IELTS ACADEMIC LISTENING TIPS for the multiple choice section


  1. Underline these keywords and as the listening progresses look only at these words and not everything else. Focus your attention on them.
  2. Pay attention to:
  3. synonyms for words that are included in the various options or ideas expressed in a different way
  4. dates or numbers and any other information that could be very specific.
  5. Also, BE CAREFUL! A lot of times details are mentioned from ALL the options. You have to be alert to distinguish clearly which one is the correct one!
  6. Don’t spend too much time trying to think of an answer. Just move on to the next one.
  7. If you are unsure about an answer, you can guess. Or you can take advantage of the 10 minutes given to you to transfer your answers to think or rethink about a tricky question.
  8. Good luck!

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2nd Videographic – for IELTS practice

This is my 2nd videographic activity I have prepared and I hope you will find it as helpful as the first one.


 Meeting of the minds : how sexual equality increases income inequality

Listen to the video and insert the phrases in the correct gap

huge increase  much worse    quarter less    emergence of  swelled   similarly

credentialed   with a             dramatically increasing     about twice   at the same

     economic disparity    most     diploma        a quarter of    with a degree 


In 1960, ———- (1) American men  ——– (2) high school ——– (3) or less married women ——— (4)  education level. Biologists call this ‘assortative mating’ , like ‘Marries like’. Then, only ——– (5)  men ———– (6) married women with one, in part because they weren’t as cpmmon.

It was even fewer if they held a graduate degree. But half a century later with more educated women in the workforce, the situation’s vastly different.

Now, men with a degree are ——- (7)  as likely as they were to marry women with one. With a graduate degree, 40%  of men marry similar women, a ——— (8)  from 13 percent in 1960.

This marks the ———- (9)  power couples. Those with less schooling are less likely to marry their female equivalents, probably because women have better graduation rates. The good news is that women are better-educated and marrying —————- (10)  men, who in the past might have married their secretaries. But the bad news is that power couples earn much more, ——————– (11) income inequality. In 1960, a couple without high school diplomas owned a ————  (12)  than the mean household income. The situation is now ———- (13).

Power couples took home 76% percent more than the average household but it’s ——– (14)  to 120 percent more now.  So a byproduct of women’s equality is greater —————- (15)  and that advantage may be passed down as a birthright to their kids.

answer key

Videographics – for IELTS practice

Have you ever seen a videographic? I’m sure most of you have. Have you ever thought of using them in an IELTS class? Well, they are an excellent choice for IELTS students because a videographic is a video which combines moving images with graphical images on top. (macmillan dictionary) There are several videographics you can find online which are like ‘live’ charts. Everything takes place in front of your eyes. I find them particularly helpful for students starting to work with charts. It’s a great practice.

I have started preparing a short series of such videographics which students can watch and complete a short exercise. The videos are short so they do not have to spend a lot of time on them. In this way, they watch the analysis of a graph/chart, etc. and also learn and/or revise language used when writing a report for IELTS task 1. Teachers can download the video and do the exercise in class or you can ask your students to visit my blog and do the exercise. Whichever is more convenient.

I hope you like them. Remember to leave me feedback so that I know you find them helpful!


Global smart phone shipments

Sales have reached a ———— (1) but with a new cast of companies. In ——— (2) around ———————– (3) smartphones were sold. Nokia shipped— ——– (4) , —————- (5) by Blackberry, Apple, Samsung, HTC and others. The market soared but Samsung and Apple took over the first and second ————- (6) and pulled away. Last year, shipments ———– (7) a billion according to the research firm IDC. Samsung and Apple still dominate but new names make the top 5 : LG of S.Korea and Huawei and Lenovo from China . Nokia left the —————- (8) all together. It’s selling its mobile phone Division to Microsoft. Blackberry and HTC are absent, too. The ———— (9) growth is the cheap android phones especially from China. Today, supplies outside the top 5 ———— —– (10) almost 40% of shipments, ——– (11) the ——- (12) of just 4 years ago.

ǝɹɐɥs ˙21 ‘ǝlqnop ˙11 ‘ɹoɟ ʇunoɔɔɐ ˙01 ‘ʇsǝʇsɐɟ ˙9 ‘pɹɐoq ɹǝpɐǝl ˙8 ‘pǝɥɔɐǝɹ ˙7 ‘sʇods ˙6 ‘pǝʍolloɟ ˙5 ‘ ʇsoɯ ǝɥʇ ˙4 ‘000˙000˙003 ˙3 ‘0102 ˙2 ‘uoıllıq ˙1
ʎǝʞ ɹǝʍsuɐ



  1. Write your answers on the test and copy them later. At the end of the listening test, you are given 10 whole minutes to copy all your answers to the Answer Sheet. DO NOT waste any time in copying during the actual test. This might actually distract you and you could lose valuable marks.
  2. Follow instructions very carefully. A common mistake is that the candidates do not always read the instructions. If the instructions state, “Write no more than three words” and you write more, then you will receive no marks for your answer. Also, be very careful because in some tasks you are asked to circle two answers, sometimes three, and so on. Read the instructions carefully every time. They may differ from the previous ones.
  3. Misspelled words receive no marks. Listen carefully to the audio recording. If you write the singular of a word instead of its plural form, your answer will be considered wrong (for example, if you write ‘studio’ instead of ‘studios’).
  4. Familiarise yourself with spelling names, addresses and, city names! Spelling errors are the number one mistake in the Listening Section! Ask your teacher, for example, to provide tasks which involve British city names so you can be prepared beforehand. In the listening section, these names are not repeated twice.
  5. Incomplete answer. For example, if you hear an address and, instead of writing it all down, you choose to write down only the street number and not its name, or vice versa.
  6. Double-check your answer. Does it make sense in the context? Check, for example, if you answered with an adjective but, in fact, a noun is required.
  7. Familiarise yourself with charts, diagrams, graphs, etc . For example,the most important problem with diagram labeling might be to realise where the description begins (it might , for example, describe a open space like a zoo so the diagram is not in a linear but in a circular flow ). So pay attention especially to the first minutes of the listening section.
  8. In the multiple choice questions, do not just choose an answer because the words are the same! Make sure you choose the correct meaning!
  9. Focus on what is repeated!Quite often, if something is repeated, it means this is the correct answer.
  10. Do not leave anything unanswered. Sometimes, if you are not sure of your answer, you might leave the question behind. Even so, you should still write it down. It’s better to take a risk if you are unsure than leave an answer blank.

Good luck !