IELTS Listening: Multiple Choice (Type 1 & 2)



Source: Cambridge IELTS 12, Test 5 – Listening, Section 3, Questions 21 – 23

Source: Cambridge IELTS 12, Test 7 – Listening, Section 2, Questions 11 – 14


  1. Read the instruction to check if there is only one correct answer or you can choose two or three letters
  2. Underline key words in each question and answer option
  3. Think ahead of possible synonyms or paraphrases of the key words you have underlined. Even if they might not come up exactly as you expect, this still gets your mind focused and prepared.
  4. Note the differences between answer options and highlight similar options to avoid getting confused afterwards
  5. Eliminate as many incorrect options as you can:
    • any option which contains information not mentioned in the recording
    • any option which contains information contradicting with the recording
    • any option which contains information mentioned in the recording but doesn’t answer the question


  • Chances are you will hear all the options mentioned in the recording, but there is only one or two – three correct answers (the remainders are put in to distract you). The key is to listen for the overall meaning, not individual words. Don’t choose an option just because you hear the same words in the recording. Although the words might resemble, there are differences in meaning. The correct answer(s) will be paraphrased more often than not.
  • The first answer you hear might not be the correct one – keep listening until the speakers finish their parts to see whether they correct themselves or add any extra details. This is especially when you hear the word “but” or “however” which means a negative is coming, and what you heard previously is not correct any longer.
  • One possible way to double-check your answer is to see if the option you choose answers the question correctly. For example, if the question asks you about a decision that both of the speakers agree on, and your choice is supported by only one person, you should re-consider it.
  • Use ticks (ü) and crosses (û) for right and wrong answers. For example, if you think an answer is correct, put a tick. But again, keep listening to make sure it is right.
  • The questions follow the order of the recording while the options may not.


  • Your answer should be a letter (A, B, C, etc) not a word. If you write a word instead of a letter, your answer will be marked wrong.
  • If the question asks you to choose two or three letters, you can write those letters in any order on your answer sheet. For example, A – B – D, B – D – A, or D – A – B.


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