test is to examine your capability to do the following:

  • Follow logical arguments
  • Perceive opinions or behaviors
  • Understand core ideas
  • Rummage for particular details, such as addresses or numbers

Details of the IELTS Listening Part

Recording 1: Two people are communicating in a daily social context

Recording 2: A lecture set in a daily context, for example, a monologue about local authorities

Recording 3: Communication happens between max 4 people in the training or educational context, for example, a student or a university teacher talking about coursework or assignments.

Recording 4: A speech on an academic topic, for example, a university lecture.

Structure of IELTS Listening Test

Let’s look at the standard Listening test structure of IELTS:

General Vs Academic IELTS Listening

You might have questions like if the general and academic IELTS exam is similar. You would be happier to know that no such difference between IELTS General and Academic Listening. The listening section is analogous to the general and academic training versions of this English proficiency test. Therefore, you can create in a particular way regardless of which variation of the test you take part in.


You will need to listen to approximately 30 minutes of recordings, including time for going through the questions carefully. Here, for the IELTS listening test, clear instructions will be given to you to glide through the exam, and you will also be notified about your remaining timing to crosscheck your answers or read the subsequent set of questions.

Once time is up, you will get another 10 minutes to shift your answers from the question paper to the answer sheet. Make sure that the answers you copy on your answer paper will be considered.


In this IELTS Listening test part, you will need to listen to 4 distinct listening passages and diligently answer 10 questions from every section, implying 40 in total. Here, the passages come in 4 isolated recordings; those will get difficult gradually.

  • Passage 1In this first passage, you will listen to a conversation between two people, where the context will be regular social interaction. For example, someone wants to know a product cancellation procedure, and the customer care executive offers him a solution. In brief, the topic will be daily life or ordinary conversation.
  • Passage 2This passage 2 will be a script; implying just one person will keep speaking. It will again be an ordinary social setting, and some of its examples include talking about any facilities, providing details about services, or letting someone know about a place.
  • Passage 3The academic half of the IELTS listening exam starts in this passage 3. Here, you will listen to an interaction between 2 or more people discussing something based on academics, such as a post-lecture discussion or a college assignment. Moreover, a maximum of 4 people can be there, and all you need is to understand their attitudes and opinions.
  • Passage 4The last one is tough as it’s a script of an academic context. It is somewhat similar to passage 3, and a conversation of the recording between a lecturer and other speakers will be played for you, giving talks on a particular topic. Here, you need to amass factual details and track their opinions and attitudes.

To wrap up, if you are wondering about the strategies for success in IELTS listening, it is nothing but practicing. Moreover, you have to be well-versed with listening to English, listening for particular details in monologues, and conversations with exam techniques. Lastly, perceiving the instruction of any exam will always be helpful.

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