IELTS Listening: Short Answer Questions

Prepare the questions below by underlining keywords and paraphrasing before you listen to the recording.

Reading City Travel Information

Questions 1-3

Answer using no more than two words and/or a number.

1. How long is the journey from Heathrow to Reading by express bus?
2. On the intercity from Paddington, which stop is Reading?
3. How long is the train journey from London to Reading?


  1. About 1 hour / about an hour
    The length of time is given “it takes….”. It is common to be given two numbers in the same sentence – one number is the length and the other number is the frequency – pay attention to that and don’t get confused.
  2. First stop
  3. 30 mins / 30 minutes
There are a number of ways to get to Reading if that is your destination. If you are arriving by air the nearest airport is Heathrow and from there you can take the Railair express bus which runs every 20 mins and takes about 1 hour. Another London airport near Reading is Gatwick which is about 50 mins away by car or you could take the hourly train from the South Terminal which takes about 75mins.From London, you should travel from London Paddington station if you want to get to Reading and catch an intercity train. You should get off at the first stop. There are several trains running each hour and the travel time is about 30mins. (information from wiki)

You notice I put capital letters at the start of my answers – you don’t need to use them. You will not be marked down if you use don’t use capital letters. Capital letters are not marked 2017. See the IELTS Exam FAQ page


IELTS Listening: Predicting answers

One key to success in the IELTS listening test is to be able to predict what kind of answer you must listen for. When you know what to listen for, you have a good chance of getting the answer right.

Learn how to predict the answers using prepositions.




IELTS Listening: English Names

In IELTS Listening Section 1, it is common to be asked to listen for English names.

This lesson will test you on your ability to listen and write down English names. After the answers, I’ll give you a list of tips to help you understand how to listen for names in IELTS Listening Section 1.

UPDATE 2017:  Capital letters are not marked in IELTS listening or reading so don’t worry about them. See this page for more info:

Are you good at spelling? Do you know your English names? Let’s see…

Listening for English Names


Click below for more useful listening practice for IELTS: