Important Vocabulary And Tips For The IELTS Listening Map Question.

The IELTS exam consists of four components, listening, reading, writing and speaking. This article deals with the IELTS listening test and we will take a closer look at the listening map question type. This is a question type which often stumps students. For the IELTS Listening map Question, you will usually hear one speaker discussing a particular place or plan. Most of these types of questions are related to some sort of tour. Read on to find out some of the tips and strategies for the listening map question that I teach in my IELTS classes in Singapore.

What Is The IELTS Listening Map Question All About?

In this type of question, you will be asked to identify the different features or areas of a map or plan. For some questions, you will have to choose the correct answer from a list of given words Other questions might ask you to fill in the blanks with the exact words mentioned in the recording,

These types of graphical questions are considered tougher because students have to follow the recording as well as the map while focusing on answering the question.

How To Solve The IELTS Listening Map Question

Before you start answering you should read the heading. The heading and the existing labels or statements will give you an idea about:

  • The type of situation.
  • The type of answers needed.

Once you have done this you can begin to analyse the diagram. Look out for familiar structures or parts. We have to imagine/visualize the place depicted on the map. Try to think about how it might appear physically in real life according to the positions illustrated in the picture. This seems difficult but it’s actually intuitive, and it shouldn’t take too long!

Useful Map Vocabulary

Next, you should underline keywords that might be important to find the answer. Remember to keep possible synonyms and paraphrases in your mind.

When you listen to the recording keep an ear out for signposting words, that gives you a good idea about your place in the recording. This is especially useful since the questions and the recording follow the same.

Here are a few examples of signposting words:

  • This morning we are going to take a look at…
  • Today I’ll be talking about / discussing…
  • Let’s begin by taking a look at …
  • First, we’ll look at…. Then we’ll go on to … And finally, I’ll…
  • Let’s start by talking about…
  • To begin, …
  • Firstly, …
  • I’ll start with, …
  • Let’s move on to…
  • Now, let’s turn to…
  • And I’d now like to talk about…
  • In conclusion, …
  • To summarise, …
  • In summary, …
  • Overall, …

You will also need to be familiar with key vocabulary such as.

  • near
  • between
  • next to
  • beside
  • in front of
  • across
  • turn right
  • turn left
  • go straight on
  • head south
  • head north
  • north
  • south
  • east
  • west
  • At the bottom of
  • Clockwise/ Anticlockwise
  • Just next to/ Adjoining
  • In between
  • At the end of
  • On your left/ right
  • Opposite/ In front of
  • Over the …
  • Above
  • Downstairs
  • The next lane
  • In the southwest/ northeast
  • Left-hand side/ right-hand side
  • Facing …
  • Take a left/ right
  • Go straight up

Remember that when you answer, you should make sure that you use the correct spelling. Even if you do know the correct answer, your answer will be marked as incorrect if it is not spelt properly.

Jonathan has been teaching students to prepare for the IELTS and PTE Exams for more than 10+ years. He's taught English to students in various countries in the world including Singapore, China, Australia, Canada and Colombia.