How to Do MCQ Type of Questions in IELTS Listening

MCQ Questions in IELTS Listening
If there is one question type that has continued to cause confusion amongst students of IELTS Listening consistently, it is IELTS Listening multiple choice questions. The one big dilemma most students have even after they are done with their training is how to handle MCQ question types. The close related answers, the hard to process information by listening and writing at the same time often cause unforced errors.
What if I tell you that MCQ may be the most difficult question types but with the right tips and techniques, they can be handled quite effectively? All it needs is following the guidelines and practicing the same consistently.
Here are some tried and tested techniques to help you handle MCQ type of questions in IELTS listening easily.

Check the title

Starting out, check the title of the multiple choice question. As you may be aware MCQ question types can be looking for one answer or more than one answer. A common mistake committed by many students is overlooking the question title and then choosing insufficient answers. Be sure on the number of answers being south.

Read the questions thoroughly

Once you are sure of the question and the information being sought, read the questions carefully. Many students do not utilize the time before the audio plays out to read the questions thoroughly. Spending a few extra seconds reading the questions can be the difference between listening to the right answer once the audio starts playing.

Underline the keywords

Underlining the keywords remains an apt strategy that must be followed to resolve MCQ question types.  For example, consider a question: Which of the following THREE things are included in the travel package cost?

A: Accommodation
B: Picnic and sightseeing
C: Fishing  
D: Shopping and gift cards
E: Restaurant meals
F: Cruise

The keywords here can be THREE and travel package. So when the audio plays out you know there will be a travel package and focus must be on the things including with the package. This information alone gives you a clear indication of what to look out in the audio shortlisting the zone for the right answer.

Look out for the twist

A common occurrence in the audio is to divert the answer using words like however or but not quite. So while you may think you have heard the answer, the answer may subtly come at the latter part of the sentence. Practice tests can help you find such twists in the audio with ease. A good source of IELTS practice tests is listed here.

Don't jump to conclusions

Even if you think you may have heard the right answer in the conversation. Don't jump to a conclusion. Rule out the other answers before choosing the one answer if the question is seeking only a single answer. For more than more answer questions make sure to eliminate the irrelevant answers to be doubly sure.


Make use of extensive practice tests available here to master MCQ question types. Focus more on practice tests to avoid common mistakes on test day.

Posted  August 27, 2019