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How to Do MCQ Type of Questions in ILETS Listening?

(8 votes )


10 May 2018


Did you notice a spelling error in this article title? Yes, you are right! It should be written as IELTS Listening, not ILETS Listening. The reason why this spelling error is highlighted in the title is to draw your attention towards the word “IELTS” which is commonly misspelled as ILETS.
Keeping the spelling aside now, let us come to point for the purpose behind writing this article, to discuss how MCQs type of questions can be solved.
In the IELTS Listening module, the most difficult question is said to be MCQ (Multiple Choice Question) i.e. question along with some options to choose from. In some questions, only one option is correct while in some of the other questions, more than one options are correct.

You ask any candidate appearing in IELTS and they will tell you the fear associated with MCQs. So, let us understand how you can do MCQ questions in IELTS Listening. 
We would now try to understand all strategies by discussing each MCQ type of question according to its difficulty level.

Strategy 1

The most important strategy to solve MCQ questions is to underline the keywords.

MCQ Difficulty Level – Easy
In the easy type of MCQs, you will find “one word or two words” options to choose from. In this case, it is extremely easy to concentrate at the audio and question simultaneously. For example,
Which of the two things are included in the tour cost?

  • Accommodation
  • Picnic
  • Fishing trip
  • Table tennis
  • Restaurant meal

In the above question, “two things” and “tour cost” are the major keywords that you can concentrate at. From the options, “accommodation” and “picnic” are two “one word” options to easily focus at, however, in the other three options, you can put more emphasis on words such as “fishing”, “tennis” and “meal” though you can not completely ignore the other words also in the options.

Strategy 2

MCQ Difficulty Level – Moderate

In the moderate type of MCQs, you find short statements as the options which are easy to solve once a few main keywords are highlighted in these statements. For example,
In the year 1994, Michael Willson went to Japan

  • As a part-time student
  • As a volunteer worker
  • As a businessman

In the above question, you can see options have at least three words. Here, you can underline the main keywords only, as highlighted above, leaving aside the prepositions, determiners etc.

Strategy 3

MCQ Difficulty Level – Advanced

In the advanced MCQs, difficulty level is increased as the listener struggles to simultaneously understand the audio conversation and concentrate on all the options. For example,
What problem did the company face in 1999?

  • Not meeting the targets leading to reduced sales
  • Market strategy was weak as compared to competitors
  • Media started criticizing the company for its failures

In the above question, statements in the options are too long. Hence, you can understand the main aspects in these options by understanding them and then underlining the keywords that define the main aspects.
Another important strategy for such questions is to keep the gist of MCQ question in mind when trying to find answer while understanding the audio. For example, in the above question, while looking at the options, you just need to keep your focus on the problem faced by company, whether it was reduced sales, weak market strategy or criticizing media.
Lastly, very important strategy is to identify “focus” or “stem” of the question in order to carefully choose the right option. To take example for this, let us alter the above question itself as below:
What major problem did the company face in 1999?

  • Not meeting the targets leading to reduced sales
  • Market strategy was weak as compared to competitors
  • Media started criticizing the company for its failures

The change in the above question is the word “major”. The words “major problem” is the focus here because in this question, you have to choose only that problem from the options which had a great impact on affecting the company, not just any problem.