The first test of the day will be the Listening Test. After the doors to the examination room have closed, the invigilator will hand out the IELTS Listening Answer Sheet/ IELTS Reading Answer Sheet and explain how to complete the form. You can find a specimen of the answer sheet in the The IELTS handbook or IELTS Information for Candidates.
Once everyone has written their personal details on the answer sheet, the question paper is given out. DON’T open it until you are told to do so! (That’s the teacher in me shouting there!) The invigilator will show you where to put your name and number on the question paper. You have to hand in both your question and answer paper but anything you’ve written on the question paper will be ignored.
At that point, the invigilator will play a few sentences to test the recording and make sure everyone can hear properly. Obviously, if you can’t hear the recording, raise your hand and tell the invigilator immediately. Once the actual listening test has begun, this won’t be possible as the audio cannot be stopped.
The listening test lasts 30 minutes, has 40 questions and consists of 4 sections, the test is designed to increase in difficulty as it continues. The recording contains pauses so that you have time to read through the questions before each section and to check your answers afterwards.
You should write all your answers on the question paper whilst you are listening and then at the end of the test, you will be given 10 minutes to transfer your answers to the answer sheet. Before you do this, make sure that you write your listening answers on the correct side of the paper.
The invigilator will inform you when the test is over. As with any exam, you MUST stop writing at this point. The invigilator will collect the question papers (not the answer sheets, you’ll still need that for the Reading Sub-test) and once that’s done, the Reading Test will begin.
Here’s to the best IELTS score possible!