IELTS Listening Sample Question # Robots

The audio below has been taken from 6 minutes English by BBC.

Answer the following questions.

Write NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS for each answer.

  1. Which movie was taken as an example to talk about robots?
  2. What is the word used to describe the work of humans done by machine?
  3. What makes a job more likely to be done by a robot?
  4. What percentage of jobs will get automated in UK, in next 20 years?
  5. How is the job done at office referred to as?
  6. The ability of the computer to copy human intelligence is  called?
  7. What phrase is used to talk about stuff that you want to be successful?


  1. Star wars
  2. automation
  3. social and emotional
  4. 35%
  5. white collar
  6. artificial intelligence
  7. fingers crossed


Know The Numbers

Numbers are a very important part of the listening section. You will hear them a lot and most importantly they will be of different types. For example, sometime you will hear a phone number or the other times a date or a price or a decimal fraction. So, let us understand what these numbers are and make sure that the exam does not gives you creeps.

Telephone numbers
There are different ways of speaking a telephone number.

  1. They are spoken as individual numbers. For instance, 23489 will be spoken as “ two three four eight nine”.
  2. The numbers even get grouped. For example, if the number is a seven digit number, they get grouped in two groups, one of three and the other of four. So, 234569 will be said as “ two three four…..(pause) five six nine”.
  3. They even get grouped into larger numbers usually when there are zeroes in it. For instance, 234500 will be said as “two three four five hundred”.
  4. Zero often gets pronounced as “o” as in go.
  5. Terms such as triple and double are used if there are more than one digit. For example, the phone number 2349992 will be spoken as “two three four….. triple nine six”.
Know The Numbers

Know The Numbers

Decimal numbers
If you have already learnt math, you won’t have difficulty understanding it. Either ways, it is neither too tough. A decimal such as 23.34 is spoken in two parts. The first part i.e. before the point is pronounced in its entirety i.e. twenty three. Next comes a dot, which is pronounced as “point” and the digits after point are read as single numbers. As in, three four. So, the entire number is spoken as, twenty three point three four.
Apart from half (1/2), quarter (1/4) and a third (1/3), every other fraction is spoken with a ‘th’ at the end. For example- 4/5 is spoken as “four-fifth”.
There are two ways of expressing dates-

  1. In Britain English, the day comes before the month and periods are often used to separate elements. For example, July 3 1994 will be written as 3.07.1994.
  2. In American English, the month comes before the day and slashes are used to separate elements. For example – December 9 1995 will be written as 09/03/1995.

However, in IELTS, you either write date as – 3 July. If it is compulsory to add the year, you must write, 3 July 1994.


Listening Strategies # After and During

Once you have read the instructions properly and you are aware of the different questions and the main idea of the audio, the next thing to do is face it. Yes, with full confidence move towards hearing the audio and answering properly. Some of the strategies that will help you are –


Look out for clues
Listen attentively for the clues in the question. This is the place where your vocabulary becomes important because they don’t use words which are already present in the question.
Answer properly
Now this is something that is very important. You may be able to find the correct answer but until you answer it properly there is no use of it. For example, if the question asks you to answer in no more than three words but you answer it in four words, the answer will be regarded as incorrect. Even more, make sure that you tick the right number of options. For instance if the question asks you to tick the two right answer but you only tick one correct answer or vice versa you may lose marks.
Listening Strategies

Listening Strategies

Do not panic
Often it so happens that you miss out on a question, what if you start panicking. First you are not able to answer the question properly, next you may even lose out some information required for the next question. So, keep calm and do the test properly.


Answer every question
It might be possible that you miss out on some question and even after trying too hard you are not able to answer it. What to do?? Relax. You are not given negative marks if you answer any question wrong so try to make a knowledgeable guess and answer the most appropriate option according to you.
Make sure you make sense
After you have answered the question, read the answer again and make sure that whatever you have written makes complete sense. They should be grammatically correct as well as, the spelling must be right.
Don’t be a copy cat
Make sure whatever you write in the answer sheet is what you have written yourself and not something that was printed in the question paper.

Don’t just read these strategies, I say go, take a print out of it and for the initial times when you are practicing listening, make sure you first read them and try to imbibe them in your practice.

Before The Audio Begins # Strategies

Listening section often becomes quite difficult because you need not to simply hear to what the voice is speaking, but also look for dates, names or places. Even more you need to connect ideas, organise information, generalise and infer.
Now, this section, like all others, require your full attention, beginning from the time before the audio has started, to the time when the audio is running and even when it is finished.
Now let us have a look at the strategies required before the audio begins.

Read the instructions carefully
This is one of the most important and often the most neglected task in the listening section. Remember, no matter how many times you have solved such questions, you need to read the instructions yet again. This is not because there is a rule associated with it, but the point is, often in the listening section you are given word limit. And this word limit includes all the articles and the prepositions. Make sure that your answer is not above the word limit, or else it will be marked incorrect.

Before The Audio Begins

Read the questions properly and get an idea of what the talk might be
This is yet another important thing to do. To get the right information from the monologue or the conversation, you must be mentally prepared while listening to the audio, what the audio will be about. Make sure you question yourself the following questions –

  • Who is talking?
  • What are they talking about?
  • What is the entire atmosphere of the talk?
Eliminate the options
To do this, you are required to analyse the question properly. Find out what is its requirements. Does it wants you to give price or name or date or number of days? Then, figure out the relation between the option and the question. Often it so happens that the option may be correct but the question is not related to it. So, when you are sure that the option is incorrect, mark it/ cross it.
Underline the keywords
Remember, the paper is not set to fail you, it is rather set, to judge you thoroughly. So, they make sure that they put some keywords in the question that will help you to find out the correct answer. Keywords such as first, next, important etc. mark them and listen carefully to the audio.

These are some of the essential strategies that can help in scoring high in IELTS. Even more, if you forget things often, speak slowly to yourself the options or speak out the notes in your words. This will surely help you in finding the correct answers.

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