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Must Know Information for IELTS Listening

  • IELTS listening test duration is 40 minutes. You will be given around 30 minutes for listening and answering, and then 10 more minutes for transferring the answers into the answer sheet. This is total 40 minutes.

  • There will be 4 sections in the Listening part, and the sections will appear in progressive difficulty. That means the second section will be more difficult than the first section. Likewise, the third section will be tougher than the second section, and so on.  

  • Listening test is same for Academic and General Training IELTS. 

  • In your exam center, there will be only one listening test for everyone. The test will be held at the same time for all the candidates in the test room.

  • Do not forget to transfer your answers into the answer sheet. You should practice with the official answer sheet at home.

  • You will be given 40-45 seconds before the audio clip starts. You must use this time. This website has discussed in detail how to use these seconds smartly.

  • There will be 40 questions, and each question will carry one point for a correct answer. There is no negative marking for incorrect answers. Click here to understand the scoring for the Listening section.

  • As there is no negative marking for an incorrect answer, we suggest you don't leave any question unanswered. 

  • There is no problem with writing on the question sheet. In fact, we suggest you take notes on the question paper as much as you can. It will not impact on your scores. Because, examiners will evaluate your answer sheet only, not the question paper.

  • Remember, don't use a highlighter pen. Practice using a pencil. In fact, you must use pencils for both Listening and Reading tests. For Writing test, you can choose either a pen or a pencil.

  • If your spelling is wrong, your answer is wrong. Don't forget to bring eraser in the exam hall. You might need to erase and rewrite the spellings, specially when you are transferring your answers into the answer sheet

  • There is no obligation of using capital or small letters. But we recommend you try to use capital letters. Because capital letters are more readable.

  • In the answer sheet, you can write T instead of True, and Y rather than Yes.

  • IELTS accepts both forms of writing dates and times. For example, 10th October or 10 October, and 12 pm or 12:00 pm.


Some answers have to be grammatically correct, some don't. Overall, this website has detailed discussions on Listening question types and their solution strategies with examples. Click here to go into details. 

Don't forget to check the following resources:

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