This is a practice IELTS listening filling out a table exercise. As well as the exercise itself, you will find some advice on how to approach this type of question. The idea is that you need to use the 30 seconds preparation time well and there are different things to think about in that time. Yes, you do want to try and predict some answers, but it is just as important to understand what you are going to listen to generally and understand how the table works.
Before you listen – understand the table
The idea is that before each listening task, you should spend the 30 seconds to try and do all of these things:
- understand what you are going to listen to
- understand how the table is organised
- predict what type of answers you might want
You should note that there are different ideas here. You don’t just want to try and predict the answer, you also want to make sure you have a good idea about what the listening is going to be about and how the table is organised. The idea is simple:
What is the listening about?
This is something you very much want to do before you listen. If you look at the table below, you will see that the information it contains all relates to a piece of writing. Knowing this will help you listen better.
- What is the table about?
Understanding the layout of the table
This is something you want to do before you listen. You want to work out how the table works. Any headings will tell you how the talk is organised. You also want to understand that question 2 always comes before question 3. In the example below, this means that you should read the table downwards by columns. In another table, it is possible that you would need to read the table across in rows. The questions to ask are:
- Look at the headings in this table. What three main sections does it have?
- Look at the question numbers. What are you going to hear first?
You may not do all of this before you listen, but you can still do it as you listen.
- What sort of word do you think answer 2 might be? Read across the table and you might be able to guess.
- How about number 3? Look at the other details in the box and you might be able to guess.
- How about 4? Again, read across the table and you might be bale to guess.
Do the listening practice
Complete the table above using no more than 2 words or a number:
See the answers and read the script
Question 1 = thesis
Question 2 = 300 words (don’t be confused by the other numbers you hear, you are listening for the proposal information only: always pay attention to the headings
Question 3 – compulsory (a harder question perhaps: it matches “advised” and “if necessary”
Question 4 = one month (pay attention to grammar here: you hear a date as well but what you write must follow the words “to take”
Question 5 = English (you want a word that follows “in”
Question 6 = alphabetical ( perhaps you can guess this from “___ order”)
Okay. The place to start is with the proposal. This is what we’ve been doing in class so far this semester. The idea here is to show what the whole project will be about. When I read it, I should have a good idea about what the exact topic is – that’s the introduction. What the main body of the project will include – that’s the outline. Why you chose it – that’s the justification,
So. Let me see if I’ve got this right. There are two different parts to the proposal. The introduction is where I say why I chose that topic and the outline where I put in the contents.
Actually no. There are 3 parts and they should each have a heading. The first heading is Introduction and you need to write a paragraph there about the topic of the project and it’s really important that you have a clear thesis statement. Then the next heading is Outline and you’ll need to write 3 or 4 paragraphs there – you mustn’t use bullet points – saying what details you will include in the project. Then the third and final heading is Justification. Again you just need to write one paragraph there and what you do is say why you chose that topic and perhaps what you expect to learn.
Okay. I think that’s straight now. oh no. I forgot. What’s the word limit? It’s got to be 1500 words, doesn’t it. I’m not sure how I’m going to manage that.
Uh no. The whole project needs to be 1500 words. The proposal itself is only 300 words and the main body itself is 1200 words.
That shouldn’t be a problem. You said something about the main body?
Yes this is where you need to spend most time. The proposal itself is mostly a thinking task and you can complete that in around two weeks. But the main body is all about research and you’ll need to do lots of reading and note taking first. That’s why we’ve given you much longer to complete it.
Okay. I’m happy with the research. I’ve already done most of the reading but I’m just not sure how to organise it. Should I use headings? We didn’t have to use headings where I was studying before and then I think I’d like to use some charts and graphs – I think it’d be clearer to set out some of the data visually.
Well first of all we recommend that you have three main sections. That means you have to organise your content. But this is why you write your outline – it’s to make you think about how you should arrange your research so that the reader can understand your main points.You’re not just able to use headings. In fact they’re compulsory. If you don’t have them, you’ll be penalised. As for visuals, you can use pictures and charts and graphs if they make the content more intelligible. Don’t put them in for the sake of it
And I should point out that the due date is April 27th. The time allocated for it is one month. The final section is the reference section. This is crucial. We are very strict on how you do this. There must be at least 6 references. You cannot use any source material in Estonian. We only accept references that are in English and when you come to write them out, make sure that they are in alphabetical order and we use the Harvard referencing system here. And it’s also necessary to have a separate page for this section.