Short Answer Questions
Question 26-30 on this practice test are short answer questions. First try the practice activities which will prepare you for the listening questions.
If you missed any of the previous listening test sections, follow the links below to complete them.
Listening Test Section 1.1
Listening Test Section 1.2
Listening Test Section 2.1
Listening Test Section 2.2
Listening Test Section 3.1
|1.||Asking about a person|
|2.||Asking about possession (the owner of something)|
|3.||Asking about time|
|4.||Asking about place|
|5.||Asking about choice|
|6.||Asking for a reason|
|7.||Asking about the quality of something|
Practice Exercise 2 | Identify Key Words
What are the key words in this question (open to view):
When should you hand in your essay?
When - tells us to listen for a time
hand in – this is the action we must listen for
essay – clarifies what we are listening for (the thing which is handed in)
The words that are not underlined are less important but they are still needed so the grammar of the question is correct.
- It focuses you on what you must listen for before you hear the recording. Thinking of synonyms for the key words is also very useful preparation.
- As you listen you can easily refer back to the questions without having to read the whole question again.
Identify the Key Words in the questions below
Questions 26 - 30
|26.||Why is it important to speak at a normal speed?|
|27.||How does it sound if you speak very slowly?|
|28.||What impact does using discourse markers have on your speaking?|
|29.||How often should we practice new vocabulary?|
|30.||What technique should you use to improve your reading skills?|
We can see that 'pace' is used as a synonym of 'speed'.
We can match the key words 'speak' and 'slowly' to prepare us for this answer.
Notice that typically you can use the same word forms in the answer as you hear in the recording, however in this case we need to adjust the grammar to suit the question: improve(s) (your) fluency
The student asks about vocabulary, so this is the sign that the answer is coming. The lecturer paraphrases 'new vocabulary' as 'new words'.
Note here that ‘method’ and ‘technique’ are synonyms.
View the complete script below while listening again to the audio. Write down and repeat new vocabulary and phrases to improve your vocabulary and pronunciation.
Now, I want to go back and think about how to improve your English communication skills. This will help you not just with the IELTS test, but also with living and studying in an English speaking country.
Ok great, I memorize lots of vocabulary and study English grammar all the time but sometimes I feel like my communication is not very good.
Yes, well, there is more to communication than that but you are on the right path.
I sometimes find that people have trouble understanding me, even though I use lots of high level words and complex grammar.
Native speakers sometimes find it hard to understand non-native speakers due to the speed of the non-native speaker’s speech. Now, you probably don’t realize, but when you are nervous and trying to express yourself, your speech will naturally speed up. This makes it hard to understand and increases the frequency of mistakes that you make. I would suggest to you both to try and remain calm and speak at a normal pace to avoid misunderstanding. Speaking slowly will give you more time to choose the appropriate words and structures and to communicate them clearly.
I understand what you’re saying but people will laugh at us if we speak slowly.
Well, I think most people appreciate a thought out and intelligent response to a rushed and poorly pronounced response. But obviously, don’t speak too slowly or yes, you’re right, it will sound unnatural.
My English teacher last year suggested we use some fixed phrases to make our speaking sound more natural. You know, kind of like the phrases that native speakers use when they need time to think about what they want to say.
Things like, ‘well let me see’ and ‘hmm, let me think for a moment’ or ‘I see what you mean but I’m not sure myself…’
Ok great. Yeah, those kinds of things are really useful. They’re called discourse markers and they improve your communication by improving your fluency.
Learning set phrases in which words always appear in a certain way can really boost your communication. Some studies show that the memory stores most language as set phrases rather than as grammatical rules or individual elements. Based on this, it makes sense to learn as many set phrases like verb patterns and collocations as possible.
I feel like I have a bad memory and even though I study new vocabulary, I often forget it. What do you suggest?
Good question. Well, again, learn new words in sentences. Try and use them very frequently so they become normal for you and you remember them. Try and take time every day to review your vocabulary book. Unfortunately many people try and learn new words by heart without using them in context and so when they do use them, they often do so incorrectly.
I have a question – it’s not really related to improving our communication though..
That’s no problem, what’s your question.
Well I often feel like my reading skills are not good enough. I understand a lot of words but I struggle, particularly on reading tests, or when I have to read something quickly to find an answer. What should I do?
You need to learn to quickly skim over a text, getting an understanding of its overall meaning and the focus of each paragraph. Don’t read every word, just read enough to understand what it’s about. After that, in order to find details, you can scan for specific things such as number, names, problems, reasons or any other type of detail. Skimming first will let you quickly go back and find answers as you will know where to locate them in the text. The method of skimming and scanning helps you to get a feel for the text and locate details quickly and efficiently.
For previous sections of the test, follow the links below:
Listening Section 1 Part 1
Listening Section 1 Part 2
Listening Section 2 Part 1
Listening Section 2 Part 2
- Think about the purpose of the chart. What process does it show?
- Think about what types of words are missing from the flow chart. Look at the words that are already written there as these give lots of clues.
- Notice if the flow chart is written in short notes or longer and more complex sentences.
- After you have finished, make sure the completed flowchart represents the overall meaning of what you heard.
- Make sure the words you have written grammatically fit into the sentence.
Understand the FlowChart
Questions 21 - 25
|Find out 21. of the test.|
|Study the different types of test questions often found on the test.|
|Try a 22. in order to locate your strengths and weaknesses.|
|Join a 23. if you struggle with the practice test.|
|Do previous tests as frequently as you can in order to build your both your language skills and test skills.|
|Learn new words which you encounter in the reading test in order to 24. .|
|Make sure you 25. for the test a long time in advance|
Notice the paraphrase of 'find out' is 'focus on understanding'.
We can use the words 'try' and 'strengths and weaknesses' to help us identify the answer.
Here the paraphrase of the key word 'struggle' is 'do poorly'.
This question is a little easier as the phrase 'which you encounter in the reading test' is repeated in the audio.
We can see paraphrases of 'Make sure' ('It is important') and 'a long time in advance' ('as early as possible') to help us answer this one.
The full script can be seen below. Read it while listening again, writing down new words and phrases to help you expand your vocabulary.
Well, there are only a few months before the end of the term and that means you have to apply for university soon. I know both of you want to study in English speaking countries, how are your preparations and research about that going?
Yes, good thanks – I’ve narrowed it down to a shortlist of 3 universities in England.
And I’ve found courses in Edinburgh and Warwick that I’m interested in.
Great, as I’m your personal academic advisor, I thought today, as we have some time, we could talk about how to prepare for the IELTS test which you will have to take in order to study in the UK. It is important to do as well as you can on the test to ensure you get accepted on to the courses you want. What do you know about the test?
It’s a famous test, that’s all I know. I’ve definitely heard about it before.
I know it has a listening, reading, writing and speaking section.
Great. You know some of the basics. How do you think you can best prepare for the test?
I would say that it’s important to know the format of the test. What the sections are, how long you have to complete each section, that kind of thing.
Yes, and I guess it would be important to know about the types of questions that they commonly ask on the test.
Ok, good. Well I’d agree that the first and most important thing to do is to focus on understanding the test format. If you know how the test will be carried out and what each section is like, then you will not be surprised by anything on the test day. Imagine if you didn’t have any idea about the format. The whole thing would be really confusing. And I think your point Maggie about knowing the different question types that can crop up really comes under this heading. The best place to find out about the test format is on the IELTS website.
After that it’s really a good idea to try a past exam paper. Try the past exams found in the Cambridge IELTS series or online on websites such as ieltstutors.org. Trying a practice test such as this will help you to see what your strengths and weaknesses really are. This’ll help you to diagnose problem areas that you need to work on.
But what if we do badly on the practice test?
Well your English should be good as you have studied in an international school but If you do poorly on the practice test, then you need to really think about taking a test preparation course. This will help you prepare for the different question types. Now, we don’t run test preparation courses here at the school but there are plenty of language schools in the center of town which run these types of courses.
I think it’ll be hard to fit that into my schedule as I have to prepare for my exams. But, I’ve heard of online preparation courses which let students work in their own time without the pressure and deadlines of a normal school.
That sounds like a great alternative. Particularly for the writing and speaking modules which are very difficult to improve on if you don’t receive good feedback from an expert.
To improve your listening and reading I would suggest doing as many past exam papers as possible and learning from your mistakes. This is a great free way to improve your abilities before the test. You should always time yourself so you get used to the conditions in the exam.
Make sure you learn new words which you encounter in the reading test as this will boost your vocabulary and end up helping you improve your other skills as well. The best way to do this is that after you finish the test, you go back over the text looking for new words. Consult a dictionary to help you with the meaning. Write new words in a vocabulary book and practice them frequently. Try and use new word in speaking and writing as this will help to lock them into your memory.
How about when we get closer to the time when we need to take the test? Is there anything important we need to do then?
Well, that’s a good question. It’s important to register for your test as early as possible to make sure that you get a place on the test on the day that you want. Some tests get fully booked a long time in advance, particularly in the period when people are applying to university or trying to get on to scholarship programs.
Complete the Notes
Importantly we can’t write more than three words in each gap. The section is also divided into two: First comes questions 21 to 24, then 25 to 30. This gives us a bit more time to study the notes.
Let’s review what we know about completing notes.
In the time before we listen, we should think about
- the speakers – Who are they? Where are they? What will they talk about?
- the information that belongs in the gaps - Should it be a word, a name or a number?
We can also add that for information that can’t be guessed, we can still prepare ourselves by thinking of synonyms and paraphrases of key words around the gaps.
Let's follow the tips above. Try these tips yourself before you look at our notes. Pause the recording if you need to.
‘Secrecy’ means ‘being secret’.
‘metaphorical’ means describing one thing using another thing: “IELTS is the key to open doors around the world” is a metaphor because we are using one thing ‘key’ to describe another ‘IELTS’.
A synonym for ‘metaphorical’ is ‘figurative’. ‘Literal’ meaning talking about something in a basic/actual way: “The tiger was orange and black”.
'Transition' means change/movement from one thing to another.
As we listen:
- When we find our answer, we should write what we hear.
- To save time, we should write numbers as figures (“7”, not “seven”).
Try these tips as you listen, then check your answers with us.
The Secret Garden
(the) 20th/twentieth century
dark(ness) to light(ness)
I hope from these answers you can see how important it is to paraphrase and find synonyms of words in the questions. It’s great preparation before the recording begins.
Let's move on to section four.
IELTSTutors.org - All these IELTS lessons are completely free, so enjoy studying and let us know if you have any questions or suggestions!
About The IELTS Test
Academic Writing Task 1
Academic Writing Task 2
Cause And Effect
Coherence And Cohesion
Complete The Notes
Complete The Table
Frequently Asked Questions
General Training Reading
General Writing Task 1
General Writing Task 2
Listening Section 1
Listening Section 2
Listening Section 3
Listening Section 4
Speaking Part 1
Speaking Part 2
Speaking Part 3
True / False / Not Given