Pictures, words, Phrases and Sentence Matching

Matching questionsin the IELTS listening test are often more difficult than they should be.  This is how they might appear:

Below is my step by step guide on how to do IELTS Matching pictures/words/phrases/sentences listening questions:

1.Read all of the question instructions carefully.

2. Take a moment to understand the different options.

3. Think about synonyms for words on the form, or other ways to say these items.

4. Use the information given to predict the types of answers you should be listening for.

5. Listen carefully and match the options as you go. The questions will be discussed in the order they are listed.

6. Guess if you need to and then move on.

Tips and Tricks

Usually these types of questions require you to follow a detailed conversation between 2-3 people. Speakers often use synonyms and paraphrases of keywords from the sentences you are trying to match so be ready for this.

Predicting how the options could be said differently to how they are written can help prepare you for hearing the answer when it appears.

You can narrow down the list of correct options as you go along. After you match an answer cross it out clearly for yourself and any other answers that are obviously not correct.

The list you are trying to match will always be heard in the order they are in the question. This means that you should not get lost in the recording, if you cannot workout an answer be ready for the next question.

A Few More Ideas To Help:

Sometimes between recordings there is an opportunity for a short break. Avoid using this time to check previous answers and instead use this to read ahead and understand the upcoming multiple choice questions.

Don’t get ‘held up’ on one question if you are not sure, make your best guess and be ready for the next question.

If you hear words such as, ‘even though’, ‘but’, or ‘however’ then this can be a sign that the meaning of a sentence is going to be modified in some way which may affect your choice.

And finally, make sure you are clear on the the steps you are going to go through when answering each IELTS listening question type. Practicing the steps will give you confidence and help you remain calm on test day AND hopefully boost your score!