IELTS

Sample Questions

 

Listening

 

[PLAY BUTTON (R23)]

 

Write no more than TWO WORDS AND/OR A NUMBER.

 

Write your answers on a piece of paper.

 

 

 

Time

 

 

 

 

Place

 

 

 

 

Topic

 

 

 

 

Speaker

 

 

1. _______

 

 

 

Kingston

Hall

 

Attendance Policy

 

Dean of Students

 

2:30

 

2. _______

 

3. _______

 

3:00

 

4. _______

 

Honor Code

 

5. _______

 

Answers:

1. 2:00

2. (the) school's facilities

3. The vice president

4. Main Hall

5. Professor Thompson

 

Please note that this sample is not meant to represent every question type that you will encounter on the exam. It is meant to give you a general idea of what the listening questions are like.

 

Reading

 

Perhaps no other group throughout history has been the subject of more speculation and hearsay than Freemasonry, a fraternal organization with an extensive and clandestine history. Having established Masonic Lodges in nearly every country in the world, the Masonic Network supposedly consists of approximately six million members. While not much is known about the internal dynamics and rituals of the organization, little effort has been put forth to keep the principal beliefs of the group under wraps; it is now widely accepted that Free Masons generally seek to remove class distinctions, and that they promote the concepts of love, equality, and fraternity.


While each Grand Lodge—the administrative Masonic body for a designated area—has different requirements for membership, some points where there is general agreement are that a member must always be male and above a certain age, believe in some higher being, and have an excellent reputation. Once admitted, a member who desires to leave the organization may freely resign, or if the lodge sees it fit, the member can be expelled.

 

Write no more than THREE WORDS AND/OR A NUMBER in the spaces provided.

 

To answer the question, tap the question number and then tap the word or phrase in the passage.

 

Since its inception, Freemasonry has grown to be about 1. ___________________ strong, and these members must be pious men with unquestionable characters, and they must also be older than 2. ____________. Freemasons meet in Masonic Lodges, and there is one 3. ______________ for each area, and this body makes decisions regarding membership requirements. In general, Freemasons oppose 4. ____________ and support equality. A member is free to 5. _________ if he opts to forego his membership, and a member may also be 6. _________ by other members of the lodge if they see reason to do so.

 

Answers:

  1. six million members / 6 million members / 6,000,000 members

  2. a certain age

  3. Grand Lodge

  4. class distinctions

  5. resign

  6. expelled

 

Please note that this sample is not meant to represent every question type that you will encounter on the exam. It is meant to give you a general idea of what the reading questions are like.

 

Writing

 

The damage caused to the environment by searching for new sources of fossil fuels like coal, oil, and gas should not be considered since, with our current technology and infrastructure, people need these sources of energy in order to maintain modern society.

 

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

 

Please note that this sample is not meant to represent every question type that you will encounter on the exam. It is meant to give you a general idea of what the writing questions are like.

 

Speaking

 

What is your favorite season? Why?

 

Describe a book, play, or magazine article you have read.

 

You should say:

  • What the book, play, or magazine was

  • When you read it

  • What it was about

  • Whether you liked it or not and why

 

Please note that this sample is not meant to represent every question type that you will encounter on the exam. It is meant to give you a general idea of what the speaking questions are like.

 


Test Prep Strategies


 

Listening

 

  • Analyze the questions before you listen! During the 30 seconds that the writers of the test give you to look through the questions, make sure you go through each and every question thoroughly. Look for key words to listen for and underline them. Make guesses and write your guesses in the columns. Always be active!

  • Know how to spell! While this may sound obvious, many test takers are surprised when they need to write down a name while it is being spelled out for them and then they miss an easy point. If there are letters in the English language that you have to think about when you hear them, practice, practice, practice! Make sure you can write down any word that is spelled out for you.

  • Listen carefully! The writers of the test expect most test takers to immediately write down the first possible answer they hear and therefore miss the real answer when it comes only moments later. Do not stop listening when you think you have your answer; in fact, listen even more intently!

  • Don't forget about grammar! Even if your answer is conceptually correct, you will not get the point if you don't follow the rules of English grammar. Always double check subject-verb agreement and whether your nouns should be singular or plural in the context.

  • Guess if you miss something! Use the context to make the most logical guess you can. You will not lose points for wrong answers, so it is always to your advantage to guess.

  • Read the directions extremely carefully! Sometimes they will say an answer choice can be used only once, and other times they will say an answer choice may be used more than once. Never assume you know what the test writers are asking you to do; always read the directions!

 

Reading

 

  • Analyze the questions before you read! The questions will be presented to you in distinct question blocks consisting of 4 to 8 questions. Some of these blocks are “ordered” blocks, meaning the answer for the second question comes after the answer for the first question in the text, and the answer for the third question comes after the answer for the second, and so on. Other blocks are “unordered” blocks, meaning the questions do not go in order of the text. Generally, “unordered” blocks are more challenging and time consuming, so do “ordered” blocks first!

  • Read with an eye for detail! Selecting the correct answer for a question on the reading section often depends on your noticing a small, seemingly minor detail, such as a single adjective or the word “not.”

  • Remember 20-20-20! You are given 60 minutes to complete 3 passages, so limit the time you spend on any one passage to 20 minutes.

  • Transfer your answers to your answer sheet immediately after completing a passage! Don't wait until the end of the reading section when you will likely be nervous and scrambling for time.

  • Memorize vocabulary! This is, without a doubt, the surest way to increase your confidence and your score. If you understand what you're reading, there's a much better chance that you will attack the questions with confidence.

  • Read the directions extremely carefully! Sometimes they will say an answer choice can be used only once, and other times they will say you an answer choice may be used more than once. Never assume you know what the test writers are asking you to do; always read the directions!

 

Writing

 

  • Analyze the question! By far the most common reason students lose points on the writing section is because they don't directly answer the question being asked. Spend 1 minute analyzing the question. Believe us, it is time well spent!

  • Write an outline! While many students worry that taking the time to write an outline will not leave them enough time to finish the essay, experience has shown that spending 3 to 4 minutes planning the essay beforehand actually helps students finish faster.

  • Use examples to show your idea is true! The best way to support your argument is by showing that it's valid. Remember, however, that examples should be specific cases from history, literature, current events, or your life.

  • Review your work! After you finish your essay, always check for grammar and spelling mistakes. Don't give them any reason to take points away from you!

  • Spend more time on Task 2! The second essay is worth double the points the first essay is worth, so devote more time to it. As a general rule, try to split the 60 minutes you are given to complete both tasks into 20-40 minute segments, meaning 20 minutes for Task 1 and 40 minutes for Task 2.

  • Show off! Think of the writing section as your opporunity to show the evaluators just how well you know English. Have some complex sentence structures and vocabulary ready to use before you take the test.

 

Speaking

 

  • Be ready to discuss these topics: friends, family, technology, sports, your cultural traditions, education, childhood, and work experiences. The first part of the speaking section almost always involves at least one of these topics.

  • Practice speaking for two minutes! One of the most challenging aspects of the speaking section is speaking non-stop for two minutes about a topic. By practicing beforehand, you will not be surprised by how long two minutes really is during the actual exam.

  • Listen to the first part of the question carefully! If the evaluator asks you a question that starts with “How important is it to...,” don't start your response with “Yes” or “No,” as this shows you didn't fully understand what the evaluator was asking.

  • Make a good first impression! The only person who will evaluate your response is the person you speak with, so be friendly and polite.

  • Be honest! Many test takers try to give answers that they think the evaluator wants to hear, instead of what they truly think and feel. This is a mistake! It will be much easier for you to explain your ideas if you really believe them.

  • Be confident! Even if you make a few mistakes, you can still get a great score if you speak with confidence and give the impression that you are comfortable speaking English.