IELTS Listening 8 - Section 3

IELTS Study Tip

Looking for key words in the question will help you identify the answer more easily. Short-answer questions often look for specific information, so make sure you have some idea what to expect. The question words themselves are often very useful.

Section 3: You are going to listen to a conversation between two students and a tutor. They are talking about essays. First you have some time to look at Questions 21-25.

Now Listen carefully and answer Questions 21 to 25:

Questions 21-25

Answer the questions below.

Write NO MORE THAN FOUR WORDS or A NUMBER for each answer.

21How many essays do the students have to write?

22What percentage does the written exam account for?

23How many marks did Carl get for his latest essay?

24How many marks did Pamela get for her latest essay?

25When was the marking system explained before?

Now look at Questions 26 to 30:

Questions 26-30

Complete the table below, using NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS for each answer.

Carl Pamela
Research Very good, lots of examples Very good
Sources Very sound Very good
Organization Very good
Writing style Slightly too informal in some places
Previous essay Disappointing, but rewrite

CHECK ANSWERS

DR WOODHAM:
So, Pamela, here's your essay. And Carl, you've already got yours back. Anything you want to ask or any comments?
CARL:
Can you just go over again for us how the marks for our essays go towards our final grade?
DR:
Well, mmm, over the year you are meant to write five main essays for this course.
CARL:
Yes.
DR:
And each essay's marked out of 20, which gives you a total of 100 marks.
CARL:
Yes?
DR:
This course work makes up 50% of your marks for the year, with the other 50% coming from the written exam.
CARL:
Right. So the five essays contribute to 50% of our final grade for the year.
DR:
Yes.
CARL:
You gave me 18 out of 20 for this essay, which gives me a total of 9% towards my final grade for the year.
DR:
Mmm, and ...
PAMELA:
And with 14 for this one, I've got 7%.
DR:
Yes, Pamela. Does that clarify it?
PAMELA:
Yes.
CARL:
Mmm. Yes.
PAMELA:
We did have it explained to us at the beginning of the course.
CARL:
When?
PAMELA:
In the first tutorial.
DR:
Okay. I think we had better move on now. About your last essay, have either of you any questions or comments?
CARL:
You gave me 18 for this paper. What was the big difference between this piece and the previous one? I actually thought the first one was better!
DR:
Well, there was quite a marked difference.
CARL:
Really?
DR:
Yes. It looked as if you had actually done quite a bit of research. You had quite a lot of relevant examples, especially on the historical side. You even found some information that I was not even aware of! Your sources were also very sound. And on top of that, your answer was very well organized indeed and the writing style was very elegant.
CARL:
Oh. Thank you very much!
DR:
I must say that it was the best piece of writing for a paper that we've seen for quite some time.
CARL:
I have to say, though, it took me a very long time to put it together.
PAMELA:
How long?
CARL:
At least two weeks.
DR:
But it was well worth it.
CARL:
Can I just ask you if it is possible to rewrite the first essay of the term? It's really brought my average down.
DR:
I'm sorry, but it's impossible.
CARL:
Is there no way to do it?
DR:
I'm afraid not.
CARL:
Okay. Right. I'll just have to try to do better than average on the others.
DR:
And Pamela?
PAMELA:
Well, to be honest, on the whole I am happy with my marks.
DR:
Again, your research was very good. And you gave quite a long list of source material, which was very good.
PAMELA:
I spent quite a lot of time on this essay, more than the others.
DR:
Well, again, it shows.
PAMELA:
What about the organization? I was a bit worried about that.
DR:
Your organization, I have to say, was excellent.
PAMELA:
Oh!
DR:
But as regards your style ...
PAMELA:
Yes?
DR:
It is slightly too informal here and there. I think you need to tighten this up a little.
PAMELA:
Mmm, okay. I only wish I'd put a bit more effort into the first one as well now. But I would like to know how I can get my marks up even higher. What do I have to do, specifically?
DR:
Well, your work could do with being more thoroughly checked. You have quite a few spelling mistakes.
PAMELA:
Yes, I know. If it's anything, I think it's the computer.
DR:
Mhmmm?
PAMELA:
Well, I am not very good at typing, two fingers really, and when I finish something like this I find it difficult, even depressing, to go over it carefully again.
DR:
But it's affecting your marks.
PAMELA:
Mmmmm.
DR:
Your previous essay was much better than this one. Sometimes, it's difficult to follow what's being said because of the frequency of mistakes. A couple of years ago the university authorities would have been more lenient. But now they are very hot on presentation and have been coming down heavily on things like grammar and spelling.
PAMELA:
Mmmmm.
DR:
In fact, I am obliged to deduct marks from every piece of work which is not handed in fairly free of mistakes.

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