Dealing with Each Listening Question Type

These are the four most common question types in the IELTS Listening test:

  • Multiple Choice questions
  • Completion questions
  • Short Answer questions
  • Labelling a Diagram.

Multiple choice questions

Multiple Choice questions are a very common question type in the Listening test. There may be Multiple Choice questions in all four sections. However, the questions and answers become increasingly difficult as you move from Section 1 to 4. For example, in Sections 1 and 2, the answer choices may be basic facts such as costs or dates, whereas in Section 3 and 4 the answer choices are likely to be more complex, such as people’s opinions and attitudes.

In the IELTS Listening test, there are Standard Multiple Choice questions and Modified Multiple Choice questions.

Standard Multiple-Choice questions

This question asks you to choose the correct answer from a list of three or four choices. Usually, you need to choose:

  • a suitable ending for a sentence
  • an answer to a question.

Occasionally, the answer choices are pictures or diagrams.

Listen for the correct answer, and then circle the correct letter in your Question Booklet in the paper-based test or select your answer in the computer-delivered test.

Let’s look at two examples. Both are from a university lecture to media students.

Example 1 – one answer for one question

 

Question 1Choose the correct letter, A, B or C.

1 The lecturer is going to talk about how to produce

A entertainment multimedia
B educational multimedia
C multimedia in general.

In this question type, the instructions state Choose the correct letter, A, B or C. This means that you should choose only one letter for Question 1.

 

Example 2 – two answers for one question

 

Question 2Choose TWO letters A-E.

2 Which TWO of the following are important aspects to consider when producing this type of multimedia?

A audience
B marketing strategy
C resources
D content
E style

In this example the key word is TWO in the instructions and repeated in the question.

You should choose two letters. At the end of the test, you should write (in the paper-based test)two letters next to Question 2. In the computer-based test, you would select 2 letters. To get a mark for this question, both letters must be correct.

Modified Multiple Choice questions

In Modified Multiple Choice questions, the answer choices are provided. However, the list of answer choices is used for more than one question (usually three).

Example 1 – One list of answers for more than one question

 

Questions 3 – 5Which THREE groups of people who might use this type of multimedia are mentioned by the lecturer?

Choose THREE groups of people from the list below and write the letters next to Questions 3-5.

A pre-school children
B primary school children
C high school students
D tertiary students
E employees
Answers

Sample answer sheet showing spaces for answers 3, 4 and 5

The above example requires three answers – one answer for each question – chosen from the list of five answer choices A – E. Note the answers can be written in any order.

Example 2 – More questions than answer choices

In some Modified Multiple Choice questions, there are more questions than answer choices. Therefore, you will need to use some letters more than once.

Let’s look at the following example.

Questions 6-9Which age group has the expectations listed below?
A Adults
B Children
C Adults and children

Write the correct letter, A, B or C next to Questions 6-9.

NB You may use any letter more than once.

6 Fun and stimulating visuals ……………
7 Clear practical application ……………
8 Humour ……………
9 Associated workbook ……………

In this example, there are four Questions, 6-9, but only three answer choices: A, B and C.

Modified Multiple Choice questions

In Modified Multiple Choice questions, the answer choices are provided. However, the list of answer choices is used for more than one question (usually three).

Example 1 – One list of answers for more than one question

 

Questions 3 – 5Which THREE groups of people who might use this type of multimedia are mentioned by the lecturer?

Choose THREE groups of people from the list below and write the letters next to Questions 3-5.

A pre-school children
B primary school children
C high school students
D tertiary students
E employees
Answers

Sample answer sheet showing spaces for answers 3, 4 and 5

The above example requires three answers – one answer for each question – chosen from the list of five answer choices A – E. Note the answers can be written in any order.

Example 2 – More questions than answer choices

In some Modified Multiple Choice questions, there are more questions than answer choices. Therefore, you will need to use some letters more than once.

Let’s look at the following example.

Questions 6-9Which age group has the expectations listed below?
A Adults
B Children
C Adults and children

Write the correct letter, A, B or C next to Questions 6-9.

NB You may use any letter more than once.

6 Fun and stimulating visuals ……………
7 Clear practical application ……………
8 Humour ……………
9 Associated workbook ……………

In this example, there are four Questions, 6-9, but only three answer choices: A, B and C.

Example 3 – Matching Modified Multiple Choice questions

There is a lot of information to read and understand in Matching Modified Multiple Choice questions and answer choices. For this reason, candidates often find them more difficult than Standard Multiple Choice questions. Let’s look at an example.

Questions 1-3Write the correct letters, A-F against Questions 1-3.

1 An example of how multimedia is used in a limited way. ……………….

2 The key to success in multimedia. ……………….

3 The reason why lecturers value multimedia. ……………….

A students being in control of what they learn
B students working together at each stage
C having good visual quality
D providing resources for lecturers to use
E providing lecture notes for students
F students working at their own speed

 

Completion questions

In Completion questions, information is missing in one of the following:

  • a form
  • a sentence
  • a flow chart
  • a table
  • a summary paragraph
  • summary notes.

You need to complete the information with words or sometimes a number. Remember to look very carefully at the key words in the instructions, which tell you the type of answer you should write/choose/type and the word limit for each answer.

Let’s look now at each Completion question type.

Form Completion

This question type is almost always in Section 1. You will listen to a conversation about everyday topics or needs, such as making travel arrangements, or joining a study course or sports club. You should fill in the form by writing words or a number, depending on the instructions. Let’s look at an example.

Example
Questions 1-4Complete the notes in the form using NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS AND/OR A NUMBER for each answer.
Hiking Club
Membership Form
Name: 1 ……………………………….Student Number: 2……………………………….

Telephone Number:………….65 78 94 89…………

University Degree: Bachelor of 3……………………………….

How he found out about the club 4……………………………….

Sentence Completion

Sentence Completion questions may occur in any section of the Listening test.

You need to complete one or more sentences by filling in the missing word or words that you hear. The correct answers will fit grammatically in the sentences.

Let’s look at an example.

Example
Questions 11-12Complete the sentences below using NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS for each answer.

In the past, studies have focused on how the 11………………. influences driver behaviour.

This research project’s specific focus is on the 12………………. of the music.

From the instructions you can see that

  • there are two questions (Questions 11 and 12)
  • the word limit for each answer is three words.

Flow Chart Completion

This question type may be in any section of the test, but is often in Sections 2 and 4.

A flow chart is a diagram that shows the steps or stages of a process. The stages are often linked by arrows: (↓). You need to complete missing information in the flow chart by writing a word, words or number that you hear.

Let’s look at an example.

Example

 

Questions 13-16Complete the flow chart using NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS OR A NUMBER for each answer.

The Method used in this Research Project

They chose 28 subjects from State University.
They divided the subjects into four groups.
They gave different music, or none at all, to each group.
Group One Group Two Group Three Group Four
0 bpm 50 bpm 90 bpm 13 …… bpm** beats per minute

Subjects did a 14……………. on a driving simulator.

The researchers measured:
  • 15 ………………
  • driving behaviour
    • risk-taking
    • speed
    • number of 16………………………….

 

From the instructions we can see that:

  • there are four questions (Questions 13-16)
  • the word limit for each answer is three words and/or a number.

Let’s look more closely at the flow chart in this example. There are five stages – each stage is in a separate box. You need to answer one question in Stages 3 and 4 and two in Stage 5. The question numbers are in the flow chart boxes. If you are sitting the paper-based test, you should write your answers in your Question Booklet next to each question.

Table Completion

Table Completion questions are very common in the Listening test. They may be in any section, but they are frequently found in Sections 2 and 4.

Let’s look at an example from the conversation between the lecturer and students about their research project.

Example
Questions 17-20Complete the table below using NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS AND/OR A NUMBER for each answer.

Table showing results

Group One Group Two Group Three Group Four
Percentage who drove through a 17 ……… 18 …… % 5% 5% 8%
Accidents none very few very few more frequent and 19………
Heart rate fluctuates normally showed 20 …………… fluctuations

From the instructions you can see that:

  • there are four questions (Questions 17-20)
  • the word limit for each answer is three words and/or a number.

Summary Paragraph Completion

This question type may occur in any of the four sections of the Listening test. However, Summary Paragraph Completion questions are most often found in Section 4.

This is probably one of the most difficult question types. You will listen to a passage, and in the question, you will see a short paragraph that summarises the main points of the listening passage.

There are two types of Summary Paragraph Completion questions. Let’s look at an example of each.

Example 1 – Summary Paragraph with a list of answer choices

 

Questions 8 – 10Complete the summary below using words from the list.
  • arid
  • cheese
  • flour
  • long-lasting
  • non-toxic
  • shady
  • versatile

Hemp can be a source of foods and health products. It can produce 8…………………. containing a higher level of protein. It has many applications in the home. Paint made from hemp is 9………………………. It grows well under 10……………………… conditions. It is an environmentally-friendly solution to many problems.

From the instructions you can see that:

  • you must complete the summary
  • there are three questions (Questions 8 – 10)
  • there is a list of answers to choose from.

Sometimes the question does not provide a list of answer choices. You need to listen carefully for the correct answers. The key words in the instructions will explain how many words you should write and whether you can write a number. Look at the example.

Example 2 – Summary Paragraph without a list of answer choices

 

Questions 8 – 10Complete the summary below using NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS for each answer.

Hemp can be a source of foods and health products. It can produce 8…………………. containing a higher level of protein. It has many applications in the home. Paint made from hemp is 9………………………. It grows well under 10……………………… conditions. It is an environmentally-friendly solution to many problems.

Summary Notes Completion

In this question type, you need to complete a list of notes that summarise the listening passage. This question type is very common and may be in any section of the Listening test. However, in Section 4, these notes are often longer and more complicated, such as notes that a student takes at a university lecture, as shown in the example below.

Example
Questions 27-30Complete the notes below using NO MORE THAN THREE WORDSfor each answer.

Findings of the Research Report

  • Driving through a red light
    • Group 4 twice as likely to do this.
  • Car Accidents
    • Group 1: no accidents
    • Groups 2-3: 27…………………… accidents
    • Group 4: more frequent accidents
  • Heart Rate
    • No music: fluctuates normally
    • Listen to music: fewer fluctuations
    • Conclusion: the music apparently 28……………….. the drivers
  • A Limitation of this Study
    • Does the simulator actually represent how people drive
      29………………………….. ?
  • Recommendations:
    1. Make people aware of how music affects their driving
    2. Encourage drivers to:
      • choose 30………………………. of music
      • turn down the volume

From the instructions we can see that:

  • there are four questions (Questions 27 – 30)
  • the word limit for each answer is three words.

Labelling a diagram

In this question type, you will see a diagram in the Question Booklet. The diagram could be:

  • a man-made object such as a computer
  • a natural object such as a tree
  • a map of a building or a city
  • a graph or chart.

The instructions will tell you:

  • to label the diagram
  • how many words you should write.

Usually, some parts of the diagram are already labelled; these help you to understand the whole diagram. However, other parts of the diagram are missing a label – these parts each have a number. These are the questions you need to complete by writing a name (a label) for each number. Let’s look at an example.

Example
Question 38-40Label the diagram using NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS for each answer.

From the instructions we can see that:

  • there are three questions (Questions 38, 39 and 40)
  • the word limit for each answer is three words
  • each question is connected by a line or arrow to its corresponding part on the diagram
  • some parts of the diagram are already labelled (e.g., ‘overalls’ and ‘ear muffs’).

close

Ad Blocker Detected!

Please disable the ad blocker for this website. >>open Chrome.>>>Go to easy-ielts.com>>>To the left of the web address, click Lock or Info .>>>To the right of "Ads," click the Arrows . >>>Choose Always allow on this site.>>>Reload the webpage.

Refresh