The duration of the listening test is about thirty (30) minutes. Twenty (20) minutes is allotted for answering the 40 test questions while paying attention on the played cassette tape recorder. The remaining ten minutes apportioned for the examinees to transfer their answers in the provided answer sheet. The listening material recorded on a tape is only played once. That is why, it is very important not to spend too much time taking notes in one item that you might miss some important points for the proceeding questions.
There are four sections in the listening test staged in an order of difficulty. Section one will be in a form of dialogue and the topic is on general interest. The next section is still focused on general interest. Most likely one speaker will be presenting the topic in this part. Sections two and three will spotlight the education and training. These portions will probably have up to four speakers.
Before the Test
Before the listening test starts, a test booklet and an answer sheet will be provided. Don’t forget to write your name in the answer sheet because you will flunk the exam without this basic action. As you listen to the conversation, you should also write your answers in the test booklet. Notes are written on this paper.
Others are directing their answers immediately to the answer sheet. This is not wrong, but you can focus more if you are jotting down your notes in the test booklet where the questions are found. Always remember, you are given 10 minutes to transfer your answers in the answer sheet after the recording has ended. So, rather than staring at the ceiling during the last 10 minutes make use of it!
Handwritings should also be legible. If no one in the world can read your answers except yourself, I’m telling you, you will fail this test. Some people are used to write words in minute or tiny letters. If you are that person, before taking IELTS, you should practice writing legibly – meaning writing in a way that can be read by others. It should neither be too large or small, just enough to be read by others. This is helpful especially in the writing part. And most importantly, to divert all your focus on listening and getting the correct answer, please take note of this – don’t ever panic!