IELTS Listening Practice Test - Check IELTS Listening Question Types, Samples and Preparation Tips

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Shilpa Saxena
Updated on Nov 01, 2022 4:09 PM IST

The IELTS exam is designed as a way to judge your proficiency in all forms of communication such as reading, writing, speaking and listening. The IELTS listening practice test is conceived to get a detailed understanding of your capacity to understand different accents of the English language and if you can differentiate between common English words or not.

On this page, we will share the details of IELTS Listening Practice Tests and discuss the benefits of practising with them. Keep reading to find out the details of IELTS Listening Practice Tests.

IELTS Listening Practice Test for Academic and General Training

Before diving deep into the IELTS listening practice test, let us know if there is any difference between the IELTS academic listening section and the IELTS general listening section.

There is essentially no difference in the listening test of IELTS academic and IELTS general training. Both play the same type of recording and follow the same question paper pattern even if the intent of both the types of IELTS exams are different. The IELTS Academic is designed for students aspiring to study in foreign universities. In contrast, IELTS General Training is for those who wish to work and settle abroad, especially in those countries where English is the first language.

The listening practice test scrutinises the test taker's level of attention and ability to follow an argument. It plays four audios from which 40 questions are asked. This whole exercise has to be completed within 30 minutes. The questions will have to be answered from whatever you have heard in the recordings. The IELTS General and IELTS Academic listening practice tests are the same and not different from the reading and writing sections.

Out of the 4 recordings that are played in both the IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training, two are set in ordinary day-to-day contexts and the remaining two are related to academic topics.

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IELTS Listening Practice Test

As we have now gained some idea on the IELTS listening section, we can now deeply analyse the IETLS general listening practice test and IELTS academic listening practice test. Let us see the highlights of the IELTS listening practice test online:

  • The IELTS listening test is for 30 minutes duration and 10 minutes is given to transfer the answers.

  • There will be four recordings in native English accents spoken at moderate speed.

  • The length of each of the recordings may vary between 6 and 8 minutes.

  • You can hear the recording only one time.

  • The audios will be set in a general context as well as an academic context.

  • The conversations are monologue, dialogue or are spoken by up to 4 people.

  • The variety of the conversations played in the recordings shows IELTS' attempt to test candidates in various everyday settings. 

  • The IELTS listening practice test contains different types of questions like matching, MCQs and etc. to answer from.

  • The IELTS listening practice test with answers is available both online and offline for students to practice from.

  • You should be careful about the instructed word limit of the questions.

IELTS Listening Test Samples

Here are some of the IELTS listening test practice 2022 for you to practice from:

ielts listening practice test 1

IELTS listening practice test 2

IELTS Listening Practice Test Question Types

While taking the IELTS listening practice test, it is necessary that you practice questions that are genuine and up to the mark. Various IELTS listening practice test pdf is available online and there are other best books for IELTS listening practice tests available on e-commerce websites and book stores.

As you already know, 40 questions will be asked in the IELTS listening practice test online for both IELTS academic and IELTS general training listening tests. The following are the various types of IELTS listening practice test questions:

  • Multiple Choice Questions and Answers: There are three different formats for IELTS listening practice test multiple choice questions. You will be given a statement and then options will be given to choose from. The second type of multiple choice question that you will get is the completion of sentences using any one of the options given. You may also get a third type of question where you will be given a few pictures to match a sentence from.

  • Form/Note/Table/Flow-chart: These questions require answers in one to two words and factual information has to be put such as address, date or time.

  • Summary Completion: In the case of summary completion, you will be given a few lines paraphrased of a part of the recording having the same meaning but different words. Further, you will have to identify the most appropriate one. 

  • Map/Plan/Diagram Labelling: You need to identify different parts of the plan or map by listening to a description or following directions in the audio. You will be given a list of answers and must choose it from the recording itself. 

How to Improve your IELTS Listening Skills?

As you have noted above the types of questions asked in the IELTS listening practice test, there are some unique ways in which you can improve your IELTS listening skills. Here, we will discuss the approach you should take to improve your listening practice:

  • Instead of listening to a long recording, speech or audio, listen to the ones with a shorter duration. This will engage your active listening skills and you will be able to retain deeper information more efficiently.

  • While listening, you must pay attention to pronunciation, vocabulary, structure and grammar. Start focusing on the area where you are at your weakest. 

  • Instead of starting your practice from the IELTS listening practice test paper pdf, you can begin your listening task with something that you enjoy. You can watch English cartoons, movies, youtube videos, podcasts, ted talks and audiobooks. This will increase your interest and later you can shift to the IDP IELTS listening practice test.

IELTS Listening Tips and Tricks for Band 9

Scoring a band 9 in the listening test can increase your chances greatly to enter the top universities abroad and therefore you have to follow certain strategies that can help your score to reach from intermediate to advanced. Here we will discuss some of the IELTS Listening practice paper tips and tricks that will help you in getting a perfect band 9.0:

  • You should plan your IELTS listening practice as it comes in the real test. It means that you should hear multiple ranges of accents and topics (both everyday and academic topics) involving one person, two persons and multiple persons.

  • Practice listening for at least 30 minutes a day. It is an extremely impactful and consistent technique that makes you gradually confident on the IELTS exam date.

  • Keep a check on spellings. Write down the unfamiliar words you have heard and check them in the dictionary.

  • The listening task not only includes listening to various recordings but you should also team it up with reading and thinking about the questions before the recording plays. 

  • There are different types of questions asked in the listening practice test so you need different strategies to answer them. Highlight the keywords given, predict the answer, eliminate the wrong answers and do not spend more time on the questions than necessary.

It is essential to practice the IELTS listening practice test 2022 with answers at home regularly following the strategies highlighted by us. Your confidence will be boosted and you can score a perfect band 9 on the IELTS exam which can improve your chances of attending top universities abroad.

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FAQs on IELTS Listening Practice Test

Where can I listen to podcasts in the IELTS listening practice test?

You can listen to podcasts in the IELTS listening practice test online from your phone or your laptop. If you have Apple devices, then podcasts are pre-installed on the devices. There are other websites and applications from which you can download podcasts to listen to and practice. YouTube is another way to get a variety of podcasts.

From where can I get an authentic IELTS listening practice test?

You can access authentic IELTS listening practice tests from the official website of the British Council, IDP and IELTS website. We recommend you to trust the official sources for preparation as other websites may not know exactly the IELTS exam pattern and can frame questions that might not be a replica of the ones that come in the real test.

Are IELTS Academic listening practice test and the IELTS General listening practice test different?

No, IELTS Academic listening practice test and IELTS General listening practice are not different. Both contain four recordings on General and Academic topics which test takers have to answer within a stipulated time. The types of questions asked in the IELTS Listening practice test are also the same for both types of IELTS exams.

How should I go about the IELTS listening practice test?

In the IELTS listening practice test, you must first read the questions that are provided in the question paper. This will help you to pick up the right answers while the audio plays. You can write down the keywords and transfer them to the sheet later.

Are TOEFL and IELTS listening practice tests different?

The TOEFL listening practice test has more recordings that the IELTS listening practice test. This is the basic difference between the listening practice test of both exams. Apart from that, both IELTS and TOEFL focus on day-to-day conversational recordings and academic lectures or topics.

What are IELTS listening practice tests?

IELTS listening practice tests are question papers from which you can practice for the IELTS listening section and prepare yourself to get a good score. They are available on the official websites of the organising body of IELTS and there are also many unofficial websites that provide IELTS listening practice tests.

Why are IELTS listening practice tests hard?

IELTS listening practice tests are generally considered hard by students who lack knowledge of the format of the IELTS exam. It can also appear difficult due to a lack of multitasking skills and focus. All these problems can be overcome by solving  IELTS listening practice tests and analysing the weaknesses.

What are the best listening resources for IELTS practice tests?

The best listening resources for IELTS practice tests are BBC documentaries, British radios, podcasts and Ted talks. Additionally, you can listen to various discourses, every day speeches and conversations. Also, there are YouTube videos on different academic discourses and IELTS listening test materials to prepare you for the IELTS listening section.

How can I review my IELTS listening practice test?

  You can review your IELTS listening practice test in some of the easy steps given below:

  • You must complete the IELTS listening test in exam conditions.

  • Analyse the questions that caused difficulty.

  • Check for your mistakes and think about them.

  • Work on your weak areas.

Will the audio play twice during the IELTS listening practice test?

As the IELTS listening practice test emulates the real IELTS exam pattern, the audios are played only once. Therefore, you do not have the scope to revisit the audio for the second time to find out the answers. Hence, be very careful while listening to the recordings and answer the questions accordingly.

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