This is an IELTS Listening Part 4 practice test, which can be interesting and available for all English language learners, from Intermediate and above.

The text and the sample IELTS questions below are free! Access to the answers is available to English42 customers, and members of our IELTS Facebook group.
To find out how to join English42’s IELTS learning community, click here.
To join our IELTS Facebook group, send us a message on our Facebook page . (There, you will find lots more free English every day).

Some words in the text contain links. Clicking on these will give a definition of the word, from our Twitter feed (where we teach new words every day for free).

The Knights Templar: IELTS Listening Part 4

If you’re an IELTS student, a business person or a history lover, then you’ve come to the right place! Here, you can practice listening to a lecture combining Business English with medieval history. This is perfect practice for students who want to prepare for the IELTS Listening Part 4 test. It can also be very useful if you’re a Business English learner and want to improve your vocabulary. See the free exercise below…

About IELTS Listening Part 4

The IELTS Listening test is made up of 4 parts, and Part 4 can be the most difficult. It is a monologue: one person speaks for a long time (around 3–5 minutes), and he/she will use lots of academic language. You never know what the subject will be, so you need to be ready for anything! (This is why today’s test is ideal for business English users: although it is a history lecture, there will be lots of contemporary business vocabulary.)

Each part of the Listening exam is different. What makes Part 4 unique?
Part 1 is completely different: it features 2 speakers, in a non-academic environment. (try a practice test here)
Part 2 features 1 speaker, like Part 4. However, this person will be speaking about non-academic things. (practice test)
Lastly, Part 3 has 2 or sometimes 3 speakers. The language here is academic; the speakers are usually having a meeting about a project or some other part of university life. (practice here)


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

1. The Knights Templar were established to:
(a) help conquer the Holy Land in the First Crusade.
(b) guard Jerusalem.
(c) protect religious travellers from Europe.

2. The Knights Templars’ role as medieval financiers is
(a) something that has been revealed only lately.
(b) not very well known.
(c) often disputed.

3. Early success for the Templars came from:
(a) their reputation as soldiers.
(b) their fighting skills.
(c) gifts from wealthy Europeans.

4. The Knights Templar were employed:
(a) in a worthwhile way.
(b) to protect important items.
(c) in Western Europe only.

5. The financial service they provided was:
(a) safe and transparent.
(b) based on traditional methods
(c) done in the first established banks.

QUESTIONS 6. - 12.

Complete the summary by writing NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS from the text in each gap 6. to 12.

As auditors, the Knights Templar offered services on 6. ______________ accounts, and advice for national 7. ______________.

Their success was also due to their 8. ______________ influence, which allowed them to be trusted by powerful people around Europe. This also allowed them to develop the first example of a 9. ______________, which was used by men who fought for the Crusades. We cannot be certain about this story, however.

The Knights also developed 10. ______________ for kings and businessmen to use in transactions with each other. This is the earliest example of cash.

The Templars took advantage of their large quantity of 11. ______________ to offer loans to their customers at 12. ______________ than usual.


Good afternoon everyone. Some of you may find it odd today to be listening to a lecture about history instead of one on modern-day finance. However, by looking at the Knights Templar, we can better understand the key principles of today’s international financial system. We will look at the history of the Templars from various points of view, and show how their actions have been carried on right up into the twenty-first century.

The Knights Templar were founded in 1119 by Hugh Payens, a French knight, to protect pilgrims who were making their way from Europe to the Holy Land after it had been captured by knights in the First Crusade twenty years before.
At first the Order – known as the Poor Knights of Christ and the Temple of Solomon – consisted of just eight or nine members, who lived in Jerusalem. They were officially dedicated to a life of poverty, which can be seen from the image, on their original seal, of two knights riding on the same horse.

But despite its dedication to poverty, the Order soon became rich and powerful, and ended up being responsible for most of the finances of medieval Europe. This role as the precursors of modern finance came to light many years ago and has since then been discussed by historians at length – but it is not generally known to the public or to modern-day financiers. Let’s now take a look at some of the reasons for the Knights’ transformation.

The Knights’ initial success came when they received the support of leading church figures including the pope, who encouraged Europe’s richest families to donate money, land and even family members to the Templars’ cause. But as an elite fighting force the Knights earned their reputation for courage and tough fighting skills. Who better, then, than to guard and guide the financial affairs of Europe’s kings and upper classes? The Knights’ primary purpose was to fight and protect territory in the Holy Land, but in Europe they were hired by princes, priests, businessmen and kings – especially in France and Britain – to protect valuable objects and money. By the thirteenth century, the knights were handling much of the capital of western Europe.

For around a hundred years, then, the Knights acted as treasurers for most of Europe and as such laid the foundations for a strong banking system. To their new customers they were able to offer expertise as well as a complex but secure system of financial management – and indeed they proved themselves to be such experts that it quickly became the custom for people to consult with them for accurate and honest administration. To this day this tradition has endured as people go to the banks, the descendents of these ancient trustees, to have them manage their finances in a place which is seen as safe and secure.

Other organisations can find their roots in the roles which the Knights played back in the thirteenth century. The very same kind of auditing services which are today offered by the Big Four of KPMG, Deloitte and others were offered by the Templars, who were employed not only to audit individual and business accounts, but also to provide fiscal advice on matters like changing an entire country’s currency.

Related pages @ English42

Contact me

1-to-1 English lessons


Lessons + Tests



Free Learning Resources