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IELTS Listening Section One Tips and Practice

IELTS listening section one contains a dialogue between two people in daily settings. When you are listening, you need to fill in the blanks with information in the dialogue. It is not a difficult part in the listening test. Therefore, our goal is to get all answers correct in this section.

Here are IELTS listening section one tips and practice for you to get better scores on this section!

IELTS Listening Section One Tips

Read Instructions and Questions Carefully

The first thing you need to do is to read the instructions and questions carefully. Instructions are important because they tell you what to do. Take the following sentence for example:

Write no more than one word and/or a number for each answer.

You need to know that you should write just one word/number for each blank. Always keep it in your mind when writing your answers.

The questions will tell you what kind of information is required. As reading questions while listening will distract you, it is better to read them while the speaker is reading the example question.

Use Your Prior Knowledge

Then you can use your prior knowledge to predict the words. Prior knowledge refers to your own knowledge and life experience. Most situations in IELTS listening section one are familiar to students. Here is a list of common situations and related vocabulary in this section.

  • Accommodation

Payment: cash, check, credit card, money order

House type: house, flat, dorm, homestay, student hostel

Facilities: gym, laundry, furniture, household appliances


  • Library

ID: ID card, passport, driving license/licence, student card

Book type: novel, magazine, newspaper, fiction, non-fiction, journal, reference book

Rules: due date, loan period, fine, renew a book


  • Bank

Types of bank account: saving account, checking account, deposit account, debit card, credit card

Activities: withdraw money, transfer money, deposit money, open/suspend/activate an account

Required information: billing address, phone number, bank statement


  • Booking a flight

Basic information: departing date, returning date, first/business/economy class

Types of ticket: one-way, round-trip, multi-destination, non-stop flight


  • Buying insurance

Types of insurance: home insurance, medical and dental insurance, life insurance, travel insurance, critical illness insurance

Other related words: coverage, third party, monthly/half-yearly/annually payment, insurance terms


Write Down Answers on the Paper First

When you are listening, write down answers on the test paper first and then transfer them to the answer sheet. Writing down answers on the answer sheet will be a distraction because you have to pay attention to handwriting and spelling. Besides, you will have another 10 minutes to finish your answer sheet at the end of the listening section.


Check Spelling and Grammar

Before handing in your answer sheet, do not forget to check spelling and grammar, especially the plural and past forms of nouns and verbs. Although most students understand these rules, they may have careless mistakes in the test.

IELTS Listening Section One Practice

Click the following links to get sample tasks for you to practice!

Sample test 1 from British Council

Sample test 2 from IELTS Essentials

Sample test 3 from

Sample test 4 from Exam Engilsh


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5 Responses to IELTS Listening Section One Tips and Practice

  1. Linta Sreekanth April 5, 2018 at 6:40 am #

    Hi, It is really good and useful.

  2. Lisa September 15, 2018 at 3:20 am #

    do examiners check answers from answer sheet or the question paper too? Because in question paper i wrote a few different answers. Which i changed later in my answer sheet but didn’t change in question paper

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert September 16, 2018 at 1:53 pm #

      Hi Lisa,

      the examiners only consider the answers that you write in your answer booklet, so you don’t need to worry about what you wrote in the question book 🙂

  3. varun October 18, 2018 at 11:47 pm #

    Dear Sir,
    Iam appering first time for ielts
    tell which section to do first or they will decide


    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert October 19, 2018 at 7:55 am #

      Hi Varun,

      I am happy to help! 🙂

      According to the British Council:

      “There are two versions of the test, IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training. Both tests are graded in exactly the same way.

      You’ll take the first three parts of the test on the same day, in the following order:

      There are no breaks between these tests.

      Your Speaking test will be held either on the same day or 7 days before or after that, depending on local arrangements.”

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