Listening for details in IELTS

NOTE: This post includes 3 audio recordings, so make sure you have your speakers on or headphones attached.

In the IELTS listening test, you are often tested not just on your ability to listen for general information or to follow the approximate flow of the recording, but also to listen for very specific information.

Listening for details in IELTSSometimes specific information questions will also be spelled, but this is not guaranteed, so you need to develop the skills of listening for a specific piece of information, while at the same time continuing to listen to the general direction of the dialogue or monologue.

There are a number of different types of specific information you may need to listen to, including:

  • names and other personal information
  • numbers
  • places / addresses
  • times and dates

Practice #1

Listen to the recording and see if you can identify what the following numbers refer to. Click ‘Show answer’ when you’ve finished.

A. 1946 Show answer

This was the year that UNESCO was formed
B. 180 Show answer
This is the number of nations in UNESCO
C. 60 Show answer
This is the number of worldwide offices UNESCO has
D. 2001 Show answer
This is the year of the General Conference

Practice #2

Now practice by listening for specific dates. Listen to the recording below and note the following dates for these events:

1. Bastille Day
2. Elvis’ death
3. Burns’ Night
4. Martin Luther King Day
5. ANZAC day
Show the answers


Bastille Day – 14th July
Elvis’ death – 16th August
Burns’ Night – 25th January
Martin Luther King Day – 4th April
ANZAC day – 25th April