IELTS Listening

About the IELTS Listening test

  • You will listen to 4 different recordings and answer 40 questions.
  • The test takes approximately 30 minutes. You will have an additional ten minutes to transfer your answers to an answer sheet
  • You only hear the audio once.
  • A variety of voices and native-speaker accents is use.
  • You will hear conversations and monologues, with topics ranging from the everyday social to the academic.
  • A variety of question types are used, including multiple choice, form completion, note completion, summary completion, sentence completion, and short-answer questions.
  • Candidates for IELTS Academic and IELTS General both do the same listening test

Listening Tips

  • Read the instructions and questions carefully before you listen.
  • Try to get an idea of the situation. Who are the speakers? Where are they? Why are they speaking?
  • Remember, you will only hear the audio once. You will need to read, write and listen all at the same time.
  • Listen for 'signpost words' such as however, although and finally. They help you to anticipate what the speaker will say.



You can download practice listening tests from our partners at

Ielts practice tests