Multiple Choice And Matching Questions

IELTS listening multiple choice and matching questions

In this post, we will look at multiple choice and matching questions in the listening test.

Multiple Choice Questions

You may have read the information about multiple choice questions in the reading skills section and be familiar with the format. 

In the IELTS Listening Test, multiple choice questions are testing your skills of understanding the main idea in the recording and your ability to listen for specific information

  • Some multiple choice questions start with a question, that has (for example) three possible answers.
  • Some questions will ask you to select a few answers.
  • You may be asked to select three answers out of seven. Therefore it is really important that you listen carefully to the recording. 

TIP >> You must make sure you read the question before beginning to listen to the recording so that you choose the right amount of answers and have an idea what you are listening for.

TIP >> You should also listen for distractors, as they are used a lot in the multiple choice and matching questions.

TIP >> Concentrate when you record your answers, students often make errors and that loses them marks. 

Short Answer Multiple Choice Questions

The first type of multiple choice question you might see is a short answer question. In this type of question, you will see a statement and a number of different options to choose from.

TIP >> You will possibly hear all of the options in the recording, but be careful that you do not just choose the first option and think that it is correct. 

TIP >> Vocabulary – look out for certain words like but, however, or though, as they suggest the speaker is going to offer some alternative information. 

Question Example

short answer multiple choice question example

Sentence Completion Multiple Choice Questions

The second type of multiple choice question you may see is a sentence completion question. You will be given an incomplete sentence and you will have to complete it choosing from a certain number of options. 

These questions are longer than other questions you will see in the listening test. You should have a quick read through and highlight any keywords you see.

You should also be aware of paraphrasing, as the speaker will probably paraphrase and use synonyms. 

Question Example

sentence completion multiple choice question example

Multiple Options

Some questions will ask you to select a few options and you must choose the right amount of options (and the right information obviously) in order for your answers to be correct. Therefore it is really important that you read the question before you listen to the recording. 

The speaker on the recording might talk through all of the options, so concentrate and listen out for words and phrases that could distract you. These are often in there to trick you into choosing the wrong answer. 

TIP >> Try to relax, when students are under stress to choose the right answer then move on quickly, they often lose marks as they choose any option. If you do miss it, there is no harm in taking a guess rather than leaving a blank space. 

IELTS listening multiple choice question example

Attitude And Opinion

In some of the recordings you will hear, you will listen to speakers discussing an issue, making a decision or making an agreement. This means that you will have to identify an opinion or an attitude. 

Listen carefully and see how the speaker uses language to convey their opinion or attitude towards something.

For example;

  • I was reluctant …..
  • I was surprised…… 
  • I am feeling hopeful………..
  • I’m wary about that…………
  • I am doubtful………..
  • I feel confused……….
IELTS attitude and opinion question example

Matching Questions

In matching questions you will see two parts with information. The questions will be numbered and appear in order. This means that the questions will be in the order of the information given in the recording. 

You will see a box alongside the question in which to choose options and these are given in a random order. It is a good idea to cross out any options you do not need. 

IELTS matching question example


TIP >>  Read the instructions and questions before you start listening to the recording. What are you being asked to do? Familiarise yourself with the questions and think about the context. 

TIP >>  Look at the options you have been given and highlight any keywords. 

TIP >> Listen carefully for information but be wary of distractors. 

TIP >> Be aware of paraphrasing and synonyms. 

TIP >> Listen to the information carefully and don’t just choose the first option you hear. The speaker will probably mention all of the options  – so listen to all and keep looking at the list of options, to select the right ones. 

TIP >> If you do miss an answer or were not sure, then it is ok to take a guess. This is better than leaving a blank space and you never know, you might answer correctly!

We hope you found this post useful in helping you to study for the IELTS Test. If you have any questions please let us know in the comments below or on the Facebook page.

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