There are four parts to the IELTS listening test. Each part is a different topic and gets increasingly more difficult.
The first audio is usually an informal dialogue in a social or everyday situation. For example, a conversation about opening a bank account, or someone inquiring about accommodation or a training course.
The second audio is usually a non-academic monologue. This could be one person giving information on something such as a guided museum tour, information about a conference or tourist information.
The third audio is usually a discussion (between 3-4 people) related to education/training. This may be a discussion between 2 students and a tutor about a group assignment, or among a group of students talking about a project.
The fourth and final audio is usually a university style lecture. This could be related to any academic topic.
No specialist subject knowledge is necessary. All the answers you need will be provided in the recordings.
The total test time is 40 minutes: 30 minutes of listening, and 10 minutes to transfer your answers from the test sheet onto the answer sheet. There will be 40 questions in total.