How to use the breaks in IELTS listening test?

In the listening exam it’s important to use the breaks well. There are breaks between the four sections of the test, and there are breaks in the middle of sections 1, 2 and 3 (there is no break in the middle of section 4). You will hear instructions like this:

  1. First you have some time to read questions 1 to 5.
  2. That is the end of section 1. You now have half a minute to check your answers.

1. ‘Some time’ means about 20 seconds, or up to 40 seconds before section 4. It’s important to use this time to read the questions, make sure you understand them, underline key words, and think about what kind of answer is needed (e.g. number, name, noun, verb, singular, plural).

2. Ignore this instruction – don’t check a section that you have just finished. It’s much more important to be ready for the next section. If you’re not ready when the recording starts, you will find it very difficult to read the questions and listen to the answers at the same time. So use this time to read ahead.

See Examples

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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