IELTS Listening MCQ Tips – Multiple Choice Questions

IELTS Listening MCQ Tips – Multiple Choice Questions

IELTS Listening MCQ Tips - Multiple Choice Questions
IELTS Listening MCQ Tips – Multiple Choice Questions

IELTS Listening MCQ Tips – Multiple Choice Questions

It shows you how to approach this type of question and highlights some aspects that you should be aware of.

In this type of question, you are usually given three choices of answers. It is commonly found in parts two, three, and four of the listening test. 

The questions will be harder the further on you get in the sections of the test.

There are certain things in this kind of question that can easily trip you up and lead to mistakes. Learning about these will improve your ability to listen and identify the correct answer.

There are several reasons why this type of question can be difficult and we’ll now look at some IELTS listening multiple choice tips to help you understand this.

Don’t immediately pick up the first answer choice you hear.

You will often hear all of the answer choices in the audio. And only one of them is correct, the other two are meant to confuse you! So don’t straightaway choose the answer you hear the first as it may be incorrect. So listen carefully and wait until the speaker finishes giving information about the current question.

Know that answers may come in a different order.

Unlike other questions types in IELTS Listening, multiple-choice questions don’t necessarily have their answer choices coming in the same order as you hear them in the audio. So don’t worry if you first hear the third answer choice – it doesn’t mean you’ve missed the previous two, as answers often come in a different order.

Mind that answers are often paraphrased.

You shouldn’t be waiting for a 100% match – the answer choice can differ from what you hear as it can be paraphrased. To approach multiple-choice questions effectively, look through the answer choices while listening to the question being discussed. Do it to get a general idea of answer choices.


1. Don’t check your answers from the previous section when you have a break. It is important that you read the multiple-choice questions and try to understand them.

2. Highlight keywords. The keyword in the question will help you answer the question correctly. The keywords in the different options are those that differentiate meaning between the choices.

3. Don’t write the first answer you hear. Remember that they will try and trick you.

4. Don’t spend too much time on one question. If you didn’t get the answer or you are unsure, make an educated guess and move on.

5. Be careful if you hear words like ‘but’ or ‘however’. This often means that the speaker is going to qualify a previous statement.

6. Practice makes perfect.

7. Your answer will often be a letter and not a word. Read the instructions to make sure and be careful when transferring your answers at the end.


1. Read the instructions carefully.

2. Read the questions and identify what is actually being asked. Highlight the keyword in the question.

3. Look at the different options and underline any keywords that help you tell the difference in meaning.

4. Think of any synonyms or paraphrases you might hear.

5. Predict the answer.

6. When listening, listen for any keywords, and synonyms.

7. Don’t write the first answer you hear. They will probably talk about more than one option so wait until they have talked about them all and then answer. Be careful with answers that are given by the speaker and then taken away.

8. If you think an answer is correct, put a tick beside it and keep listening to make sure.

9. Don’t spend any more time than is necessary. If you miss an answer, make a guess and move on.


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