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The pauses in the Listening test have an important function

By 20 November 2017Test Tips

Pauses in the Listening test

Both parts of the Listening test include set pauses in the audio.


At the start of Part A and again at the start of Part B, there is a 1-minute pause to allow you to skim through the headings and questions for that part. At the end of Part B, there is a 2-minute pause for you to check and finalise your answers in either part.

In addition, between each question section within Part A and Part B there is a 30-second pause. At the end of the question section the voice or voices will stop and there will be a 20-second pause before the voice on the recording tells you to read the next question followed by a 10-second pause.

Make the most of these pauses.

  • Spend the first pause finishing the notes or answers you were writing and to add any other details you didn’t have time to write or finish while the recording was playing.
  • Use the second pause to read the instructions for the next question and make sure you understand what is expected of you. It’s particularly good in Part B to have carefully read the first 2 questions within the next question section. This way you ready for both the first answer you are going to hear but also the second in case you miss the answer to the first.