Common Types Of Test In IELTS Listening

Among the test sections of the IELTS test, Listening will be the part that helps you get a high score if you create a suitable study plan and master the basic types of test in IELTS Listening.

This article About IELTS will summarize the most common types of test in IELTS Listening, contributing to supporting you on your upcoming review path.

I. Overview Of The IELTS Listening Test

Before going into the types of test in IELTS Listening, let’s review the overview of the IELTS Listening test.

Basically, the Listening test will include 40 questions, divided into four parts. The questions of each section will be arranged in the correct order of the listening sections that you will hear in the Audio. As follows:

  • Part 1: daily conversation between two people, exchanging basic information with each other (10 questions)
    Theme: a particular situation in everyday life.
  • Part 2: monologue
    Topic: topics around life (10 sentences)
  • Part 3: conversation between many people
    Topic: academic-related (10 sentences)
  • Part 4: lecture by a specific lecturer
    Subject: related to a particular topic or course.

Regarding the length of a Listening test, you have 40 minutes to complete this section. In there:

30 minutes: length of the Listening section.
10 minutes: time for candidates to transfer their answers to the answer sheet.
Candidates can write their answers in the draft. However, remember, the examiners will only grade the answers you have included in the ballot. So, make good use of 10 minutes to don’t miss any questions.

Learning Ways To Improve Your IELTS Listening Score

II. Types of Test in IELTS Listening

After having an overview of a complete Listening test structure, you should delve into the types of IELTS Listening tests. Making a study plan based on these types of lessons is a “strategy” to help you achieve a high score in the Listening test. Let’s discover together now!

1. Multiple Choice

Candidates will receive an answer. Below are 3 (or 4) answers A, B, C (D) for candidates to choose from. The candidate’s task is to listen carefully to the Audio and choose ONE best answer.


  • To “trap” you, all the answers will usually appear in the Audio. Therefore, you must understand the content of the listening passage to be able to choose the correct answer.
  • The Multiple Choice question type often appears in Section 3.
  • Sometimes, the answers will be synonyms of words you have heard in the Audio. Therefore, you need to pay close attention to this point to complete the test effectively.

2. Sentence Completion

In a word, Sentence Completion is a type of test that fills in the blanks with the necessary words in the summary of the listening passage.


  • The test will ask for the maximum number of words you can fill in the blank. If you enter more than the specified number of words, you will lose points for that answer.
    Example: The topic asks “ONLY ONE WORD”: You can only enter one word.
  • The topic requires “NO MORE TWO WORDS AND A NUMBER”: You can enter up to 2 words and 1 number.
  • Candidates need to correctly identify the main content of the listening passage through the relationship between the sentences and the parts contained in the test.

3. Form Completion

Form Completion is considered the most accessible type of IELTS listening test. However, you should not be subjective! Listen carefully to the conversation (usually between two people) related to hotel booking, reservation, course registration… And then, fill in the necessary information in the form in the question paper.


  • This type of post usually appears in Section 1
  • During the conversation, the speaker can change his mind, request a reservation, his plan. Therefore, you need to pay attention at these points not to be “trapped”!

4. Table Completion

This type of test fills in the requested information in a table. This table contains the primary dialogue information that you will hear in Audio.


  • Answers that meet the requirements will be scored.
  • The answer needs to be in the correct word form or tense of the verb. Therefore, candidates need to clearly define the context of the conversation and the type of words to be filled in (noun, verb, adj…)

5. Matching Form

In a word, Matching is a type of post that requires you to connect numbered sentences with the word answers available in the table, so that it matches the content of the Audio you have heard.


  • In this type of Matching lesson, sometimes candidates will feel confused when listening to the Audio and observing the answers in the lesson. In addition, audio content sometimes passes quickly, causing candidates to lose their temper, leading to incorrect answers.
  • To complete this type of test well, you need to practice regularly, increase your reflexes for both hearing and seeing, and choose the correct answer.

6. Short Answer Question

Short answer question is one of the types of test in IELTS listening that “makes it difficult” for candidates the most. This type of test requires you to write a short answer to a question given by the task.

You will not receive any keywords or suggestions for this type of test, but you will have to come up with the best answer yourself. Therefore, candidates need to listen carefully to the Audio, take notes of the necessary information, and grasp the main idea of ​​each passage to be able to complete this lesson well.

7. Labeling Plan, Map, Diagrams

For this type of lesson, you need to fill in all information based on the content of the Listening in Audio lesson to complete a Plan, Map, or Diagram.

Labeling Map example:

The problem can be a map drawing of a particular area, be it a school, hospital, campus… Your task is to collect information from the Audio file and then complete the locations’ names locations on the map.

In addition, there is another form of representation in this Labeling Map post. The problem will give the names of places, and then you need to see which letters of the site will correspond to the letters A, B, C …


  • In this format, the information in the Audio sometimes won’t go in the same order as in the Map, Plan, or Diagram that the title shows. Therefore, candidates need to pay close attention, listen carefully, grasp information quickly so as not to miss critical details.

Example of Diagram Labeling

The topic will give a Diagram describing the structure of a machine or the working process of a specific system… So you need to collect all the information and grasp the key points of the article to be completed well.

Note that candidates must answer based on the information given in the talk, not guess or based on their knowledge.

8. Pick From A List

This type of test requires candidates to choose the correct answers to the question out of the five answers that the question has given.


  • Pick from a list is different from Multiple Choice in that: For Multiple Choice, you are only allowed to choose one correct answer. But in the form Pick from a list, you need to select the number of answers that the question requires.

All types of test in IELTS Listening have different difficulty levels that can assess the candidate’s ability. In order not to have difficulty in the Listening test, you need to practice synthesizing all types of questions to become familiar with all kinds of questions, increase your ability to concentrate, synthesize information, make judgments and give answers correct answers.