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IELTS Listening Module- Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some of the most asked questions about IELTS Listening test that we found. These are capable of sufficing any exam related query that you might have.
Let’s take a look:

Q1) What is the exam format of IELTS Listening module?

A1) IELTS Listening test comprises of 4 sections of total 40 questions and 10 questions each. The questions in section 1 and 2 are based on social situations and section 3 and 4 are academic based.
For detailed information about IELTS Listening test format, please visit

Q2) What is the exam duration?

A2) IELTS Listening module takes 40 minutes to complete. 30 minutes for listening to the recording and answering questions and rest 10 minutes for transferring answers to the given answer sheet.

Q3) How is CD-IELTS different than paper based IELTS in terms of Listening module?

A3) Though all the modules have the same format in both paper based and CD-IELTS, the Listening module is of 30- 36 minutes for CD-IELTS, whereas paper based IELTS Listening module is of 40 minutes. There is no need to transfer answers separately in CD-IELTS, everything is needed to be done within 36 minutes.

Q4) If you want to listen to the recording one more time, what should be done?

A4) The recording will be played only once. You will not be allowed to re-listen to the recording once you have been already provided with the recording. So, make sure to pay attention during the clip and listen carefully.

Q5) How is IELTS Listening test scored?

A5) IELTS Listening test scores are converted into band scores on the scale of 0 to 9. For scoring band score 7, you will have to score 30 correct answers out of 40 questions.

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Q6) Is there any negative marking for IELTS Listening test?

A6) No, there is no negative marking for wrong answers. Attempt all the questions whether you are unsure of the answers. There is no harm in doing that. For IELTS exam, it is more beneficial to try and give answers with no wrong answer penalty than leaving a blank space on the answer sheet. You never know, you could get another score for the guessed answer.

Q7) Will I be penalised if I write on the Listening question paper?

A7) No, you won’t be penalised for it. In fact you should make notes or mark out important points on the question paper to locate the answer better. Also, you will not be given any extra sheet for making notes in the Listening test so you can utilize the question paper. Just make sure to give only the final answer on the answer sheet. Only your answer sheet will be marked so you can go ahead and write notes on the question paper.

Q8) Can I use a pen in the Listening test?

A8) No, you can-not. You will be instructed to write your answers with a pencil only. Same is for the Reading test. For IELTS Writing, you can choose either pen or pencil.

Q9) How many accents will be there in the test? Can I choose the accent of my preference? What can I do to improve my listening?

A9) In the IELTS Listening test, there would be a variety of different accents used in the recordings. The accents could be Australian, British, American, Canadian or any other. You are not given any option to choose accents. You need to be able to understand whatever accent your recording has. Prior the test, practice listening to different accents and understand their context. Try IELTS Listening practice exercises available on the net and at gratis Academy for more elaborate preparation.

Q10) Will my answer be marked wrong if I misspell names of cities, places or addresses mentioned in the recording?

A10) Yes, your scores will be deducted for any sort of spelling mistake you do in your Listening test. Pay extra attention to such details and avoid any grammatical errors as well. A correct answer with spelling and grammar mistakes will do no good to your overall IELTS score.

For more details about IELTS module, please visit

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