Some of us find the IELTS listening test to be one of the easiest of the four components of IELTS, while others struggle to get accustomed with its fast paced nature. From our experience, we have summarized 10 tips that will help you to get the maximum score in the listening test.
1. Strengthen your general listening skill
IELTS wants to test if you are comfortable understanding long and somewhat complicated conversations or monologues. Going through a few mock tests will not yield a good score unless you brush up the basic skill. One of the easiest and most enjoyable ways to harness this skill is to watch English movies, TV series, news etc.
2. Be comfortable with British accent
The IELTS listening test will be conducted by following British accents. Thus, you should make yourself comfortable with a relatively confusing British accent which you may not be familiar with (especially if you follow American English style). For example, listening to nineteen and ninety can be quite perplexing during exam conditions.
3. Read the instructions carefully
Many examinees try to save time by skipping or glossing over the instructions. We strongly recommend you not to do that. If your answers do not comply with the instructions you will not get the point even if it was a correct answer. For example, if the answer requires only one word or number and you write two words, it will be counted as a wrong answer. If need be, highlight such instructions.
4. Go through the questions and predict answer types
You will have a buffer time before each of the voice clips. Use this time to go through the questions that will be covered in the next voice clip. While doing so, highlight important information and try to predict the answer type. For example, try to guess if the question requires a number or a noun or an adjective. This will help you get the clue from the voice clip. You can write ‘#’ for number, ‘N’ for noun and so forth.
5. Don’t rush to write answers
IELTS often tries to trick the examinee by correcting information provided earlier. The speakers may repeat or correct themselves which the listener should be aware of. For example, you are supposed to write an email id in the blank where initially it was said as “email@example.com” but correctly immediately as “firstname.lastname@example.org”. Thus, the correct answer will be the latter one.
6. Follow a chronological approach
IELTS follow a strict chronology. You will not get the answer to question number 3 before they share the answers to questions number 1 and 2. This gives you enough time to follow the audio and prepare for the next question. However you need to be active since some answers may come in quick succession.
7. Follow the clues given in the voice clips
The voice clips will give you many clues, indicating the next answer. For example, words like ‘however’, ‘but’, ‘finally’ etc. will be critical in following the conversation/monologue and capture the correct answers.
8. You cannot afford silly mistakes
Examinees are prone to make silly mistakes that can cause them to lose precious points. Check spelling, grammar, numbers (e.g. singular and plural noun), and word forms so that you don’t lose any marks.
9. Be mindful and keep moving
The listening test can be quite tedious and you may get distracted easily or lose focus. You may also panic and get stuck if you fail to understand or answer a question. Remember, you need to move on and keep following the audio since you may lose additional points by focusing on one particular question. You need to use the small buffer time that you will get between the sections to relax and to get your attention back. The only way to master this stress is to practice regularly so you become quite mindful.
10. Use 10 minutes to transfer answers accurately
We recommend you to write the answers in the question paper during the exam since you will get 10 minutes to transfer them in the main answer script. You may use pencils while filling the answer script. You should spare a few minutes to review all your answers and guess any answers that you may have missed. Do not leave any question unanswered.