The listening test in IELTS might seem to be a nonchalant module, but it is the quiet opposite. The listening test is the first test to be attempted in the IELTS exam, hence the student may experience anxiety and nervousness.
Not only this, the pattern of the exam makes it challenging as well the IELTS listening practice test 2 makes it a nightmare for a few. The Academic and General Training test takers have a common exam for Listening, unlike Reading and Writing modules. The Listening test includes 4 audios. There are 40 questions based on these.
The test is for 30 minutes. Although, a student who plans to give a paper-based test will get extra 10 mins to transfer their answers to a final sheet. When the audio plays, they can scribble the answers in the question paper and transfer the answers to the final sheet. Do not make the mistake of writing directly on the final answer sheet.
On the contrary, the computer test takers get only 2 mins at the end of the test to review the spellings, grammar and punctuation. Some students consider this as an uphill task, but practice will make you perfect and student should make use of the best IELTS coaching institutes available that give a platform for the same.
Coming to the format of the Listening test. It is divided into 4 sections. Each section contains 10 questions to be answered. The answers are hidden in the audios. Hence, there are 4 audios that will be played during the test with a gap of 30 seconds between them.
Important note: the questions in the section are in the sequence of the audios, so the student should not worry about the chronology of it.
Audio 1: The content of audio 1 of the listening test is mostly on topics such as a student calling a college to enquire about a course, a customer calling a reception of the hotel to do a booking, job enquires etc. Essentially, what it means is that audio 1 is a conversation and the topics are from day-to-day life scenarios. This section is quite easy to score a 10 on 10 scores as the pace is slow and distractors are quite less.
Audio 2: IELTS Listening practice test 2 can be the tricky one and I know for sure many of you are nodding your head in agreement. This is the section where the student can expect a Map or Diagram based questions. There are several strategies to solve them like locating the orientation point in the map. There can be a compass for reference for the directions, but not necessarily. The map or the diagram has to be read very diligently, therefore use the time given to look at the question before the audio starts. A CBT student should do IELTS listening practice online to get good results in this section.
Audio 3: As the audio progresses in the test, they become more complex. This is evident by the increased distractors and the length of the audio. This section is academic in nature as it might have a conversation on an academic project between two students or between a professor and a student discussing his or her work. This section can have multiple choice questions, where a student is supposed to choose one or more options. There can be matching type, drag and drop type (in a computer-based test) of questions as well. However, there are no blanket rules when it comes to IELTS listening.
Audio 4: Final and relatively the longest audio of all. This is again a monologue like audio 2. This audio can include a speech or a lecture on research. This can be on the environment, a medical journal, the latest studies on conservation and other academic subjects. This section can have fill in the blanks type questions or multiple-choice questions.
After the audios are over in 30 minutes, please review your answers for spelling mistakes, word count limit.
The recent changes in the Listening test format: Since 2020, the example audio and the answer has been removed from the test. So, expect the audio to answer question 1 immediately. So be cautious of not missing on it.
A word of caution, students who intend to give computer-delivery test should do IELTS listening practice online only. Any other way of practice will hamper the performance and they might experience surprises during the test.
Especially, the IELTS listening practice test 2 should be exercised online only. Similarly, paper-based test takers should practice as expected in the examination that is by writing on a sheet of paper. The listening section can be high scoring with practice. Getting a band 8 or 9 can be very easy if done right. I suggest practicing IELTS listening practice online from the best IELTS coaching institute to get excellent results.
About the Author
I am a certified IELTS teaching professional and have vast experience in training IELTS students to crack their test successfully and nurturing the IELTS trainers with their training journeys.