Top Tips for IELTS

Multiple choice listening problems and solutions

This is a video lesson to help multiple choice listening problems in IELTS. The questions often look easy but they can in fact be very confusing. Also each type of listening question in IELTS has its own problems, so if you want to prepare well you need

to know what the problems are

understand the skills you need 

find practical solutions

for each type of listening question.

The problems in short

In the video I talk you through the problems with an example. If you can’t watch they include:

similar/confusing options

distractor questions (you hear words from all the options)

lots of reading (much more than other question types)

paraphrase (the answers are very often found by listening for meaning and not words)

The skills required

The idea is that this kind of question needs reading as well as listening skills. Basically you need to

listen for meaning not words

read the question closely and not just focus on key words (especially in the options)

Possible strategy

There are different possible strategies here and you should experiment to see what works for you. My main suggestion is:

focus on the stem of the questions before you listen

only concentrate on the options as you listen


More listening advice


Get more help with IELTS preparation on the main pages of my site

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Writing Guide

Essay writing guide

Academic task 1 guide

Letter writing guide

Reading guide

Listening guide

IELTS vocabulary

IELTS grammar

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One Response to Multiple choice listening problems and solutions

  1. Tara April 11, 2014 at 1:52 am #

    I loved the tips on multiple choice questions

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