Top Tips for IELTS

More than 20 free listening exercises

Sponsored links

This is my selection of the best free practice listening sites for IELTS on the internet. Not all of these tests are exactly formatted to the IELTS exam but they are excellent for practising your listening skills. Before you go there may I suggest you check out these pages and resources:

Tips on how to improve your listening skills

How to understand IELTS listening questions

IELTS band score calculator

Download the listening answer sheet

Pearson Longman iTest – top recommendation

This is an excellent place to start if you need to want to find out your approximate level. It is a site run by one of the major publishing houses and has excellent quality materials. You need to go through a registration process, but at the end of it you get a free complete IELTS listening test.


BBC 6 minute English

This is a fantastic resource for IELTS listening. There is a huge database of  listening podcasts on different subjects which come with typescripts and linked reading texts. This is my explanation of how you can use this resource.

6 minute English


This is a very interesting site to explore. It is very interactive with lots of point and click exercises. I believe these can have real value when done well – and here they are excellent. The only points to note are that there are comparatively few IELTS formatted exercises.

working from home




Again, these are not formatted according to the exam. However, they still give excellent practice and are particularly useful if you preparing yourself as they are divided into different levels

Open Forum 1Pre-Intermediate
Open Forum 2Intermediate
Open Forum 3Upper Intermediate to advanced


This is another of the major publishing houses and you can download listening material from their website


Self – Access

Another site with IELTS type listenings with a variety of different exercise types

Exercise 1short answers
Exercise 2multiple choice
Exercise 3complete a summary
Exercise 4note taking


An excellent site altogether. you will find good advice and exercises on academic listening with a particular emphasis on note-taking.

Academic listening

Randall”s ESL Cyber Listening Lab

This is another site with lots of listening practice. Further down the page you will find resources for TOEIC and TOEFL, two exams similar to IELTS.

Randall’s ESL Cyber Listening Lab

Exam English

This is one of those pay sites that give you a little taster. What you will find here is okay if you are looking for a little quick practice. Be warned, however, that online tests like these are not always the best practice for a paper based test.

practice 1 – a form filling exercise

practice 2 – part 1

IELTS for Free

Listening practice 1

Listening practice 2

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43 Responses to More than 20 free listening exercises

  1. Steve Chadwick February 11, 2010 at 1:08 pm #

    Just to say that all activities at are now completely free.
    A full listening test is available here:

  2. Ramani August 30, 2010 at 1:30 pm #

    i need more ielts materials regarding speaking,and task 2 essays

  3. julia December 5, 2010 at 2:56 pm #

    i need more stuff about ielts listening test.any website recomended for free test or exercises?

    • Dominic Cole December 5, 2010 at 3:57 pm #

      I’m in the process of updating my links. I should be posting more within the next week or so. For now the best place to start is British Council- China. You’ll find the links on my listening page.

      To be a teacher for a moment, I would add that what matters is the quality of the practice as much as the quantity. Make sure you go over each listening 2/3 times to see how it works.

  4. mary July 26, 2011 at 11:18 am #

    Dear Dominic, Thank you very much.

  5. dr ayman July 26, 2011 at 3:57 pm #

    i am writing to say thank uuuuu very very very much for such a great effort done to help people preparing for ielts…thank u and i hope to make anything for u.

  6. ruslan October 13, 2011 at 2:07 pm #

    This is fantastic source.

  7. m3oda December 7, 2011 at 1:52 am #

    All the OUP files are broken , I have tried them before but they no linger work ,, thanks already

  8. m3oda December 7, 2011 at 7:13 am #

    sorry not the files themselves but the links

    • Dominic Cole December 7, 2011 at 12:43 pm #

      I had a look and it appears that OUP (the Masterclass people) have changed their system. There is now an online system with a short sample that I have added the link to.

  9. Elize February 26, 2012 at 2:49 pm #

    Hello! My problems are listening and reading in a IELTS test. I can not control time in reading. I can just finish 2 passage in reading.
    I have been living in London for 8 months. But my english is not good. I need 7 scores in IELTS. How can i improve them?

    • Dominic Cole February 23, 2013 at 8:04 pm #

      You need to work on your skimming and scanning skills in reading for sure. This means that you don’t concentrate on reading every word but learn to look for where you cn find the answers first and then read that part of the text in detail.

    • qadeer September 25, 2013 at 3:18 pm #

      hi this is my skype id u add me i will help u and guide u

      • Mohammed Nazeeruddin March 25, 2014 at 1:28 pm #


        I need your help please for IELTS.


  10. vijaya May 29, 2012 at 2:36 pm #

    I need listening practice tests to get good band in ielts

  11. Thankful person July 19, 2012 at 10:39 pm #

    Thank you sooo much Mr.Dominic! đŸ™‚
    I’m hoping to score really well in my upcoming IELTS exam with your guidance!
    Danke đŸ˜‰

  12. Navin February 22, 2013 at 5:03 pm #

    I need listening practice tests to get good band in ielts. I have no sufficient material for IELTS. so please help regarding my problem.
    Thank You.

    • Dominic Cole February 22, 2013 at 6:37 pm #

      Some listening coming next week I hope.

      • IBRAHEEM October 20, 2014 at 10:12 am #


        • Dominic Cole October 21, 2014 at 12:06 am #

          Sorry this question is too general for me to answer.

  13. Divyasri June 12, 2013 at 8:37 pm #

    Hello sir, im divya.. im going take my IELTS exam in the next month, give some suggestions and tips to score well.

  14. zquiet June 21, 2013 at 12:50 am #

    I wanted to thank you for this very good read!! I certainly enjoyed
    every bit of it. I’ve got you bookmarked to check out new things you post…

  15. sandeep kumar July 7, 2013 at 4:00 pm #

    i have need 6.05 by hook or by crook,,now i hve enough problem in listening, even i also have left only few days in exam,,so please could you help me that how can i improve it

  16. an Iranian person July 28, 2013 at 7:40 pm #

    Thank u for your great website.I utilize your information.

  17. buy melanotan 2 July 31, 2013 at 1:48 am #

    Appreciate some other beneficial site. The place else could I am that type of information printed in a real excellent method? I own a objective that we are only right now doing work about, so i are actually in the check for like facts.

  18. Sasireka October 19, 2013 at 12:49 am #

    Hi pls help me for ielts Reading writing listening and speaking my english average not Good Tell how to learn good vocabulary

  19. IELTSforFREE December 19, 2013 at 6:04 pm #

    Hi Dominic – this is an excellent resource for self access learners!

    Would you mind adding our site to your list? It’s – we have complete practice tests and a lot of other free resources for IELTS that will help your visitors.



    • Dominic Cole March 1, 2014 at 6:41 pm #

      Sorry I have only just found this. Will do.

    • IBRAHEEM October 20, 2014 at 10:14 am #


  20. Roshna Rachel January 28, 2014 at 9:32 pm #

    I want to join this team to improve my scores

  21. Adil March 1, 2014 at 2:18 pm #


    I need partner for improve my listning skills,
    skype id: miaadil

    is anyonye who has interset can come there.


    • Dominic Cole March 1, 2014 at 6:38 pm #

      Hi Adil

      I am going to try to add a find an IELTS friend forum quite soon. I hope that helps.

  22. elearner March 19, 2014 at 9:46 pm #

    Hie Dominic

    I have one question regarding the maps.I noticed how when the narrator mentioned directions i.e (left or right),he was referring to his left and not mine.This was not a problem as I managed to follow given instructions without any difficulty.

    I’ve also come across maps which were much complicated than this one and I always get confused because what is said to be at the right side is actually on my left.This sadly results in me failing to answer a lot of questions.

    Is this always going to be the case? but How best do you suggest I tackle this problem without confusing myself?

    Any suggestions from anyone will be greatly appreciated
    Thanks in advance

    • Dominic Cole March 19, 2014 at 10:41 pm #


      You should find that if you get a map type task that at the very beginning the “narrator’ will clearly state where you are – this is a part you need to concentrate on. The idea is that in any listening exercise you are not concentrating 100% all the time – do that and your brain will burn out. You want to try and focus 100% when something important is coming up and then let fade out ever so slightly until you know another question is coming.

      The hard bit is knowing when to concentrate most. This is where “key word” strategy does help – you identify words that tell you where the answer is coming. In your situation,you just need to use the same skill at the beginning – understand that the “narrator” is going to tell you where you are and what direction you are looking in

      I do understand your problem. Let me think on it and see if I can see another solution.

      • Anonymous November 27, 2014 at 6:19 am #

        Thank you

  23. elearner March 19, 2014 at 9:49 pm #

    sorry about the typing error,lets pretend the “but” in line 7 is not there đŸ™‚

    • Dominic Cole March 20, 2014 at 7:06 am #

      ;-). Yes, if only because there are a shameful number of typos on this site. Mostly, because of a predictive typing system, but that is a poor excuse. Do let me know if you see any of mine.

  24. Mohammed Nazeeruddin March 25, 2014 at 1:14 pm #


    I will be giving my IELTS in a couple of months and I need your very important help.

    Please contact me to my email address please.

  25. Yuriy September 10, 2014 at 6:33 am #

    Excellent selection, Dominic! Thank you so much. That is a great contribution in other people development!

  26. teebabs May 30, 2015 at 7:00 am #

    Hello. Will be writing ielts soon. Would like to join a group with same interest in getting a high band score. Pls contact me

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