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IELTS Listening Question Types: Matching

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.


IELTS Listening Matching Questions

Strategies & Tips

  • The answers for all question types will be in the same order as the information you hear. Always follow the question numbers for the order you will hear the answers.

  • In SAMPLE A you will hear the information about the people, Simon to Judith (14 - 18), in order.  However, the options (A - H) are listed randomly.

  • You will usually not hear the exact words on the list of options (A - H), they will be PARAPHRASED OR SYNONYMS used instead.​

  • Read the list of options carefully before the recording starts and think of synonyms for the key words. You can note these on the question paper.

Example: Question 14: Simon (the speaker)

engine maintenance


           “I only concern myself with looking after the mechanical side of things.”

Answer: E


IELTS Listening Matching Questions
  • In SAMPLE B you will hear a discussion about each course (27 - 30) in order. However, the options (A - C) are listed randomly.

  • It is not mentioned in the instructions but, you will need to use one of the options twice in your answers.

  • Listen for DISTRACTERS. That’s when the answer is changed from what was originally said in the recording.

Example: Question 27 Media Studies


Man: So, what are your thoughts about Media Studies? Have you considered it?

Mary: Yes, I’m really interested in that. I reckon I'll go for that one.

Man: OK. And of course, you’ll be studying full time on that course. Yes?

Mary: Oh really? I didn’t realise that. I’m only interested in part time courses. So... I got to say no.

Answer: C

  • At first Mary says yes, so it’s obvious to choose A but she changes her mind and says no. So, the answer is C.

  • Listen carefully for distracters and be patient. Don’t write down the first possible answer you hear.

  • If you need to change your answer because of distracters, it is fine to erase it and write it again. 

  • When writing your answers, follow the instructions and write the letter only. 

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