Try the fun, quick quiz to see how much you know about the IELTS Listening test.

Click on the links below for information on different aspects of the Listening test, information, strategies, tips and examples. 

IELTS Listening Test: Format

Essential information on what to expect in each section of the Listening test and which listening skills are

tested in each one. The importance of following instructions.

IELTS Listening Test: Grading

Important information on how the Listening test is graded.

How to deal with any problems during the test and the importance of being familiar with different English accents.

IELTS Listening Strategies & Tips

A step-by-step approach on adopting a strategy for the IELTS Listening test.

How to recognize features such as distractors, and signposting language. 

Improving Your IELTS Listening Skills

Advice and strategies on how to improve your general listening skills which, will have

a positive impact on your IELTS Listening test score.

IELTS Listening Question Types

A must-read page that gives strategies and tips for each individual question type.

With examples from real IELTS past papers.

IELTS Listening: 5 Mistakes to Avoid

Increase your IELTS Listening Test band score by avoiding these common mistakes


  • Is it a good idea to try to improve my listening skills by only watching movies and listening to the radio and songs?

         That’s a useful way to familiarize yourself with accents and speed of delivery but you still need to use IELTS practice materials and tests. The listening test is quite idiosyncratic with the use of paraphrase, distractors and task types.So, you should prioritize test practice.

  • Can I use a pen when I transfer my answers to the answer sheet?

      IELTS rules state that you must use only a pencil in the listening test.

  • Can I erase and change my answer on the answer sheet?

        You can erase and change any answer on the answer sheet.


  • In my practice test book, the answer key for Listening often has brackets for example 1. (computer) keyboard. Why is this?

        Practice test material uses brackets to show the different options. In your example “computer keyboard” and “keyboard” are both correct with “computer” optional but “keyboard” essential for a correct answer.

  • Can I use brackets in my listening answers?

       No, if you use brackets, it will be marked incorrect. You need to have the essential answer. If you think the essential answer is “keyboard” but are not sure if “computer” is necessary, then write “computer keyboard” NOT “(computer) keyboard”. Provided, of course, it is within the word limit.

  • Do the answers I write on the answer sheet need to be the same as I wrote on the question paper?

       Not necessary. You will not be penalized if the answers on the answer sheet are different from the one you wrote on the question paper. Question papers are not checked or graded.

  • Can I write my answers on the answer sheet in capital letters?

       You can use capital letters for your answers. In fact, caps are a useful way to avoid punctuation mistakes with proper nouns and are easier to read.

  • Can I write some of my answers in capital letters and others in small print on the answer sheet?

       You can write both capital letters and small print. Use whatever can be clearly read but do not mix capital and small print for one word, for example – AUSTralia.

  • Can I have extra paper for making notes?

       IELTS test centers do not provide extra paper for the paper-based test but it has been reported by candidates that some test centers provide extra paper for the Computer Delivered test. Check with your test center. For the paper-based test, you can write your answers on the question paper before transferring to the answer sheet. Also, during the test, you’ll probably be too busy answering the questions to make notes.