Top Tips for Academic Listening
Listening
Top tips for multiple choice questions in IELTS Listening

There are many different question types in the IELTS Listening test. These can appear in any part of the Listening test (there are 4 parts) but not all types will appear in each test.  IELTS Listening question types: Completing: notes; form; table; flow-chart; sentence; summary Short-answer questions Labelling: plan; map; diagram   Matching  Multiple choice It is this last one – multiple choice questions that I will be focussing on today.  There are two kinds of multiple-choice questions: Choose the correct letter, A, B or C. Choose TWO (THREE, FOUR, FIVE) answers from the box and write the correct letter, A–E (or A–F or A–G). (Click to enlarge) Here are my top tips for answering this question: 1. Highlight the key words in the question. How many letters do you need to choose from? Example questions: What TWO disadvantages of the new mobile phone does the speaker mention? So here you know you need to focus your attention on finding only two options and they are both disadvantages. The speaker may mention advantages – ignore those. You only want disadvantages. 2. Highlight the key words in the options.  Example options to the above question: A  it isn’t very user-friendly B  it is very expensive C  it can’t take photographs D  it has a short battery life E  it is quite big  3. In the test, you may not hear those exact same words so you need to look at those highlighted words and think of synonyms or words related to that topic. Examples: A hard to use, small screen, heavy B overpriced, beyond your budget, not worth the price C camera, lens D take a lot of power, needs recharging, doesn’t run for very long E  large, heavier, not practical  You need to listen out for these words and not the words in options A–E above.    4. Also pay attention to the adverbs in the options.  Examples: B  it is very expensive E  it is quite big  Perhaps the audio mentions that the phone is a ‘little expensive’ or ‘not too big’.  This obviously doesn’t match with it being ‘very expensive’ or ‘quite’ big. 5. Whichever multiple-choice question (choose one option A–C or two or more options A–F) remember, you will most probably hear reference to ALL the options. By following tips 1-4, you will be able to identify which is the best answer.  Here’s a quick checklist for you: (click to enlarge)   Next time you try a Listening practice test, use these tips for the multiple-choice questions. It gets easier each time you do it. I promise.  Liz 

Liz Marqueiro

10 April, 2020

Top tips for multiple choice questions in IELTS Listening

Top Tips for Academic Listening

There are many different question types in the IELTS Listening test. These can appear in any part of the Listening test (there are 4 parts) but not all types will appear in each test. 

IELTS Listening question types:

  • Completing: notes; form; table; flow-chart; sentence; summary
  • Short-answer questions
  • Labelling: plan; map; diagram  
  • Matching 
  • Multiple choice

It is this last one – multiple choice questions that I will be focussing on today. 

There are two kinds of multiple-choice questions:

  1. Choose the correct letter, A, B or C.
  2. Choose TWO (THREE, FOUR, FIVE) answers from the box and write the correct letter, A–E (or A–F or A–G).
Listening Exercise

(Click to enlarge)

Here are my top tips for answering this question:

1. Highlight the key words in the question. How many letters do you need to choose from?

Example questions:
What TWO disadvantages of the new mobile phone does the speaker mention?

So here you know you need to focus your attention on finding only two options and they are both disadvantages. The speaker may mention advantages – ignore those. You only want disadvantages.

2. Highlight the key words in the options. 

Example options to the above question:
A  it isn’t very user-friendly
B  it is very expensive
C  it can’t take photographs
D  it has a short battery life
E  it is quite big 

3. In the test, you may not hear those exact same words so you need to look at those highlighted words and think of synonyms or words related to that topic.

Examples:

A hard to use, small screen, heavy
B overpriced, beyond your budget, not worth the price
C camera, lens
D take a lot of power, needs recharging, doesn’t run for very long
E  large, heavier, not practical 

You need to listen out for these words and not the words in options A–E above. 

Listening Top Tip

 

4. Also pay attention to the adverbs in the options. 

Examples:
B  it is very expensive
E  it is quite big 

Perhaps the audio mentions that the phone is a ‘little expensive’ or ‘not too big’.  This obviously doesn’t match with it being ‘very expensive’ or ‘quite’ big.

5. Whichever multiple-choice question (choose one option A–C or two or more options A–F) remember, you will most probably hear reference to ALL the options. By following tips 1-4, you will be able to identify which is the best answer. 

Here’s a quick checklist for you: (click to enlarge)

Top Tips Checklist

 

Next time you try a Listening practice test, use these tips for the multiple-choice questions. It gets easier each time you do it. I promise. 

Liz 

Liz Marqueiro

Liz has been teaching IELTS around the world for over 25 years.

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