The actual IELTS Academic listening test happens to be a particular test where lecturers are not able to help students as much as they can in other areas.
The IELTS Academic listening test is approximately 40 minutes in length and there are four sections each with an individual listening passage.
In each section there are 10 questions making 40 in all. Sections 1 and 2 are based on social survival in an English speaking country and sections 3 and 4 are based on a more educational and training orientation.
What’s in the IELTS Listening Test?
The actual recording lasts for about 30 minutes and then students have 10 minutes at the end of the listening in order to transfer their answers to the answer paper.
Section 1 Here students listen to a dialogue between 2 people which is divided into 2 parts. 10 questions are required to be answered based on the content. At the start of section 1 an example is read out and then explained. This is then repeated when the listening test starts properly.
Section 2 Students will hear a monologue, sometimes another speaker is included who asks queries in order to encourage the speaker. It is broken down into 2 parts. 10 questions are asked dependant on what is heard.
Section 3 Features a discussion between 2, 3 or 4 people. It is divided into 2 parts and students will be required to answer 10 questions based on what is heard.
Section 4 Here scholars will hear a monologue though it may include a second speaker asking questions to stimulate the monologue. It is divided into 2 parts. 10 questions are required to be answered based on what is heard.
Typical student problems with IELTS Listening
The main problem that students have with the IELTS Academic listening test is that the listening recording is only played once. For this reason, students have to be particularly quick and really alert in order to get the answers, write them down and be ready for the next response.
Another area where students have problems is that they are used to listening to a live speaker in front of them when they can analyze the lips and the body movements. IELTS candidates listen to a recording and this is not a normal skill.
To reiterate; students have to get as much practice at this skill as possible in order to maximise their probability of getting a good IELTS band result.
Particularly challenging to students are local accents.
English, like all languages, has a rich assortment of accents. Comprehending complicated accents like Northern Irish or some of the Scottish accents can be very challenging, even for native English speakers.
Results in the listening test reflect life generally
The harder the student works at it and the more a student practices; the better the IELTS Listening Test band score will be.
Where can I learn more about IELTS Listening?
We have a very comprehensive article, called IELTS Listening 101 – click here. It tells you a lot of information about the IELTS Listening Test and how you can prepare for it.
You can also hear more about IELTS Listening preparation here with this episode of our IELTS podcast.