Problem & Solution

In this integrated listening task, you will hear a short conversation between two students.  One of the students will be describing a school-related problem.  The other student will be offering a solution to the problem.  Your job in this task is to summarize the problem, solution and reaction of the student as well as give your opinion about the solution.  Unlike the other tasks e.,g, the integrated listening and reading tasks, each part of this response should be given equal amounts of time.  You should budget approximately 15 seconds for each of the four parts of this task.

  • 15 seconds statement of problem
  • 15 seconds statement of solution
  • 15 seconds statement of reaction
  • 15 seconds statement of your opinion

Note-Taking Strategy

Since this task has four different parts to it.  When you prepare to take notes for the listening, make a four part outline.  That way you ensure that you listen for and write down the required information for each part.  Have your outline look like this:





Directions: Listen to a short conversation.

Prepare: 20 seconds

Respond: 60 seconds


Complex Grammar Strategy

One strategy for getting extra points in language use in addition to using reported speech, is to use complex structures, such as the subjunctive to paraphrase advice and a noun clause to introduce your opinion.


The subjunctive is a type of grammatical construction that is used after certain verbs which can be found below.  What you will find is different about the subjunctive is the use of the SIMPLE FORM of the verb for all persons (1st, 2nd, and 3rd).  Therefore, in the subjunctive, you will say something like: I suggest that the man GO.  Instead of:  I suggest that the man GOES. X

For example:

Using the subjunctive to paraphrase advice: The man suggested that the woman study harder

Noun Clause

A noun clause is a clause (subject + verb) that begins with a question word: what, who, when, where, why or how, but IS NOT a question. You can use a noun clause (in bold) in the following frame as an introduction to your opinion, combine it with an academic word (suggested) and this can really add to your language use score:

EX. I disagree with what the man suggested to the woman.

Complex Vocabulary Strategy:

Use academic conjunctive adverbs to make your response cohesive and sound more academic

Furthermore, Moreover, In addition, Therefore, Thus, & However

Use academic verbs of attribution to relate the problem and the advice given to the student with the problem:

According to the man, he is having trouble making time to review for the test… (Problem)

The woman suggested, proposed, advised, recommended that the man review his notes every night before going to bed.  Moreover, the woman… (Solution)


Student Examples



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