What degree of control does one have on the Listening part of IELTS?

Hi everyone!

I couldn't find a lot of information on the details of how IELTS Listening is carried out. And I hope that this community might help me. I have experience taking a standardized test (PMP) and unlike IELTS I had a lot of information on how the test is administered: starting from exactly how long is the introduction tutorial to the fact that test takers will be searched with metal detectors before they enter the test room. However, I wasn't able to find answers to questions like this:

- when does the recording start?

- when do i get to see the questions?

- When does the countdown start?

- How long is the pause between sections and can i stop the recording?


What perspective i have now is (please correct me as i might be totally wrong):

test takers are given some scratch paper for notes and drafts of the answers, the pauses between recordings are pretty short. And it looks like you get to see the questions for the next section only in the 10-15 seconds before the recording for that section actually starts.


Any help and the insight into how the test is set up is highly appreciated!

Jan 10, 2016 9:58 AM
Comments · 8

Hello Nick,

I suggest you to look at this:

You will find all the answers.


January 10, 2016

The recording plays automatically from the first to the last section. yes, you're right, all 4 sections play in a row and in only once so I missed some questions. It is the reason you should practice very much before taking this test. Moreover, listening was the first skill I tested on that day, so missing and uncertainty some questions affected negatively to me in two skills after that.

January 10, 2016

In my country, I have to take the IELTS test directly on paper by pencils in the place IDP or Bristish Council held the test. I only have to bring my Identical card which I used to register before. On the test date, they took my photo and fingerprints to verify. Answer sheets, pencils, water and question booklets were given on my desk. I can ask to change pencils any time by raising my hand.


In general, alls you need to prepare are your English skills and the comfortable spirit. oh, one more things, we had no permition to go out during over 3hours when took the exam :)


I hope it helpful for you! Good luck!

January 10, 2016

You're welcome! However, I am talking about IELTS test in my country and I don't know whether there are any differences in your country. any way, It's an international test, so I think it will be similar. 

January 10, 2016

Thanks so much, Calla! That's what i've been looking for! Your help is highly appeciated!

January 10, 2016
Show more