Listening Question Types: Strategies & Tips

Click on the links below for strategies and tips for each question type.

Labelling Maps and Plans

Labelling maps and plans are quite common in the IELTS Listening test, particularly in part 2. For maps, the speaker often describes changes that have occurred to a location or future developments.

Completing Tables and Forms

Completing tables and forms are very common question type in the IELTS Listening test, particularly in part 1. From 2020, the IELTS Listening test no longer has an example at the start of part 1.

Completing Notes

Completing can be found in all parts of the Listening test. Notes reflect how you would take notes in various situations, such as listening to a lecture, a telephone conversation etc.

Completing Sentences and a Summary

Completing sentences are not very common in the Listening test and can be found in any part. Having a strategy is essential to do well in this question type.

Short Answer Questions

Short answer questions can appear in any part. The topics are many and varies and always require you to write the answer according to the word limit and the number of answered stated in the instructions.

Completing Flow Charts and Diagrams

Labelling a diagram can have several possible topics such as machines, devices, processes and structures. The task is to choose the correct option from a list or write the correct answer in the numbered gaps. 


Matching is a popular question type and for this task you need to choose an answer for each question from a list that is usually labelled with letters. The possible answers are listed alphabetically or if they are numbers, usually starting with the lowest.

Multiple Choice

Multiple choice is one of the most challenging question types in the Listening test because of the amount of reading you need to do and the similarities in the options.