How To Do IELTS Listening Part 3IELTS Listening Part 3 will be 2 or 3 speakers talking in a situation related to education.

It could be a tutor giving feedback to a student on a recent assignment, or it could be a study group discussing one of their course books.

Listening for specific information, identifying the attitude of the speakers and understanding the speakers’ opinions are usually the key skills tested here. However, any question type may be used.

An Example ‘Matching Exercise’


Who will do each of the following tasks?

Write the correct letter, A, B or C, next to tasks 1–4.

A    Alex

B    Tim

C    Both Tim and Alex



1    take photos ____

2    interview shop keepers ____

3    do a survey with consumers ____

4    do data analysis ____

How To Do IELTS Listening Part 3: Matching Exercises

Students need to be able to identify when each of the different tasks is being talked about. However, the speakers may use paraphrases rather than the words provided in the choices.

So, when you read the question, start thinking about synonyms/paraphrases for these words which should help to prepare you for hearing the relevant section.

Warning, answers to questions such as these are often discussed at length which means the first answer you hear is not always the correct answer.

You need to follow the dialogue and be familiar with a variety of functional for offering, making a suggestion and expressing a preference as these will help you to do this.

Here are a few examples, I am sure you can add more of your own:

We could…

Why don’t we…

I think we ought to…

How about…

Why not…

Shall we…

Is that OK with you?


Does that seem fair to you?

Are you OK with that?

Does that suit you?

I’m not sure that’s the best idea!

Actually, I’d rather…

To be honest, I think we should…

To be hones, I’d really rather not…

OK, fine.

Yes, that sounds good to me.

Absolutely, I’m with you on that.


How IELTS Examiners Try To Trick You!

Here is what the audio script for the question above might be like:

In orange are the sentences which talk about data analyses, in red are the sections which are distractors and trying to trick the candidate and in green are the sentences where the answer is finally given:

Tim:    What about organising the results – putting all the answers on the computer and making sense of them?

Alex:   I don’t mind doing it, but I’m pretty slow.

Tim:    OK, you can leave that to me.

Alex:   Fine.

You can clearly see how the examiners have tried to ‘catch you out‘ and check that you can follow the conversation through the use of the distractor comment. This is normal and may occur at any time.

Recommended Procedure

This is therefore the recommended procedure for this type of matching question.

♦ Identify when the topic is being talked about.

♦ Recognise functional phrases.

♦ Avoid jumping to conclusions (guessing to soon).

♦ Watch out for distractions.

♦ Eliminate incorrect options (where possible).