IELTS Listening Overview

The IELTS Listening test contains 40 questions. Each correct item is awarded one mark. Band scores, ranging from Band 1 to Band 9, are awarded to test takers on the basis of their raw scores.


Approximately 30 minutes (plus 10 minutes’ transfer time).
There are 40 questions. A variety of question types are used, chosen from the following: multiple choice, matching, plan/map/diagram labelling, form completion, note completion, table completion, flow-chart completion, summary completion, sentence completion, short-answer questions.
Test Parts
There are 4 sections:
Section 1 is a conversation between two people set in an everyday social context (e.g. a conversation in an accommodation agency).
Section 2 is a monologue set in an everyday social context (e.g. a speech about local facilities or a talk about the arrangements for meals during a conference).

Section 3 is a conversation between up to four people set in an educational or training context (e.g. a university tutor and a student discussing an assignment, or a group of students planning a research project).
Section 4 is a monologue on an academic subject (e.g. a university lecture).
Each section is heard once only.
A variety of voices and native-speaker accents are used.
Skills assessed
A wide range of listening skills are assessed, including:
• Understanding of main ideas
• Understanding of specific factual information
• Recognising opinions, attitudes and purpose of a speaker
• Following the development of an argument.
Each correct answer receives 1 mark. Scores out of 40 are converted to the IELTS 9-band scale.
Scores are reported in whole and half bands


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