IELTS Listening Matching Questions

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Matching questions do not always appear on the IELTS listening test. When they do, it is most commonly in the second section, though they can equally appear in section three.

In these questions you are provided with a feature in each question and a list of lettered options (e.g. A-G) to match.

There are actually two slightly different variations in this task type. In one version, you are given more options than questions. In this case, each question should be answered with a different letter.

Alternatively, you may be given only three lettered options (A-C). This will be fewer than the number of questions (typically 5 or 6). In this case you will have to use some options more than once.


As with all IELTS listening tasks, there are some strategies that can help you with matching questions.

Step 1: Read the Questions

As mentioned previously, there are two types of matching questions. You should first therefore check whether you have more or fewer options than questions. Remember, unless there are three options, you should only need to use each answer once.

Once you have done this, read the questions and options. Remember that the recording will follow the order of the questions and will contain words from the questions. This will help you to know when to move on if you miss an answer.

Step 2: Listen and Write the Answers

Take 30 seconds to read the questions below, then play the recording and attempt to match the advantages to the activities.

Physical Activities
  1. using a gym
  2. running
  3. swimming
  4. cycling
  5. doing yoga
  6. training with a personal trainer

A not dependent on season
B enjoyable
C low risk of injury
D fitness level unimportant
E sociable
F fast results
G motivating

  1. F
  2. D
  3. A
  4. B
  5. C
  6. G

Step 3: Check Your Answers

As with all listening questions, you can’t really check your answers. However, you can check that you have answered all of the questions.

Don’t forget, it is always better to guess than leave an answer blank.

Once you have checked, start reading the next set of questions.


The listening audio and matching questions used here are taken from Cambridge Academic IELTS 13, which can be purchased here.

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