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In this article, we’ll be taking a look at Part 2 of the IELTS Listening Section.

You will discover:

  • What you can expect in this part of the test.
  • Some sample questions and exercises.
  • How Part 2 of the Listening test is scored.
  • How GlobalExam can help you prepare.

Start preparing for the IELTS test now. So, let’s get started with what to expect from the IELTS Part 2!

On GlobalExam’s platform you can also discover the other parts of the listening section, such as the IELTS Listening Part 1, the IELTS Listening Part 3 and even  the Listening Section Part 4.

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What Could You Expect In the IELTS Listening Part 2?

Above all, IELTS is a test about living and studying abroad. As you may already know, the IELTS Listening Section is divided into 4 exercises.

Listening part 2 puts you in an ‘everyday social situation’ that you might encounter in an English-speaking country.

You hear a recording of a monologue about the situation. Examples include: a tourist information officer talking about a tour, a museum guide explaining where different parts of the museum are, a person describing the benefits of joining an organisation like a fitness club, or a radio advice program about a product or an event. You need to fill in information or answer questions.

black headphones on a table

IELTS Academic Listening Part 2 Sample Questions and Exercises

Being familiar with a test can really make a difference to your final result, which is why preparation is so important. Now that you know what to expect from Part 2 of the IELTS Academic Listening section, let’s have a look at some sample questions and exercises.

Practice Test Sample Question 1

As you may know, the instructions are very important in IELTS. For this sample question, the instructions are the following:

Complete the sentences below.

So, you cannot write more than three words, but three words is fine. You can also write one number if needed. You should be meticulous, as it’s an easy way to lose points.

As mentioned earlier, IELTS often looks at studying abroad. In this extract, you’ll see someone welcoming students to a Hall of Residence:

So why Live On Campus? Living in the halls provides an invaluable complement to your academic career. Living and Learning are the hallmarks of the residential experience. Check out the halls, and find out what’s happening in your hall and then get involved!

For this particular example, you have a text to complete:

On-Campus living adds an 1 ………………….. to your four years at CSU.
Today, the speaker is only going to mention 2 ……………. possible residences.
Alumni Hall is solely composed of 100% 3 ……………….. bedrooms, one room per student.
4 …………………….. is found in the basement of Alumni Hall.

Remember, even if you don’t know the correct answer, write something.

IELTS Practice Sample Question 2

You may sometimes need to complete a diagram or table for Part 2:

ielts exam exercise about global warming

As always, make sure you read the instructions carefully so that you use the correct number of words and / or numbers!

Part 2 can often be a teacher presenting part of a lecture or explaining a certain point. As you can see from the example below, the language may be quite formal:

Greenhouse gases are atmospheric gases that exist to keep our planet warm and prevent warmer air from leaving our planet. So they are important, right? However, Greenhouse gases are enhanced by industrial processes.

When you’re preparing for the test, it’s important to look at both informal and formal language!

Sample Question 3

Another important point to study is the words we use for sequencing: “first, then, before that”. Some IELTS questions will be looked at particularly at this point.

ielts exam sample question

As you can see, the questions here are presented as a timeline. So it’s vital that you understand when an action happened.

In the extract below, you’ll see some words for sequencing:

It took dedication, time and the vulnerability to know when and how to ask for help but I was finally headed to the place of academic enrichment that I had long dreamed of!

By now, I had earned my associates degree in human services and was beginning to pursue an undergraduate bachelor’s degree in social work at my state’s top university.

Once classes began at university, my excitement only began to expand. I was thrilled to realize how well community college had prepared me for success at the university level.

‘Finally’, ‘by now’ and ‘once’ are all words used to help understand when something happened and make it easier for the listener. 

Sample Question 4

Sometimes the questions will be presented on a table for you to complete:

ielts exam question about universities

Remember, for the listening you have 10 minutes at the end to transfer your answers to the official answer sheet. Therefore, do not hesitate to take notes while you’re listening.

In the transcript you can see all of the information presented for Dorchester for example:

Dorchester is Boston’s largest and oldest neighborhood, and is home to UMass Boston. Dorchester’s demographic diversity has been a well-sustained tradition of the neighborhood, and long-time residents blend with more recent immigrants. A number of smaller communities compose the greater neighborhood, including Codman Square, Jones Hill, Meeting House Hill, Pope’s Hill, Savin Hill, Harbor Point, Lower Mills, and Port Norfolk. Malibu and Tenean Beaches offer summertime recreation and numerous parks are scattered through the area.

Before Part 2 starts, try to quickly read through the questions to have an idea of the type of information you need to listen out for!

Sample Question 5

Sometimes the questions can also be a simple multiple choice question.

Which of the following has Corizon been accused of?

  1. Animal cruelty.
  2. Hiring strictly felons.
  3. Misspending federal money.

Often in the listening, you’ll need to listen out for a synonym of a word which appears in the question. For example, here ‘misspending’ is rephrased as ‘mismanagement.’

I was not at all shocked to learn about the claims of human rights abuses, mismanagement of state and federal funds or that Corizon has been implicated in a culture of negligence. Additionally, I did not find it at all shocking that Corizon operates almost exclusively in punitively focused, republican lead states with highly developed private prison systems as central drivers of economic growth.

By testing your knowledge of synonyms, the IELTS Listening test can see your range of vocabulary. Therefore, when you’re studying, make sure you keep this in mind.

Sample Question 6

IELTS looks at both academic and work life. Subjects could be about job interviews, CVs and speaking about your career.

ielts test sample exercise

You should be familiar with different types of qualifications (Masters, Bachelor’s…) as these often come up in IELTS!

Let’s have a look at an extract from the listening:

I’ve been a pharmacist now for roughly about 10 years and when I registered as a pharmacist I worked as what’s called a junior pharmacist for a number of years and then steadily I gained promotion and I got my current post of senior clinical pharmacist about a year ago and I’ve also completed a masters in clinical pharmacy which is available once you’ve had a few years of experience working as a pharmacist.

Sometimes you may find that you get all the answers quite early on in the listening section. If is the case, use the extra time to start looking at the next questions!

As you can see, there is a lot of variety to Part 2 of the IELTS Listening Section. You need to be familiar with both different types of questions and the different subjects. On our e-learning platform you can have access to many listening questions. You can listen to the audio and have explanations of the correct and incorrect answers.

How Does the Listening Part 2 Scoring System Work?

There are 10 questions worth one mark each, so the maximum score for this section is ten. To be awarded a mark, you must:

  • spell the word(s) correctly
  • use appropriate punctuation (like capital letters for names)
  • show that you understand some ‘conventions’ for how we write things in English

For example, when writing the floors of a building, we write “3rd/third floor”, not “3/three floor”.

Also remember to check the word limit. IELTS tasks usually include an instruction such as “Write NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS AND/OR A NUMBER” at the top of the page. It’s vitally important to read this, because candidates frequently lose marks for writing too many words in their answers.

How Can You Prepare For the IELTS Listening Section Online With Globalexam?

Firstly, practise this part of the test as often as you can. As you hear more examples of recordings for Section 2, you will start to become familiar.

You should also revise prepositions of place, and try to increase the number of these that you know. For example, you probably know the preposition “next to”, but are you familiar with synonyms like “right by” and “beside”? What about other expressions like “across from the gift shop” and “beyond the car park”? Make a list of expressions like these in your vocabulary notebook.

Remember, one of the worst things that can happen in the Listening section is that you lose the sequence of the talk in the recording. To prevent this, try to look at two or three questions ahead. By doing this, if you miss one answer, you won’t get ‘lost’. It might seem difficult at first, but with practice this skill becomes easier, and it can improve your score dramatically. On our platform you can prepare for all the sections of the IELTS in detail.

How Can GlobalExam help you?

GlobalExam is an online platform dedicated to helping you prepare for language exams. With over 27 different tests, including IELTS, DELF, TOEIC, and TOEFL and a large variety of exercises with answers, over 30,000 questions, full mock exams in real-life testing conditions, you can be sure to succeed at your language exams. The platform also allows you to follow your progression step-by-step.

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