Share on

In this article we’ll be taking a look at Part 3 of the IELTS Listening Exam!

You’ll see some sample questions and practice exercises and have some tips on how to improve your score. We’ll also show you how Part 3 is different from the rest of the IELTS Listening section and explain how the Listening section is marked.

On GlobalExam’s online platform, you can prepare for the other parts of the listening sections, such as the IELTS Listening Part 1, the IELTS Listening Part 2  or the IELTS Listening Part 4, as well as for all the other sections of the IELTS test.

Let’s get started!

Test My Level For Free

How Is the Listening Part 2 Different From the Other Ones?

The first half of IELTS Listening is about everyday situations that you might encounter as a student living abroad. The second half is different; it’s a recording related to the academic life of an international student.

In Exercise 3, you hear a 3-4 minute ‘campus dialogue’ recording, in which people discuss something related to their university course. Sometimes the people are all students, talking about a major assignment or a project. Other times, you hear students in the recording asking for advice from a lecturer or tutor.

heaphones on a table

IELTS Listening Part 3 Sample Questions and Exercises to Practice for the Test

As we said earlier, Part 3 will always be a campus dialogue. Here we’re going to look at several sample questions and exercises so that you can get a good idea of what to expect in Part 3.

Sample Question #1

In this extract, two students are discussing an assignment:

M – Hi Emma! Quite unusual to see you in the library on Saturday morning. How are you doing? 

W – Hi there. I wish I was on the beach rather than being here to be honest. I’ve got to finish my research paper and I don’t have much time for it.

M – Which research paper? Do you mean the Ocean Geography assignment?

W – Yes, right. I still haven’t finished it and I think I’ll need a couple more days. Have you already submitted yours? 

Generally speaking the conversation will start by saying hello and then introducing the topic. Next they go into more detail:

W – What have you come up with for a research topic?

M – Well, I’ve been researching the geography of Northern Europe and it feels like that’s what my project is about but it’s not. It’s actually about The Gulf Stream.

A typical question will be something like the following one:

Which research topic did the man choose?

  1. Winds and winter temperatures
  2. The geography of Northern Europe
  3. The Gulf Stream

This question is a simple multiple choice question and you need to choose the correct letter. Very often in IELTS the speaker will mention one of the possible answers but then say: “But finally I changed my mind.” Be careful as if you don’t listen to everything, it’s easy to make a mistake!

Sample Question #2

In our next example, a student is visiting the university Careers Centre. Again, this is a common situation for IELTS to use.

W – Hi, is this the Student Career Center?

M – Yes, you’re in the right place. How can I help you? 

W – I came here last week and one of the assistant advisors helped me with my cv.  I sent it off and now I’ve got my first ever job interview next week. I want to prepare for it and pass successfully. I’ve read some information on the Internet, but I decided that talking to a senior career advisor would be much more helpful. 

The woman is asking for advice and she explains why.

Why is the woman looking for the Careers Office?

  1. She wants advice about preparing for an interview.
  2. She wants help looking for a job.
  3. She needs assistance with her CV.

As with the previous question, the speaker mentions the different answers so make sure you listen carefully!

Sample Question #3

Sometimes the difficulty with the listening comes from the vocabulary in the questions. IELTS likes to evaluate your vocabulary range by using synonyms.

Let’s have a look at an extract and a question.

M – Hi, I’m Mick. Welcome to Carleton College campus, Gemma. So, I’m your ‘Buddy Brother’ this term.  I don’t know if you’ve any idea what that is though!

W – Hi Mick. Are you like a ‘Study Buddy’ then?

M – Let me explain. I’m a second-year student, so it’s not about organising study time with you as if you’re a first-year. 

I’m sure you’ll make a bunch of friends pretty fast and find someone to team up with to do that. Right now, I imagine you’re a bit unsure about where everything is and how to immerse yourself in campus life.

I’ll be here to help you find your way around and settle in during your first semester at Carleston. If you have any questions or problems, then I’ll be happy to help out, or send you in the direction of the right person if I can’t! 

What is the role of a ‘Study Brother’?

  1. To help a first-year student make new friends quickly on campus
  2. To assist a Fresher in getting to grips with how things work on campus
  3. To show a new arrival how to get to and from the campus easily

If, for example, you’re unsure of what “getting to grips” means, it’ll be difficult to listen out for the answer as Mick explains what he does without using this expression. It’s one of the reasons that building your vocabulary is important!

Sample Question #4

In the following example, you have two teachers talking to each other.

W – What about the students? Are you getting along well with them too? 

M – Well, yeah, it’s actually really surprising. I was expecting there to be quite a lot of discipline problems but so far there’s been nothing really…no problems with lateness or homework or anything like that.

So, you know, it’s really easy to prepare for the class and to set exercises and so on. One issue though is that I can’t seem to get them engaged in history very much at all. No matter what I do, I just can’t seem to make them as passionate as I am about the Roman Empire.

As mentioned in the previous example, vocabulary is important. For example, ‘to get along with’ means ‘to have a good relationship with’. If you don’t know this expression, it makes the woman’s question much more difficult to understand!

What does the man say about his pupils?

  1. It takes him a long time to get ready for them.
  2. They aren’t very interested in the subject.
  3. They often arrive late to class.

As we saw in the previous examples, the speaker mentions the three points in the answers but only agrees with one point. Make sure you listen out for a disagreement after someone has said something. For example, “I thought the train would be late but it wasn’t.” Your first impression could be that the train was late, when in fact it was on time!

Sample Question #5

Let’s have a look at one final example of Part 3 of the IELTS Listening.

Not all questions will be multiple choice. You will also see questions like this one:

Complete the sentence below. Write NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS for each answer.
Question 1:
The students will make sweaters for women who are keen on…

For this type of question, it’s fundamental that you read the instructions carefully. If you write numbers or 3+ words, your answer will be incorrect!

In this extract, we have three speakers, rather than two:

W1- Yes, that seems like the best way to go. Besides, the only market study we’ve made so far is for this product.

M- OK. So, sell it to me.

W1- We will make beautiful sweaters for women who like outdoor activities. They will be hand-made with organic material and…

W2- Yes, and we are thinking of buying through Fair Trade vendors and…

As we mentioned earlier, vocabulary is very important. You need to understand “to be keen on” in order to find the answer to the question!

As you can see, Part 3 of the IELTS Listening needs some preparation. On our e-learning platform you can find lots of examples with the answers and explanations!

Now let’s have a look at how IELTS Listening Part 3 is graded.

two statues listening behind a wall

How Is the IELTS Listening Part 3 Score Calculated?

There are 10 questions worth one mark each for this section. To achieve the best possible score in this section, be sure to do the following things:

  • Spell all word(s) correctly
  • Use appropriate punctuation (like capital letters for names)
  • Sow 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”
  • Check the word limit, and never write more than the maximum number of words allowed.

Get Ready For The Test Online With GlobalExam

As you hear more examples of Part 3 recordings, you will start to become familiar with a lot of the vocabulary used and with the various task types that appear as questions.

While you prepare for the IELTS test, you should also keep a page in your vocabulary notebook where you write vocabulary connected to studying at university – words like ‘assignment’, ‘fees’, ‘tutorial’, ‘extension’, ‘deadline’ and so on. These are used very often.

Finally, don’t rely too much on keywords. In part 3 multiple choice questions, for example, the dialogue usually contains a keyword from all the possible answers. So if option A has the word “marketing” in it, and you hear “marketing” in the dialogue, this doesn’t mean that A is the correct answer.

Instead, focus on trying to get a good understanding of what the people on the recording say to each other. This will help you more than just listening for key words.

What can GlobalExam offer you?

GlobalExam is an online test preparation platform on which you can train for the IELTS General or Academic in real exam conditions, as well for other dozens of language exams. There are full mock exams, and multiple exercises per section that are all corrected. 

Register now and learn how to ace your IELTS score!