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IELTS Listening Question Types: Completing Flow Charts and Diagrams

Watch the video on diagrams and flowcharts.














Labelling a Diagram

Labelling a diagram is quite a common Listening test task and there are 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. The sample below is choosing from a list.


IELTS Listening Diagrams & Flowcharts

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. 

  • The sample has a list of 5 options but only 3 are necessary and they are not in the order you will hear them in the recording.

  • Before you listen study the diagram carefully. Pay attention to the title and the parts already labelled as they will guide you to the missing answers.

Location and Shapes

  • Be aware of the language to describe location and shapes. The parts of machines and devices, as in the example, are often described by their shape.

Example: Question 11


The first one - the round one on the far left - is the most important one for the heating and hot water. It’s the main control switch. Make sure it’s in the on position.

Answer: B

IELTS Listening Diagrams & Flowcharts

Synonyms & Paraphrase

  • Careful of synonyms and paraphrase. The answers are often described using similar words.

Example: Question 13


Then there’s a little square indicator under the third knob that’s a kind of alarm light.

Answer: E

IELTS Listening Devices
IELTS Listening Diagrams & Flowcharts

Completing a Flowchart

The topics of flowcharts are many and varied, they can show a manufacturing process, an application procedure or steps to complete an academic project etc. There will always be a number of steps with a start and finish point. The task usually involves completing gaps by writing your answer. Flowcharts are particularly common in part 3 of the Listening test.


IELTS Listening Diagrams & Flowcharts

Strategies & Tips

IELTS Listening Written Answers
  • 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. 

  • Do not change the word you hear in recording. You will hear the exact word you need to write in the gaps even though the words around the answer may be paraphrased.


  • Part 3 is always 2 or more people discussing an academic topic. There is no indication on the sample of this. However, before you listen, you will hear the context. That is, who will speak and what they will talk about.



Example: Recording

You will hear 2 students called Darren and Jeannie discussing their studies at university. 


Read the title carefully. “Advice on exam preparation” This will give you an indication of what the speakers will talk about.

Predicting Answers

  • Before you listen read the steps carefully and predict the answer.​

  • Think about the information and type of word needed in the gaps. 

  • Question 28 is most likely a noun as the gap is proceeded by “a”

  • After writing your answer, make sure that it fits grammatically.

Example: Question 28

Make a 28 ........... and keep it in view


You also need a timetable, to see how you can fit everything in, in the time available. Then keep it in front of you while you’re studying.

Answer: timetable

Synonyms & Paraphrase

  • Never change the word or words you hear in the recording but the words around the gap will most likely be paraphrased.

Example: Question 29

Divide revision into 29 ............. for each day


So, if you break down your revision into small tasks, and allocate them to specific days

Answer: small tasks

Devices IELTS Listening
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