The IELTS Listening Section has a wide variety of question types to test the listening skills of a candidate. One of the most popular ones is known as Multiple Choice Questions. A lot of students struggle with this question type because of how misleadingly simple it seems. Most of my students get excited when they see the Multiple-Choice Questions in the question paper, thinking it will be some easy five marks. Most are even confident after solving the paper, but when they see their score, they realise that it is not as easy as they thought.
Let’s look at an example to understand the question type better.
Choose the correct letter, A, B or C.
You will be asked to pick one correct answer out of the three options. The correct option will not have the same options as the ones you hear in the audio. Only the meaning will be the same. Therefore, when answering Multiple Choice questions, always think about the meaning of what they are saying instead of matching the words. The only words that will be the same between the correct option and the audio are proper nouns. Proper nouns are names of places, people and things.
Taking an example from the given audio above, you will have to choose between three types of insurance: economy, standard and premium. According to the audio, you hear that ‘B’ has not had a good experience with the economy insurance and thus, wishes to go with the ‘Premium’ one. Thus, the answer is ‘C’.
The two wrong options will have words that you can hear in the audio. This is a trick that IELTS uses to confuse you into picking the wrong option. The wrong options will have additional or irrelevant information. This means that the options will either have information that was not mentioned in the audio at all or they will have information that is mentioned in the audio, but not relevant to the question asked.
In the above question, when asked what sort of insurance ‘B’ would like, he states that he has been stung by the economy insurance before. That means he regrets buying economy insurance in the past. So, he wishes to go for premium insurance.
You will be asked to pick one right answer from three options for multiple-choice questions. There are three types of questions asked in multiple-choice questions. They are opinion-based, informative, and discussion-based questions. The correct answer always corresponds to the audio with meaning. The wrong answers have the same words as the ones used in the audio.
This is a transcript from the audio test above.
(A customer has been arranging with a shipping agent to send a large box overseas. This is the last part of the conversation.)
A: OK, right. Now obviously insurance is an important thing to consider, and our companies are able to offer very good rates in a number of different all-inclusive packages.
B: Sorry, could you explain a bit more?
A: Yes, sorry, um. There’s really three rates according to quality of insurance cover – there’s the highest comprehensive cover which is Premium rate, then there’s the standard rate, and then there’s the economy rate. That one will only cover the cost of the contents second hand.
B: Oh, I’ve been stung before with economy insurance so I’ll go for the highest.