Vol. 2 No. 1 (2022): In Progress

Investigating the Validity of the IELTS Listening Test

Peter Peltekov
University of Calgary, Canada.

Published 2022-08-29

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  • IELTS, Language assessment, Listening test, Construct validity.

How to Cite

Peltekov , P. . (2022). Investigating the Validity of the IELTS Listening Test. Global Journal of English Language Teaching, 2(1), 9–15. https://doi.org/10.20448/gjelt.v2i1.4128


The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) has gained popularity in recent years and it is now accepted by many educational institutions worldwide. While IELTS offers a distinct academic version of the reading and writing test components, it uses the same listening module for the General Training and the Academic exam. The present article explores to what extent the listening subtest in the Academic IELTS test is a useful measure of test-takers listening ability and a predictor of their academic success. This study focusses on the test’s construct validity. A critical review of the major strengths and potential drawbacks of the listening test is followed by a comparison of the test scores with another traditionally accepted test of academic English. Conclusions about the validity of the IELTS listening test are drawn along with some suggestions for design improvement. Future research directions are also proposed.