IELTS Listening Section Exam Guide

IELTS Listening Section Exam Guide
This Section contains a detailed analysis of the Listening section of the exam with Exam Tips and Guidance for all the different Listening tasks that students will encounter taking the IELTS exam, with reference to the tasks included in the Practice Test

Listening Section format

IELTS Listening Section Exam Guide


  • a face-to-face or telephone conversation
  • about a topic of general interest
  • usually comprised of one or two tasks (there is a pause between tasks)
  • ten questions long WITH an example at the beginning


  • your understanding of specific information (Le. dates, everyday objects, places etc.)
  • spelling (all words must be spelt correctly)


  • if you are asked to write the name of a street, person, company etc., it will be spelt for you
  • you should be very familiar with the names of the letters of the alphabet to aid you in spelling what you hear


  • you may have to write down a year, phone number, part of an address etc.
  • remember that ‘O’ can be pronounced ‘oh’ or ‘zero’ when saying a phone number
  • when talking about money, we typically say amounts in the same way as in the examples below:

£4.50 = four pound(s) fifty / four fifty

$3135 = thirty-one dollar(s) and eighty-five cents / thirty-one eighty-five

  • most years are pronounced in the same way as in the examples below:

1985 = nineteen eighty-five 2015 = twenty fifteen

(we put the first two numbers together and then the second two)

except for the years 2000 – 2009, example:

2000 = two thousand

2009 = two thousand and nine or two thousand nine

(we say the year as we would a number)

  • you can write dates in different ways and still get full marks:

3rd March, March 3rd, March 3 and 3 March are all considered the same two-word answer

  • for measurements, you can write either the whole thing or an abbreviation, for example:

25m = 25 metres = 25 meters

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Sowmya is a content writer and is passionate about her job. She currently works on editing and writing engaging content for IELTS Material. She also has experience in the Software Testing Industry and has worked with Wipro for five and a half years.

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