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How to Answer IELTS Listening Multiple Choice Questions

Ron Ross May 13th, 2020

In your IELTS preparation, you'll need to practice a total of 6 IELTS listening question types. In this post, we'll look at the Multiple Choice IELTS listening question type in detail and provide you with 61 IELTS listening Multiple Choice practice questions.

First, join IELTS Instructor Tina below to learn how to approach an IELTS listening Multiple Choice question.


Table Of Contents

IELTS Listening Multiple Choice Question Introduction

In a multiple choice question, candidates can expect to choose from 3 or 4 possible options, which are usually letters (A, B, C, or D). There may also be questions that require you to select more than one possible answer.

This question type requires pulling out keywords in the questions and answer options before listening to the prompt, as well as listening for specific information. Just like you would scan for information in the reading passage, this question type will require you to “scan” with your ears and listen for specific information that you have underlined in your questions. Keep in mind that for the Multiple Choice listening sections, answers will be stated in the order that the questions appear.

Below is a sample practice. Give it a try!



Questions 1-5
Choose the correct letter, A, B, or C.

Write your answers in boxes 1-5 on your answer sheet.

1. We are all present hedonists

2. American boys drop out of school at a higher rate than girls because

3. Present-orientated children

4. If Americans had an extra day per week, they would spend it

5. Understanding how people think about time can help us


  • spellcheck Answers
    1. B
    2. A
    3. C
    4. A
    5. B
Listening Script

(Section 4: You will hear a talk on the topic of time perspective. First, you will have some time to look at questions 31 to 40 [20 seconds]. Listen carefully and answer questions 31 to 40.)

Speaker: Today, I'm going to be talking about time. Specifically, I'll be looking at how people think about time, and how these time perspectives structure our lives. According to social psychologists, there are six ways of thinking about time, which are called personal time Zones.

The first two are based in the past. Past positive thinkers spend most of their time in a state of nostalgia, fondly remembering moments such as birthdays, marriages and important achievements in their life. These are the kinds of people who keep family records, books and photo albums. ->active" data-question-number="31">People living in the past negative time zone are also absorbed by earlier times, but they focus on all the bad things – regrets, failures, poor decisions. They spend a lot of time thinking about how life could have been. Then, we have people who live in the present. Present hedonists are driven by pleasure and immediate sensation. Their life motto is to have a good time and avoid pain. Present fatalists live in the moment too, but they believe this moment is the product of circumstances entirely beyond their control; it's their fate. Whether it's poverty, religion or society itself, something stops these people from believing they can play a role in changing their outcomes in life. Life simply “is” and that's that.

Looking at the future time zone, we can see that people classified as future active are the planners and go-getters. They work rather than play and resist temptation. Decisions are made based on potential consequences, not on the experience itself. A second future-orientated perspective, future fatalistic, is driven by the certainty of life after death and some kind of a judgement day when they will be assessed on how virtuously they have lived and what success they have had in their lives.

Okay, let's move on. You might ask “how do these time zones affect our lives?” Well, let's start at the beginning. Everyone is brought into this world as a present hedonist. No exceptions. Our initial needs and demands – to be warm, secure, fed and watered – all stem from the present moment. But things change when we enter formal education –we're taught to stop existing in the moment and to begin thinking about future outcomes. But, did you know that every nine seconds a child in the USA drops out of school? For boys, the rate is much higher than for girls. We could easily say “Ah, well, boys just aren't as bright as girls” but the evidence doesn't support this. A recent study states that boys in America, by the age of twenty-one, have spent 10,000 hours playing video games. The research suggests that they'll never fit in the traditional classroom because these boys require a situation where they have the ability to manage their own learning environment.

Now, let's look at the way we do prevention education. All prevention education is aimed at a future time zone. We say “don't smoke or you'll get cancer”, “get good grades or you won't get a good job”. But with present-orientated kids that just doesn't work. Although they understand the potentially negative consequences of their actions, they persist with the behaviour because they're not living for the future; they're in the moment right now. We can't use logic and it's no use reminding them of potential fall-out from their decisions or previous errors of judgment – we've got to get in their minds just as they're about to make a choice. Time perspectives make a big difference in how we value and use our time. When Americans are asked how busy they are, the vast majority report being busier than ever before. They admit to sacrificing their relationships, personal time and a good night's sleep for their success. Twenty years ago, 60% of Americans had sit-down dinners with their families, and now only 20% do. But when they're asked what they would do with an eight-day week, they say “Oh that'd be great”. They would spend that time labouring away to achieve more. They're constantly trying to get ahead, to get toward a future point of happiness.

So, it's really important to be aware of how other people think about time. We tend to think: “Oh, that person's really irresponsible” or “That guy's power hungry” but often what we're looking at is not fundamental differences of personality, but really just different ways of thinking about time. Seeing these conflicts as differences in time perspective, rather than distinctions of character, can facilitate more effective cooperation between people and get the most out of each person's individual strengths.

Practice this sample practice on our IELTS App

Now that you're familiar with the Multiple Choice question type, it's time to teach you some IELTS Listening tips & strategies for successfully answering a Multiple Choice question.

How to Answer Multiple Choice Questions

Step 1: Read the Questions

Before we even listen to the prompt, take time to quickly read the questions and all of the answer options in order to understand the topic and key words. If you’d like, you can combine this with Step 2 below. 

This is perhaps the most important step because you need to scaffold your listening. What does this mean? You do not want to listen blindly and hear key words for the first time. Instead, you should be preparing yourself and reading the questions (along with the answer options) before the listening prompt is played. Generally, you will have about 20 seconds to do this. Reading the questions and answer options will also allow you to become familiar with the topic, which is particularly helpful for the more abstract and educational topics (Sections 3 and 4).

Step 2: Underline Key Words

After you have quickly read (or while you are reading), underline the key words. What are key words? They are important words that will call out your attention while you listen to the prompt. Generally, you will want to avoid underlining adverbs, pronouns, or basic adjectives.

Step 3: Take Notes on Key Information

Now it is time to start listening! As you listen, take outline notes close to your questions and answer options when you hear key words. Remember: you will only hear each listening prompt once, so it’s important to remember key information. Try this on your own and make your notes and outline as necessary. 

You can do so next to your questions and answers, or on the margins of your test booklet. After you give it a try on your own, check out our work and understand how we approached this step. Always do what works best for you, but it might not be a bad idea to adopt some of our tips for guaranteed success!

Step 4: Use Process of Elimination (POE) 

Now that you have taken notes and listened to the prompt, it is time to approach the step of answering questions and using POE. You should be approaching this step as you listen, in order to maximize your time and answer the questions as you go along. Not to worry; with practice and time-management, you will be able to multitask as you listen, leaving the extra time at the end of the listening section for checking your answers and transferring them to your answer sheet if necessary. In order to show you how we have done this, we will showcase our explanations with the answers below.

Recap

Here are some brief tips to remember when approaching this question type:

Do:

  1. Utilize the 20 seconds you will have prior to hearing the listening prompt and read the questions first, underline your key words, and actively listen for those key words during the prompt. 
  2. Remember that the answers will most likely come in order during the listening prompt. This means that you should keep detailed notes for your outline! Doing so will help you pick up where you left off if you miss something, and it will help you understand at which point a certain answer was given.
  3.  Find an outlining technique that works for you. Feel free to experiment during your practice sessions and try writing in the margins or close to your answer options. Make it easy to reference afterwards if necessary.
  4. Take notes and use POE as you listen.

Don't:

  1. Waste your time during the time before and after the listening prompt is played. Think of these 30 minutes of the listening exam as ‘game time’, and actively listen or read the questions as much as you can! 
  2. Focus on only one aspect of the process. In other words, don’t just listen, don’t just read, and don’t just answer. You will need to combine these three tasks in order to have enough time in this section. In other words: make sure to multitask. 
  3. Immediately answer based on hearing only keywords. Remember to make sure that the answer makes sense. Be aware that this section of the exam will include sentences that are meant to trick you, and are usually spoken right before the sentence that contains the correct answer. 
  4. Leave anything blank! Even if the exam is difficult, POE is not helping, and you are finding it difficult to answer correctly, choose your best guess. 

IELTS Listening Multiple Choice Practice List

Now it is time to practice! Check out the following Multiple Choice practice questions.

IELTS Listening - Multiple Choice Questions Practice List

61 IELTS Listening multiple choice Questions
Section 1
IELTS Listening Practice 5
Campsite park
(multiple choice/form completion/short answer)
IELTS Listening Practice 21
Registration for art classes
(multiple choice/note completion/short answer)
IELTS Listening Practice 37
Registration for an ID card
(multiple choice/form completion/multiple selection)
IELTS Listening Practice 49
Homestay application
(form completion/multiple choice)
IELTS Listening Practice 53
Tour booking form
(form completion/multiple choice)
IELTS Listening Practice 61
Lake District
(multiple choice/sentence completion)
IELTS Listening Practice 81
Getting a library card
(multiple choice/note completion/multiple selection)
IELTS Listening Practice 113
Getting a student discount card
(multiple choice/form completion/multiple selection)
Section 2
IELTS Listening Practice 2
Guitars
(table completion/multiple selection/multiple choice)
IELTS Listening Practice 10
Expedition to the Lake District
(table completion/multiple choice/multiple selection)
IELTS Listening Practice 26
Desert camping
(table completion/multiple choice/multiple selection)
IELTS Listening Practice 30
Natural History Museum 
(sentence completion/multiple choice)
IELTS Listening Practice 46
Horizon Holidays
(multiple choice/matching)
IELTS Listening Practice 50
Happy Holiday Apartments
(short answer/multiple choice/matching)
IELTS Listening Practice 66
Windsor Safari Park
(sentence completion/multiple choice)
IELTS Listening Practice 78
APT Travel - Holiday Options
(multiple selection/multiple choice/table completion)
IELTS Listening Practice 86
New City Developments
(multiple choice/matching)
IELTS Listening Practice 90
Hill walking
(table completion/multiple choice/multiple selection)
IELTS Listening Practice 94
Nature Trail
(sentence completion/multiple choice)
IELTS Listening Practice 102
The Team Building Company
(multiple choice/matching)
IELTS Listening Practice 106
The theme park
(multiple choice/matching)
IELTS Listening Practice 110
Theatre Trip to Sydney
(multiple choice/matching)
IELTS Listening Practice 114
Seal Conservation Trust
(multiple selection/multiple choice/matching)
IELTS Listening Practice 124
Nature Observation Club
(multiple choice/diagram labelling)
IELTS Listening Practice 125
Lithia Nature Park
(multiple choice/diagram labelling/table completion)
IELTS Listening Practice 126
Pine Grove improvement plan
(multiple choice/diagram labelling)
IELTS Listening Practice 134
Dolphin Conservation Trust (Cambridge IELTS 10 Test 1)
(multiple selection/multiple choice/matching)
IELTS Listening Practice 138
Painting and fixing in the flat (Cambridge IELTS 10 Test 2)
(multiple choice/matching)
IELTS Listening Practice 142
Changes in Barford (Cambridge IELTS 11 Test 1)
(multiple choice/matching)
Section 3
IELTS Listening Practice 3
Biology paper
(multiple choice/sentence completion)
IELTS Listening Practice 7
Marketing strategies
(multiple choice/sentence completion/multiple selection)
IELTS Listening Practice 15
Marketing assignment
(multiple choice/matching/diagram labelling)
IELTS Listening Practice 19
School presentation 
(multiple choice/note completion/multiple selection)
IELTS Listening Practice 23
Logistics
(multiple choice/multiple selection/note completion)
IELTS Listening Practice 35
Potholing
(multiple choice/note completion/multiple selection)
IELTS Listening Practice 39
Cashless payments
(multiple choice/note completion)
IELTS Listening Practice 43
Mason's presentation topic 
(multiple choice/note completion/multiple selection)
IELTS Listening Practice 47
Management styles
(note completion/multiple choice/sentence completion)
IELTS Listening Practice 51
Working patterns 
(note completion/multiple choice/sentence completion)
IELTS Listening Practice 55
Career planning strategies
(note completion/multiple choice/sentence completion)
IELTS Listening Practice 59
Marita's presentation
(multiple choice/sentence completion)
IELTS Listening Practice 63
The pros and cons of machine translation
(multiple choice/sentence completion)
IELTS Listening Practice 71
Orienteering
(multiple choice/note completion)
IELTS Listening Practice 75
Autonomous cars
(note completion/multiple choice/sentence completion)
IELTS Listening Practice 79
The role of technology in language learning
(multiple choice/sentence completion)
IELTS Listening Practice 83
Plastic recycling
(multiple choice/table completion)
IELTS Listening Practice 99
Photography presentation: pinhole camera
(multiple choice/note completion/multiple selection)
IELTS Listening Practice 103
Ethical Fashion
(note completion/multiple choice)
IELTS Listening Practice 115
Language learning and genetics
(multiple choice/note completion)
IELTS Listening Practice 119
The History of Toothbrushes
(multiple choice/sentence completion)
IELTS Listening Practice 135
The later life of Thor Heyerdahl (Cambridge IELTS 10 Test 1)
(multiple selection/multiple choice)
IELTS Listening Practice 139
Theatre Studies Course (Cambridge IELTS 10 Test 3)
(multiple choice/matching)
Section 4
IELTS Listening Practice 4
Health and wellbeing
(multiple choice/note completion)
IELTS Listening Practice 20
How to do research in the university library
(multiple choice/note completion/table completion)
IELTS Listening Practice 36
Domestic cats
(multiple choice/note completion)
IELTS Listening Practice 44
Product placement
(multiple choice/note completion)
IELTS Listening Practice 60
Comedy
(multiple choice/sentence completion)
IELTS Listening Practice 72
History of tea
(multiple choice/note completion)
IELTS Listening Practice 112
Glaciers and ice sheets
(note completion/multiple choice)
IELTS Listening Practice 127
Official IELTS Listening Sample - Time Perspective (Video Explanation Included)
(table completion/multiple choice)
IELTS Listening Practice 136
Nanotechnology (Cambridge IELTS 10 Test 1)
(multiple choice/note completion)


 
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