Aubrey Carter
"3 Keys IELTS Certified Coach"
Jessica Beck
"Director of IELTS Training"

There are changes to the Listening on the IELTS Test this year.

These went into effect starting in 2020.

You need to know what they are and if they matter.

Today we discuss the changes and tell you why 2 of them are not important, but one of them is!

We also provide a free Listening practice exercise!

Fill out the table as you listen, and check your answers in the comments.

Table Completion Exercise

If you listened to the podcast while away from your computer, listen again now!

As you listen, complete the table provided below.

The answers are posted here in the comments, so don’t look at the comment section until after you’ve completed the exercise!

Post your answers, and check them against those in the comments.

You can also put in the comments any questions you have.

Finally, include in the comments if you would like more practice exercises like this on the podcast!

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Table to complete

Answers can be found in the comments at the bottom of this page!

When are changes like these made to the IELTS exam?

IELTS often makes small changes.

We will always keep you informed!

Additionally, we will let you know which changes will affect you, and which don’t matter.

The most recent changes seem to be an attempt to make the paper version of the exam more like the computer version.

This way they only need one audio recording for both versions of the exam.

Listening Exam Change #1: Parts instead of Sections

Listening sections will now be referred to as “parts”.

You will see the different parts labeled as Part 1, Part 2 instead of Section 1, Section 2 etc.

The questions are the same.

The test will have the same amount of audio and dialogue.

The only thing this changes is that we will refer to Listening Parts instead of sections!

Listening Exam Change #2: No more page numbers

This should not matter, because you’re looking at question numbers.

You will hear something like, “Look at questions one through five.”

Page numbers will not be needed.

Listening Exam Change #3: No more sample answer

This change matters and will affect you!

Before 2020, there was an example and a question done for you.

Because of this, you would hear the beginning of that audio twice.

You will no longer hear that audio twice!

On the computer IELTS version, there is no example and now there is no longer one for the paper version as well.

How can you find out about these changes when they happen?

If you missed this podcast, you might not know about the new Listening changes!

However, if you’re in our 3 Keys Success System, even if you missed the podcast, you would be informed.

Our learning modules prepare you for every part of the exam, with the most up-to-date information.

You’ll also be part of our exclusive Facebook group!

In this group, students are able to ask about test practice questions they don’t understand and get answers from IELTS experts!


One of the recent changes is very important for you to know!

This change is that there will no longer be an example at the start of the Listening parts.

You need to be paying attention right away, whereas with practice exams you may be used to reading ahead during that example!

To make sure you never miss an update when these changes happen, join 3 Keys IELTS!

We also provide a Listening practice exercise today in the podcast.

Comment below with your answers and let us know if you’d like more practice exercises on the podcast!

What questions do you have from today’s episode?

Please leave a comment below.

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