Matching and classifying in IELTS listening

Matching and classifying in IELTS listening

Matching and classifying in IELTS listening Matching and classifying questions test your ability to understand a rephrased sentence and identify key points in the recording, as well as understand relationships between ideas.

You can think of matching questions as trying to find a pair of socks – one sock will match another. Classifying questions are a little different in that you have a category that the sub-sections fit in. Here’s a VERY SIMPLE example: you could have categories like FOOD, CLOTHING and WEATHER. The question would then ask you to ‘categorise’ items like trousers, apples and sunshine.

Matching questions in IELTS

Here’s an example of a matching question (there is no recording for this exercise – it is just an example. See below for a full exercise with audio):

Match the following dates to the statements that follow. Write A, B or C in your answer sheet.

A. 2011
B. 2013
C. 2015

1. The first scientific discovery was made.
2. Dr Ignatius published a landmark research paper
3. The experiment was abandoned.

With this type of question, you are simply matching a number and a letter. Classifying questions are very similar, but commonly use the same letter more than once.

Classifying questions in IELTS

Here’s an example of a classifying question:

Which person states the following:

A. Dr Jameson
B. Dr Walker
C. Dr Bell

1. Further research is essential
2. More finances will be required
3. Government support is not welcome
4. The conclusions drawn in 2013 were incomplete
3. The process of extraction is too expensive

Now practice!

This is a Section 3 example – Questions 28-30 are classifying questions.

Section 3 Questions 21-30

Questions 21-25

Answer the questions below


21. What was the student’s assignment marked out of?

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22. For which area of the assignment did the student get the best marks?

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Report format

23. In addition to the internet, what was the only other reference source used by the student?

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(The) course textbook

24. Which orientation did the student not attend at the beginning of the course?

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(The) library orientation

25. What should the student have included into their question about food and drink bought in cafes?

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(An) additional category

Questions 26 and 27

Complete the sentences below

Write NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS for each answer

26. When designing a questionnaire the writer should not assume a …. or point of view exists without sufficient evidence.

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27. The student’s questionnaire would have required too much ………….to be effective for business use.

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time (and/&) labour

Questions 28-30

What does the lecturer tell the student about each book?

Choose your answers from the list and write the correct letter A-F next to questions 28-30

  1. Needs updating
  2. Up to date
  3. Easy to understand
  4. Expensive
  5. Too simplistic
  6. Realistic

28. Qualitative Analysis, (Gaston) _______________

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29. Effective Research Analysis (English & Gatehill) _______________

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30. Techniques that Work (Sandbrookes) _______________

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