Who Discovered America?

The answer to this question seems simple: Christopher Columbus. But the facts are not so simple, and in today’s IELTS Listening practice Part 4 exercise you will hear some information which might surprise and amaze you. You might find some of the information controversial! Nevertheless, we hope you find it useful and good practice for your English listening skills, whether you’re studying for the IELTS exam or just improving your English in general.


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IELTS Listening Practice Part 4 – let’s begin!

In this exercise, you will hear one person speaking in a quite formal, academic way, for around 4 or 5 minutes. The lecture contains lots of information.  So, before you begin, you might like to check out our free video lesson, The 3 Cs, about how to understand and succeed when listening in English (and IELTS).

In this test, you will have a series of questions to answer as you listen. When the lecture is finished, you can quickly get access to the answers to this practice test plus 3 more IELTS Listening tests. Simply scroll to the end of the page to find out how!

Press Play to begin. Then click on QUESTIONS 1. – 4. and QUESTIONS 5. – 9. to view them. You will have some time to get ready.


For questions 1. to 5. choose the correct answer (a), (b), or (c) based on information from the listening text.

1. Christopher Columbus was the first European to successfully:
a) travel to America.
b) find a western route to Asia.
c) colonise America.

2. The Vikings were “forced to move” because:
a) they needed land to make homes for themselves
b) they had to prove their superior technology
c) they had been colonised.

3. The speaker uses the British Isles to:
a) illustrate the limits of the Viking parts of Europe.
b) give an example of an interesting archaeological site.
c) explain details about Viking trade.

4. Tim Severin’s journey proves that:
a) Saint Brendan did land in America.
b) Saint Brendan’s journey was a myth.
c) Saint Brendan’s story has to be given some credit.


For questions 5.9., match the people ( A., B. or C.) with the events (5. – 9.)

A. Christopher Columbus
B. The Newfoundland Vikings
C. Saint Brendan

5. returned to Europe after a long period
6. travelled in a group of ships
7. had powerful support
8. used own resources to set up a colony
9. left no evidence

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IELTS Listening practice Part 4 featured image (altered): Viking Landing by Joyce Hill, CC-BY-3.0

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