More on listening task types

The IELTS Listening test has four sections. Sections 1 and 2 are general situations, for example in a hotel, on the street or at a tourist attraction. You saw a Section 1 task in Step 4.3, and a Section 2 task in Step 4.5. Sections 3 and 4 are academic situations such as a seminar or a lecture, like in Step 4.7. You’ve seen some examples of note-taking, matching and multiple-choice tasks.

Here are some other common kinds of listening tasks:

Labelling a plan or map

You listen to someone describing a plan of a building or a map of an area. You have the plan or map, and you have a list of things on it. You have to match the things in the list to the places the speaker describes. This task tests your ability to follow directions and understand descriptions of where things are located.

Labelling a diagram

You listen to two people talking about an object, such as a machine. You have a diagram (a picture) and a list of different parts of the thing in the picture. Again, you have to match the things in your list to different parts of the diagram. These questions test your understanding of descriptions of what things look like, such as their shape and position.

Completing a flow chart

You listen to the speaker(s) explaining a process, in other words a large task that has several shorter stages. You see a written summary of these stages. This is called a flow chart. Some of the information is missing, and you have a list of options (A, B, C, D). You choose the correct option to complete the missing information. This tests your ability to understand step-by-step instructions, and to listen for the main ideas or facts.

You can find more information about IELTS Listening here.

Share this article:

This article is from the free online course:

Inside IELTS: Preparing for the Test with the Experts

Cambridge Assessment English

Get a taste of this course

Find out what this course is like by previewing some of the course steps before you join: