IELTS Listening Part 1


In IELTS Listening Part 1, the audio recording you will hear will be a conversation between two people in a social situation. Usually, you will hear a dialogue between a customer and a service provider exchanging factual information.

man buying at a food truck

The audio recording in IELTS Listening Part 1 is separated into two parts. Before it starts, you will get around 30 seconds to read the questions. After you listen to a portion of the overall recording, there will be a pause before the remaining part is played. This allows you time to go through the remaining questions.

Almost all the time, you will get form fill-up questions in IELTS Listening test Part 1. You may need to fill in names, addresses, dates of birth, and telephone numbers in the question paper based on the conversation you hear. The words and phrases need to be exactly the same words and phrases spoken by the speaker. Paraphrasing the answer is not allowed.

Another thing to keep in mind is that there is always a limit on the number of words you can use as answers. The instructions before the questions will tell you to write your answers in ONE WORD ONLY or NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS and so on.

In rare occasions, you might receive multiple choice questions in IELTS Listening Part 1.

After the audio recording ends, you will be given 30 seconds to recheck the answers. You can either think about questions you have missed, check the spelling and word count instruction or start reading the next set of questions during this time.

IELTS Listening Part 1 tips: Listening attentively

Paying attention to the words in the conversation is, of course, the main skill necessary in answering questions in the Listening test. Candidates who already have this habit ace the Listening test without trouble.

You have to realize first that the speakers in the audio recording are not talking to you or answering the questions in the question paper. The speakers are acting out a scenario and talking to themselves. We are eavesdropping on their conversation. Imagine sitting at a table in a restaurant and overhearing people from another table. Although eavesdropping is not a good social etiquette, you have to develop this ability at least for the Listening test in IELTS.

As you are provided with time to look through the questions before the audio starts, you should utilize this time wisely to get a grasp of what the general points in the conversation are going to be about. Assume as if your life depends on the answers provided by the speakers, so listen with keen interest.

In the exam center, it is common for many candidates to be distracted by something happening in the hall (such as the invigilator moving about or other candidates rustling in their seats) or even by you own thoughts.

IELTS Listening Part 1 tips: Preparing for paraphrase

One more thing to keep in mind while listening attentively is to watch out for paraphrase. A paraphrase is the process of rewriting or retelling something using different words but with the same meaning.

Most of the times, the words in the question paper do not match with the words spoken by the speakers, even though they are conversing on the same topic. This is done in order to judge you comprehension ability.

Look at the sample question below:

Part 1 Questions 1-10

Complete the form below.

Write ONE WORD AND/OR A NUMBER for each answer.
LANGUAGE CLASS ENROLMENT FORM

Name: 1 Lydia ………………………………………

Age: 19

Address: 2 ……………………………………… Street, Mayville, Vinewood

Phone: 3 ………………………………………

Occupation: 4 ………………………………………

Language of study: Italian

Course type: Basic Shift: 5 ………………………………………

Course duration: 6 ………………………………………

Purpose of taking language class: Travel to Italy

Prior knowledge of language: 7 ………………………………………

Known languages: English, Cantonese, and 8 ………………………………………

Known about institute from: Instagram advertisement

Start date: 9 ………………………………………

Preferred payment method: 10 ………………………………………

During the time provided before the audio recording starts, you should think about all the ways the information could be paraphrased. If you are just relying on hearing the words in the question paper, then you might never get the answer.

For example, in Question 2, we need to fill in the address. However, the word address may never be spoken in the conversation. Other ways of talking about addresses like Where do you live? or My home is at… or I am currently staying in… may be used by the speakers. Only in rare occasions do the speakers use the same words in the question paper.

Let us look back the questions again. Included in brackets are some possible ways thing could be paraphrased.

Part 1 Questions 1-10

Complete the form below.

Write ONE WORD AND/OR A NUMBER for each answer.
LANGUAGE CLASS ENROLMENT FORM

Name: 1 Lydia ……………………………………… (Who are you?)

Age: 19

Address: 2 ……………………………………… Street, Mayville, Vinewood (Where are you staying at the moment?)

Phone: 3 ……………………………………… (What is you number?) (You can contact me at…) (Give me a ring at…)

Occupation: 4 ……………………………………… (I work at…) (What do you do?) (I have a job as a…)

Language of study: Italian

Course type: Basic Shift: 5 ……………………………………… (What time do you want to start?)

Course duration: 6 ……………………………………… (How long do you want to study?)

Purpose of taking language class: Travel to Italy

Prior knowledge of language: 7 ……………………………………… (How much do you know already?)

Known languages: English, Cantonese, and 8 ……………………………………… (I am fluent in…)

Known about institute from: Instagram advertisement

Start date: 9 ……………………………………… (When would you like to begin?)

Preferred payment method: 10 ……………………………………… (How would you pay for the course?)

Instead of thinking about paraphrase, if you wait for the speakers to say the words written on the question paper, you might never figure out the answers. It may not be necessary to write down the ways the information could be paraphrased, but you need to at least make a mental note of such things.

IELTS Listening Part 1 tips: Predicting

In addition to listening attentively and preparing for paraphrase, you also need to guess what the answers are going to be even before the audio recording begins. it may seem like too much to ask, but this strategy makes sure you get most answers correct.

First of all, before taking the IELTS test, you should be familiar with how the English language is used in various contexts. Based on this familiarity, you should be able to speculate about what the speakers in the audio recording might say. Of course, nobody can perfectly predict the answers. Nevertheless, you can make some wise guesses. At the minimum, you can predict the type of answer if not the actual answer.

For an instance, if the question is asking for date of birth, you should pay attention if numbers or months are mentioned. Similarly, for questions which ask for price, you should expect to hear words like pounds, dollars, or euros.

Let us look at the previous question again. My guesses are written in brackets.

Part 1 Questions 1-10

Complete the form below.

Write ONE WORD AND/OR A NUMBER for each answer.
LANGUAGE CLASS ENROLMENT FORM

Name: 1 Lydia ……………………………………… (Chan)

Age: 19

Address: 2 ……………………………………… Street, Mayville, Vinewood (21 Hamilton)

Phone: 3 ……………………………………… (19099622)

Occupation: 4 ……………………………………… (Nurse)

Language of study: Italian

Course type: Basic Shift: 5 ……………………………………… (Evening)

Course duration: 6 ……………………………………… (6 weeks)

Purpose of taking language class: Travel to Italy

Prior knowledge of language: 7 ……………………………………… (No)

Known languages: English, Cantonese, and 8 ……………………………………… (Latin)

Known about institute from: Instagram advertisement

Start date: 9 ……………………………………… (13 June)

Preferred payment method: 10 ……………………………………… (Mastercard)

Always predict the answers and keep on practicing until you are able to jot down your predictions within the time provided to look at the questions. Predicting primes your brain to focus on those parts of the audio. Even if your predictions are incorrect, your brain will still recognize answers due to concentration.

Next lesson:


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