IELTS Map Listening Practice

This lesson is to practice map completion for IELTS listening. First, there is some sentence completion and then you must do the map completion exercise.

Tips for Maps

  1. Check the location of each number on your map
  2. Think of language that might be used to describe that location
  3. Look for any arrows on the map
  4. Answers to questions will come in order (the answer for question 1 will come before the answer for question 2 in the recording)
  5. Most map recordings are similar to a guided tour which follows a logical order
  6. Don’t be distracted by extra information
  7. Don’t forget to make notes – you can write all over your question paper
    1. when you make notes, avoid writing long words – just use abbreviations or simple letters

Map Listening Practice: The Taj Mahal 

Questions 1-2

Complete the sentences below using no more than one word and/or a number.

  1. The Taj Mahal was completed in ……………..
  2. Around ………… labourers were used in its creation.

Questions 3-7

Label the map below using no more than two words and/or a number.

building map ielts listening



Welcome to the Taj Mahal. This is one of the most famous monuments to love in the world. It was built between 1631 and 1653 in the city of Agra by the Mughal Emperor Shah as a mausoleum for his wife. The construction involved some 20,000 workers and incorporated materials from China, Tibet, Sri Lanka and Arabia.

We are here at the Outer Gate and directly in front of us is the forecourt. On the left hand side of the forecourt, you will see some subsidiary tombs and opposite that are the tomb attendants’ quarters. If you go straight ahead, you will come to the Great Gate and beyond that is the formal gardens. The gardens are divided into 4 sections by paths which represent the 4 rivers of paradise. Midway, where the paths intersect, is a marble pond, in which the mausoleum is beautifully reflected. Walking through the gardens, past the pond, you will come to the mausoleum itself which has a marble dome, 35m high. Each side of the building has archways which are framed by carefully chosen verses from the Qur’an in beautifully stylised calligraphy. To the left of this, is the mosque and to the right you can find a guesthouse. Now I’ll give you some time to wander round and see this marvel for yourself.

  1. 1653
  2. 20,000
  3. forecourt (you must have the correct spelling)
  4. Great Gate (capital letters not important – see IELTS Exam FAQ page)
  5. pond / marble pond
  6. mausoleum
  7. guesthouse / guest house


IELTS Listening: Free Practice and Tips

Click to see IELTS Listening Tips 


  1. It was hard for me too, especially because the accent. I got only 4 correct answers. But your exercises are amazing and help us to pay attention and improve our skills. Thank you so much.

    • I’m really pleased you are benefiting from my lessons. Continue using them to gain awareness of the types of test questions and to develop skills. Then try full tests. You can find a free one on the BC IELTS website.

  2. maryam bajwa says

    It was very tough for me. I always find maps difficult and to label them is a nightmare for me. any special tips to label diagrams?

  3. You are doing great.
    You gave me the confidence that I can ever appear in any sort of English Test.
    Whenever or wherever I’ll go in future you will always remain in my prayers

  4. Nimmy francis says

    Dear Liz,
    It is a very useful site for me.

  5. Dear Liz,
    You are doing a wonderful job, by dedicating so much of your time and resources and putting in great efforts to help people prepare for ielts, that too without any monetary consideration. Hats off to you.
    And to make you comfortable, I have never found your comments rude and arrogant. Please do take care of your health. It’s very precious not only for yourself but also for the sake of thousands of others, who find your site extremely helpful.
    Take care,

    • Thank you for your message. That’s really kind of you. I’m trying so hard to balance my health problems with keeping this website going. Hopefully, it will all come right next year 🙂 Meanwhile, your support is highly appreciated 🙂

      • Dear Liz, Thank you so much for the fantastic resources that you have put out here FOR FREE. It saddens me to hear that you are ill . I will say a prayer for your swift recovery. Please do take care of yourself .


        • Thank you so much for your comment. I always feel a lot stronger after I read messages wishing me well. I also hope my health improves soon 🙂

          • Isiaka Raheem says

            I am a fan from Nigeria and i must remind you that nobody gives without collecting . May all the wonderful impact you have had on us in our preparation for the exam be rewarded in manifold and I sincerely pray your health improves . You are simply good in the heart .If one considers the effort you are putting in running this page one can not but wish you well.
            And I hope to pass my exams and make you proud too

  6. victor c says

    Hi Liz, is it acceptable if i write cemetery or tomb instead of mausoleum as it couldn’t spell the latter?

  7. Thank you so much Liz, your videos and practice audios are really helpful.

  8. Dibyendu Roy says

    Hello Liz,
    Thanks for all the contents on your website & YouTube videos, which are very helpful indeed for the IELTS exam aspirants.
    However, I’d like to kindly highlight that in my view, the tone of your replies, in general, to the questions posed are quite condescending.
    Of course, it is understandable – “your website, your rules”. But some consideration could be made I guess.


    • Thanks for your comment. I will try to do my best to be more positive to all comments posted. However, I was wondering how many of my comments are condescending – I mean, I have replied to over 15 thousand comments and I was wondering how many of those would be considered “not nice”. I could try editing the comments I have already posted, but I’m struggling to find the ones that are condescending – I’ve gone through about 300 hundred out of 15,000 so far and found about three comments where I became frustrated and tired. So any help you can give in finding these comments let me know so I can edit them and maintain the positive vibe on the site.

      I also want to add something you said about being “abrupt”. You do realise that I have over 26,000 comments waiting in moderation for me to answer?? My website is literally overloaded with people wanting me to answer their questions. If I attempt to answer everything in the way I am answering you (full long sentences with things well explained), I would not have time to help as many people as I do. Have you thought about that aspect? I also work alone while being very sick – I just don’t have time for anything but abrupt answers if I am to answer as many questions as I do. Does that alter your opinion of me at all? Does it alter your view of what this website does? What its aims are?

      • You are doing a great job!
        Know that not everyone would appreciate you. That is the world we live in!
        Some people just have issues with everything!
        You are the BEST EVER!
        Your tone, replies, everything is appropriate!
        You are doing an excellent job!
        Thank you is not even enough to express how I feel!
        Get well soon Liz.
        Will be praying for you to stay healthy and strong for us!
        Love you loads!😘

        • That’s sweet – thanks 🙂

          • pitamber sapkota says

            the way you teach and provide resources in your own effort is thousand time precious to the students who are practicing for ielts. your the great teacher of ielts teachers. you have attempted to reply all the comments which is beyond my imagination how you could do despite your hectic life. your comments and answer to queries made by people are quite appropriate and clear. wish you best of luck. i wish you would come to my country Nepal at least for a year to teach itelts in British Council.

            • I’m glad you are finding my site useful. I don’t answer all comments. In fact, I just deleted over 25,000 comments because I can’t answer them all. But I try my best. Hopefully one day I can come to Nepal 🙂

        • Liz, you should definitely create a blog to teach English language as well. Especially for people who need to improve their English for the IELTS.
          I know right now it may be a bit too much for you because of your health but please do consider it in the future!
          Love you!

          • It’s interesting you said that. I already have the domain name “”. It was my plan to get this IELTS website up and then provide extra support through an English language website. But then my health failed and everything got put on hold. Now I struggle to make video lessons and I certainly can’t make the language website I planned. But I have my fingers crossed that one day I will be well enough to achieve my plans. I know how much an English language website would help everyone -particularly with carefully created lessons about vocab, idioms, grammar, pronunciation etc – one day hopefully 🙂 Thanks for your comment – it’s nice to know such a website would be wanted 🙂

      • Liz, PLEASE IGNORE the previous statement about you giving abrupt answers. You are doing an AMAZING job. Listening to you has given me SOOOOOO much confidence. Great job to you and THANK YOU SO MUCH.

      • You are the best Liz!
        Shame on people who think that your replies are condescending!

        I feel positive vibes and warmth in all your replies.
        God bless you!


    • Oh my God. I was horrified reading your comment. I find it difficult to just scroll to the end of the page after the innumerable comments posted. Liz has replied to almost all of them which is a very very difficult job. Looking at the comments one cannot help but wonder why do people even ask a question when it has been answered multiple times already. If only they scroll a bit and read her answers to other such similar and at most times the same questions. I have always wondered how she maintained her composure and replied to all the questions even though they were repeated. It irked me just to read them. This shows her professionalism, passion and love for her work. And then I see your comment. Dude. Do you have an iota of gratitude? She has given everything for free. This could have been sent as personal text and also framed in a constructive way. I’m sorry for the rant but I had to reply for this insensitive comment of yours. This is my first comment on this website after almost going through a 100 pages. I wanted to thank Liz after completing my IELTS exam and give her my scores but couldn’t carry on without commenting after reading this comment of yours.

      Thanks Liz for all that you have done. I’m very glad I found this website. It takes a lot of hard work and dedication and hours and hours of time to do such work. You could have easily monetized this website a lot with a lot of ads and stuff but chose not to do so as that would be distracting. Thanks for the well designed and the loads of free quality content you’ve provided. Wish you good health and happiness.

      I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t post this comment, but hoping you would do it just this once. 🙂

      • I certainly will post your comment. Thanks for your support and understanding 🙂 It does take an enormous amount of work and dedication to run this site, keep posting lessons and answer so many comments. I hope you got the scores your needed in your test 🙂

  9. Dear liz
    Thanks for your precious exercices.unfortunately I understood that I have a big problem with spelling,specially those you mentioned in the recording.can you give some effective tips to solve this problem?
    Thanks in advance

    • Spelling is something you have to work on actively and consciously. You need to take time and start learning the spelling until you know it by heart.

  10. Hello Liz.

    Please all the audio uploaded on soundcloud do not play and show “not available.”

  11. You said no more than one word, but some of your answers does otherwise.

    • Did you read the instructions carefully? Questions 1-2 have one set of instructions and questions 3-7 have a different set of instructions.

  12. Pir Khurram Rashdi says

    1. 1653
    2. 20,000
    3. Forecourt
    4. Great Gate
    5. Marble Pond
    6. Mausoleum
    7. Guesthouse

  13. “To the left of this” in the transcript , does it mean right to the viewer and if so, the answer will be mosque not guest house, please clarify.


  14. Nadine Bachour says

    Hello Liz,

    Why the answer to question 1 isn’t Agra. The transcript does not say it was built in 1653, but it gives the duration of time. I am very confused here.

    • The collocation is “completed in…” with a date or time. You can’t use the verb “complete” with a place. This is about knowing your collocations.

  15. Hi Liz
    There is no instructions for question no 1-2, just FYI…


  16. lisaWealth says

    Good afternoon Liz, thank you for the teachings! I’m grateful☆☆☆please how can I listen to the mp3 audios because I can’t access that of sound cloud. Thank you.

    • Some of my listening are soundcloud but some are not. Go through the other exercises and do the ones that don;t use soundcloud.

  17. Hello Liz am very vey thankful to you and your great site
    Just wanna tell you about answer 1 i thought he needs how many years so I answer it IN 22 years

    • The recording did not say “22 years”, it gave a date. Your task is to write the answer you hear, not put in synonyms or calculate time.

  18. Dear Liz,
    I would like to ask a question about the form of written answers in the answer sheet.
    If the answer isn’t a proper name ( doesn’t need a capital letter), can we still begin with a capital letter. In other word, if the answer is “garden”, can we write the following in the answer sheet:
    1. Garden
    or we have to write:
    1. garden
    Thank you so much,
    Best regards.

    • IELTS don’t pay attention to capital letters in listening. You can use them, not use them or mix them up. No problem (2017).

  19. My Answer were
    1. 1653
    2. 20,000
    3. Fore Court
    4. Great Gate
    5. Marble Pond
    6. Marble Dome
    7. Guest House

    May you please Enlighten me if Title Case remains fine … I know the wrong correct answers from the above mentioned list though …

    Is my way of answering 3 4 5 7 remains OK as they have first alphabet in capital …

    • Hello Liz and Abhi,
      In the BC website itself ,there was no particular tip given for using Capitalisation. And I checked in other blogs too – ex There also, it was given, writing CHINA / china / China / cHiNa – all are correct.

    • Bharat Sharma says

      Your sixth answer is incorrect. She said mausoleum twice.

  20. here there are some difficult words like mauselom….which are not spelled….what do about it

  21. Ma’am could you please provide me task 1 samples for 9 bands..and please help me in finalising my preparation strategy for Listening and Espacially for reading,..i need 6.5 overall

  22. HOW TO WRITE DATE DAY (14th,1/5th,etc in capital letter

  23. Dear Liz,
    Would you please advise about the separation of thousand with ” , ” is compulsory?
    I.e. 20,000. or 20000 also is correct?

  24. Al_slam Alykm

    when they given me a invert of time such as ( was built between 1631-1653) , when ask me in question what time taj mahal was built ? i always choose the last date (1653)?
    thank you , for helping

    • The question asked when it was completed which means finished. If the question is when was it built, the information will give only one date.

  25. Mosaab Ragab says

    Hi liz ,
    Is the mausoleum spelling must be correct?

  26. Hi Liz,
    Thank you for this marvelous website.

    May I ask you, why an answer under the number 6 is “mausoleum” and not “marble dome”. I thought that a speaker should a little bit emphasize the right answer with the intonation or pause, whereas in this particular case the word “mausoleum” was not accented at all and vice versa the word “dome” was definitely emphasized.

    Sorry for such a long sentence 🙂
    And thank you in advance for your answer.

    • The transcript says “you will come to the mausoleum itself which has a marble dome,”. This means the answer is “mausoleum” and “marble dome” is just a description of that location.

  27. thank you very much, i’m started listening to your websites just since few days, but i find its very helpful. Thank you again

  28. HI liz
    i have an question
    do the exam questions will returned sometimes ? or never will be same?

    • The speaking questions and topics remain similar for about three months and then change. But they are often repeated year after year. The writing topics are often similar but the questions change.

      • oh thanks very much
        Moreover . i am in Malaysia so the exam questions same with UK or every country has different questions .
        Do u have an exam questions for this year 2016 ?
        THANKS a lot

      • Hi Liz
        as u said the writing topices are often similar means next month will be also abpout the education because the month was about education
        please reply me bc next month my exam
        thanks a lot

  29. Hi I would like some privet lessons, how i can get it?

  30. Hi Liz,

    Thank you for this great website.


  31. Hi Liz…

    I want to thank you for this great website which has everything available for IELTS aspirants. With God’s grace and your blog I was able to achieve my desired band score.
    Thanks a lot…..
    God Bless

  32. Hi Liz,
    Can we write all the answers in capital letters in the listening and reading parts of ielts ?

  33. Hello Liz,

    Am about to appear for the IELTS test in this coming month. I have very few time to left for the exam. I have started with listening test first and have done with the section 1 completely. However, in section 2 I am facing problems on map completion. There are many vocabulary in directions that was used in the audio which was a difficult part for me to understand. I request you to provide me with some important tips and vocabulary for directions, So that I can use it carefully in the map completion part.

  34. Mayur Kathiriya says

    I always make mistake in using of capital letters while answering. can you please explain when to use capital letters? why you used capital in great gate and why not in marble pond or in guest house?


    • Hi!
      I was just wondering why on Earth should we know such detail about the history of India that Taj Mahal’s Great Gate is a name not a description? If I answer “great gate” then I wrote down what I heard and since I don’t know the different parts of Taj Mahal in detail, I couldn’t predict that these words should’ve been written with capital letters. It’s not really comparable to July or Mr Brown.

  35. kabiraj khatri says

    Hi Liz,

    Can you give me the name of website where I can find past IELTS test questions in all section?? ,please !

  36. I need more practice regarding maps in listening. Where I can find more maps?

  37. Hii liz, please snd me listening tests and reading

  38. Muhammed Shamsuddin says

    Thank you madam for your nice lesson . Really you are a great person .

  39. Hi Liz,
    Might i have any mark if i do not capitalize great gate?
    Thank Liz!

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