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How to answer multiple choice questions in IELTS listening?

Multiple choice questions are difficult because there is more to read, and the speaker often mentions more than one of the choices. If you want to improve your listening scores on these sections, here are the key skills that I think you should work on:

  1. Take a multiple choice section from IELTS Listening Samples
  2. Try to read the questions and choices before the recording starts.
  3. Don’t check your answers to the previous section; use the breaks to read ahead.
  4. Underline one or two key words in each choice. Choose words that highlight the differences that you identified.
  5. When listening, only look at the words you underlined. Don’t read everything again.
  6. Make sure that you have found and underlined clear differences, so that you know exactly what to listen for. If you can’t see a clear difference in meaning between each of the choices (e.g. answers A, B and C), you’ll be lost before the recording even starts.
  7. Expect the trick! They often mention more than one choice, so be careful.
  8. If you’re not sure, make a good guess, then move on to the next question.
  9. If you don’t have time to read everything (tip 1), don’t worry. Prepare as many questions as you can, then do your best on the others.

Remember that the best tip is this: do lots of practice!

Related IELTS Resources

Take a practice test to find out what is your current weakness in terms of IELTS scale and allow more time to improve your weak spots. The following IELTS resources will help you to develop your skills faster:

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