Free IELTS course

Get more time to read IELTS Listening questions

Do you have enough time to read the IELTS Listening questions before the recording starts?

As you probably know, there are four sections in the IELTS Listening test and 10 questions for each section.

Although you’re given some time to read the questions before the recording in each section starts, you may have found that this isn’t enough and that the recording starts before you’re ready.

If you find that you don’t have enough time to read the Listening questions, here are two tips that you could try.

How to get more time to read the questions in the IELTS Listening test Don’t listen to the example at the beginning of the Listening test

At the beginning of Section 1 of the IELTS Listening test, you’ll be played an example.

Because this example is repeated, you could use this time to read the questions in Section 1 (or even some of the later sections).

If you want to practice this, you can do Section 1 of an IELTS Listening test on the British Council website here.

When the recording says “Now turn to Section 1“, you can start reading the questions.

How to get more time to read the questions in the IELTS Listening test Read the next set of questions as soon as each section has finished

At the end of each of the four sections of the IELTS Listening test, you’ll hear the following instruction:

You now have half a minute to check your answers.

When you hear this instruction in your Listening test, you could read the questions in the next section instead of checking your answers to the section you’ve just listened to. For example, when you hear the instruction to check your answers at the end of Section 1, you could start reading the questions in Section 2.

Looking ahead will give you more time to read the questions in the next section before the recording starts and give you more time to predict the kind of information you are listening for.

You don’t need to check your answers after each section. You’ll be given 10 minutes at the end of the Listening test to check all of your answers and transfer them from the question booklet to the answer sheet.

Let me know in the comments section below if these tips give you enough time to read the IELTS Listening questions.

Pete

For more IELTS tips and advice, subscribe via email or RSS or try my free IELTS course.

11 comments on “Get more time to read IELTS Listening questions

  1. Hi, I noticed that at the beginning of the test, when it plays the example, it says: ON THIS OCCASION ONLY the example will be played first. So, does it mean that only in this sample test they play the example and in the real IELTS test we can not read the listening questions while the example is being played?
    Is this right?
    And I do not know if the candidate is able to read the listening questions even during the INSTRUCTIONS.
    Would you please confirm that is it possible to do these in both paper-based and computer-based real test? Even UKVI or any other type?
    Thank you

    1. Hi Sina,

      ‘On this occasion only’ means only in Section 1 of the IELTS Listening test (not in Sections 2, 3 or 4).

      You can read the questions while the example in Section 1 is playing in a real paper-based IELTS test, but you can’t start reading the questions until the instructions say ‘Now turn to Section 1’. There are some instructions before this that you have to listen to.

      I’m going to double-check whether it is the same in the computer-delivered IELTS test and the UKVI Listening test.

      1. Hello again, Sina

        I’ve been in contact with an IELTS testing centre and can confirm that…

        • The IELTS UKVI paper-based test follows the same pattern as the paper-based IELTS test
        • In the computer-delivered IELTS test, there is no example. After logging in, you will see and have your own time to read through the instruction page. You then select the start button and have 30 seconds to read through the first questions before the dialogue starts.

        Let me know if you have any other questions.

  2. Hello Pete,

    I have followed your tips for the listening test and I have noticed an wonderful improvement on my daily listening practice on youtube. However, my score is still ranging between 25 to 29. I’m hoping for something better as I keep practicing. Thanks a lot

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *