The listening test consists of 40 questions, divided into 4 parts (increasing difficulty) with a total time of about 30 minutes. You will be added 10 minutes to the end of the lesson to fill in the answer sheet. These following types are test strategies for each type of frequently asked questions on the Listening test.

1. Labeling a Plan/Map/Diagram 

This is a type that requires you to listen and enter the exact names and locations on the map. Skills to do this form well include: identifying directions, the ability to grasp information quickly and take note skills.


Places to fill in the map will appear in the chronological order in the listening lesson.

You need to specify the starting point of the map. Usually in the topic will have signs for you to know the starting point such as arrows, phrases such as "You are here", "Entrance", "Start".

When reading the title, you need to immediately determine the direction you are in (front/back/right/left), to be active when listening.

Be careful with synonyms.


Step 1: Read the map carefully, identify the given locations and the places that need to be filled.

Step 2: Locate the starting position.

Step 3: Determine the direction. The direction here is the position of the points that need to be filled (from the starting position to the position of the given points).


  • At the top / at the bottom
  • On the left / on the right
  • Left hand side / right hand side
  • South / North / East / West
  • Opposite / in front of / behind
  • In the middle / in the centre
  • Above / below
  • Inside / outside
  • Southeast / Southwest / Northeast / Northwest
  • To the north / to the south / to the east / to the west
  • Just beyond / a little beyond / just past
  • Next to / alongside / adjoining (= next to or joined with)


2. Multiple Choice


Choose the best answer to answer the topic questions. In case you need to select more than one correct answer, you need to read the topic carefully and the options to choose the correct answer. Enter the letter corresponding to the correct answer in the Answer Sheet. Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs) often appear in Sections 3 & 4, which are difficult for most IELTS test takers.

Taking a lot of time to read through the questions and answers, be one step ahead of the recording.

During the listening process, do not fall into listening while reading questions and options A, B, C, D. At that time you are only "Hearing" and not "Listening". Make sure you read, understand and underline the key words of the question.


Do not select when the speaker has not finished speaking. If you are wondering between options, remember to cut out answers that seem "too easy and obvious", they are included just to fire. Responses connected by "AND", "ALONG WITH", etc. are usually not the correct answers.

3. Form, note, table, flow-chart, summary 


Fill in the words/numbers heard in the blank to complete an application/information sheet/diagram /short summary. You will enter the words/numbers heard in the Answer Sheet.

+ TIPS :

  • Read the title to determine the topic to listen to
  • Strikeout important keywords (which are close to the blank to be filled)
  • Determine the type of words to fill (nouns, verbs, adjectives, numbers, ...) so that the sentence has a meaning and grammatical completion
  • The answer can only include one, two or three words. Note the request to not exceed the number of words allowed, if exceeded will lose points.

4. Sentence completion


In the IELTS Listening section, you will face over 10 different types of questions. In particular, the Sentence Completion question type is one of the "hardest to swallow" forms. Because you will have to fill in the missing information that you hear to complete some sentences with the given words and you will not always be able to hear the words correctly. And the information to fill out can be in many forms: numbers, proper names, nouns, verbs, adjectives, ... with a limited number of words.


  • Review the sentences BEFORE you begin to visualize what you will hear.
  • Pay special attention to the words BEFORE and AFTER the SPACE to help you recognize words to fill more easily.
  • Guess what CONTENT appears in the space - is that a place, a name, a number, or something else?
  • Remember that the listening paragraph may not read the words that are available in the sentence correctly, but may use DEFINITIONS. So it would be helpful if you could PARAPHRASE the content before listening.
  • Write the EXACT words, phrases or numbers you hear in the blank in the question.
  • Always check the NUMBER of words limit - your answer will be incorrectly marked if you exceed the allowed word count.

5. Short Answer


Read the question and answer it according to what you heard. These questions sometimes just need to hear and catch the keyword to have the correct answer, but sometimes it needs deduction (how, why, list the main ideas ...). Complete the correct answer in the Answer Sheet.


  • Read through the question, underline the word to ask. For example: How far? What time? Why? ...
  • Listen carefully because the audio may use synonyms or paraphrase
  • Determine the type of words to be filled (nouns, verbs, adjectives, numbers, ...)
  • Know the requirements of the exam: do not answer more than the number of words that the title requests (usually 1, 2 words and/or 1 number)


6. Matching


You will hear and select the correct answers from a list of provided answers. However, in some cases, the answer is changed in wording compared to the content of the listening, you need to read carefully and deduce logic. You will enter the letter corresponding to the correct answer (A, B, C ...) in the Answer Sheet.


  • The questions will be in chronological order in the conversation
  • Read the lesson in advance and memorize the information in the list provided.
  • Listen carefully and classify the correct answers into each sentence.
  • Underline important keywords
  • Focus on listening to the audio, paying attention to the details

7. Tips to enhance your skills

During the listening process, make sure that you are "Listening" - Listen proactively, not just "Hearing" - Listen passively, hear the sound but do not focus on grasping the content. To do this, you need to make the most of the time before the recording is turned on to read through and capture the content of the questions in each section. This way you no longer have to distract your mind from reading the question that leads to "Hear" but not "Listen".

In the structure of the listening test, there are always some difficult questions for you to head to the band 8-9. These sentences are not allocated in any way but at randomly. So, for sentences that you don't fill in, don't panic, just keeping going, don't get caught in the Domino effect, missing a sentence will affect the following sentences.

Do not let the points in Section 1 pull down the whole listening point, because it is the beginning part, your mentality is not stable. If listening badly, it will easily affect the rest of the sections. Please practice many forms in Section 1 so as not to lose points injustice.

In addition to the basic tips, you should also supplement yourself with solid vocabulary and definitive test skills, because Listening does not give us many opportunities and time to wonder and listen again.


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