Listening Tips for the Listening Section of the IELTS Examination
Understand the context
Before each section you will be given information about the speaker and what they will be talking about. You won’t be tested on this, but it will help you answer the questions that follow by understanding the context.
Be careful with your spelling. Lots of easy marks are thrown away because of poor spelling. As IELTS is a Cambridge test, I strongly suggest you use UK spelling.
Predict the answers You will be given a short break (normally around 30-40 seconds) before each section and in the middle of sections 1, 2 and 3. You should look at the questions in the next section and try to predict the answers coming next. When you predict try to think about the context of the question. Can you guess the answer? For example, if there is a ‘$’ in front of the answer, you will probably be listening for an amount of money. Also, predict what type of word the answer might be (adjective, noun, or verb).
If your word is someone’s name or a place, then it must start with a capital letter to be correct.
Word limit. Make sure you follow the instructions carefully especially when it comes to word limit. If the question states ‘No more than three words’ you can’t write any more than this. If your answer is four words for this answer, it will be incorrect.
Make sure you don’t get tricked. IELTS listening tests will often try to fool you by giving you something that seems like the correct answer first and then changing this to something else later in the recording. For example, your questions might be ‘The man would like a ______ car.’ At the start of the recording the person might say they want a ‘big family car’, but then change their minds and say they want a ‘small sports car’. If you wrote down the first option, you would be wrong.
Short hand is when you write a shortened version of a word. For example, you might write aprox. for approximately or Eng. for English. This will help you save time in the exam. Often two answers will come in a very short space of time, if you are busy writing a long word instead of listening, you might miss it. Shorthand is a very personal thing, so do whatever suits you.
Don’t leave any blank spaces
You are not penalized for wrong answers so you should always have a guess. You might get lucky!
Check and re-check
At the end, you will be given 10 minutes to transfer your answers to the answer sheet. Check your grammar and spelling as you do so.
Concentration is the key in IELTS Listening. Most people find it difficult to concentrate for the complete 30 minutes. To improve your concentration you need to practice active listening. Active listening involves setting yourself small tasks when you are listening, so basically learn to multitask, just like you will be in the IELTS Listening test.
IELTS Listening is not just a listening test; it’s an understanding, reading, writing, vocabulary and spelling test. Practicing all of these skills will help you to achieve your desired score.
More article about IELTS Preapartaion from Ms. Sally
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