IELTS ListeningThis article will teach you everything you need to know about the IELTS listening test in order to score a Band 7+, including:
- Important exam information
- Test day advice
- IELTS listening lessons
- Improving your listening skills
- Listening practice
- How to review your practice tests
- Calculating your band score from your marks
- How to get a band 8 in IELTS listening
- IELTS listening FAQs
Important Exam InformationIn order to score a Band 7+ in IELTS listening, you need to have a solid understanding of what is expected from you. Spending time understanding the exam format and question types will allow you to manage your time wisely and walk into the exam with confidence:
- The IELTS listening test lasts around 30 minutes.
- There are 40 questions in total. Each question carries 1 mark.
- The test is divided into 4 parts. The questions get progressively more difficult as the test goes on.
- Timing is key. For each part, you will have time to look at the questions before the recording begins and you will have time to check your answers at the end.
- You will be given 10 minutes to transfer your answers to the answer sheet provided at the end of the test.
- Both General Training and Academic IELTS pupils take the same Listening exam.
- You can check out our complete guide to the IELTS exam here: IELTS Preparation Guide
IELTS Test Day Advice
- Arrive at the test centre early and plan your journey in advance. You need to be settled, organised and ready for what’s coming.
- Read and listen to the instructions very carefully. Many students throw away easy marks by misreading or not following simple instructions.
- Write your answers on the test paper. Feel free to write on it. You’ve paid for it.
- Carefully transfer your answers to the answer sheet at the end.
- You can write in all capital letters if you wish.
- If you have problems hearing the recording, complain at the end. You’ve paid for a service and you deserve to be treated properly.
- For more help with test day advice, check out the IELTS website here: IELTS Test Day Advice
IELTS Listening Lessons
Improving your Listening Skills
Reviewing Your Practice Tests
- Complete official practice tests under exam conditions.
- Identify any particular question types that caused you problems.
- Analyse your mistakes.
- Think about why you made those mistakes. What were the particular reasons why you answered those questions incorrectly? Was it timing, strategy, vocabulary, grammar, listening skills, spelling?
- Focus on improving your weakest areas first.
- Repeat the process until you are consistently getting the score you need.
Calculating your band score from your marksYou can calculate your Band score by counting up your marks out of 40 and comparing them with the scores below: 18-22- Band 5.5 23-25- Band 6.0 26-29- Band 6.5 30-31- Band 7.0 32-34- Band 7.5 35-36- Band 8.0 37-38- Band 8.5 39-40- Band 9.0
How to Get a Band 8 in IELTS Listening
Next StepsHopefully, this guide has given you a better understanding of what it takes to do well in the IELTS test. Now that you have the resources, it’s up to you to use them and practice the strategies you have learned. For a free series of video lessons sent straight to your inbox, you should try my IELTS Fundamentals Course. It’s free of charge and includes tasks, practice questions and answer sheets to help you activate your knowledge. Learn more about it here: FREE Fundamentals Course If you’re looking for personalised help with your listening skills, you can send me an email at email@example.com to ask me about my VIP Course. There is a waiting list, but you can learn more about it here. We are always improving our collection of free materials, so please let us know if you have any suggestions in the comments below!
FAQsSee the interactive tool below for the most commonly asked questions we receive about IELTS Listening:
How can I improve my listening?
You will find all the free materials, video lessons and practice tools that you’ll need on our Listening Page.
It has lots of helpful articles that will help you succeed.
Click the link below:
For a step-by-step guide to answering any IELTS Listening question type, you should join my free Fundamentals Course. You can learn more here:
Can I use all capital letters?
Yes, this is fine, as long as you are consistent with your answers.
How do I answer _____ questions?
You’ll find strategies for each question type listed on the page below:
How can I stay focused in the listening exam?
You’ll find a number of methods to help you stay focused in the Listening exam below:
How many questions do I need to answer correctly?
That depends on the score you need to achieve. You’ll find help with calculating your score here: