Improving one’s Listening skills surely requires time, patience, and practice. Even for scoring big in the IELTS Listening exam, there is no trick or hack that can work like magic but the following steps or ways will definitely help you to score more in the IELTS Listening test.
Take care of your spellings
Both the British and American versions of spellings are accepted but it is important that the spelling should be correct. If you misspell a word in spite of the fact that you heard it correctly, it will not fetch you any marks. For example- the answer is Calendar but if you write ‘Calender’ (as you are not aware of the spelling), your answer would be marked as wong. Make a list of the words that you often feel you misspell and remember the correct spellings for the same.
Practice to write while you listen:
Writing while listening is a skill that needs to be developed with practice. You need to figure out if you find it problematic to write while you listen. If yes, you can work on the same and improve that ability by listening to various kinds of lectures and preparing notes at the same time.
Read questions and analyze the answer beforehand
Utilize the time that you get at the beginning of every Listening section to go over the questions to predict what kind of answer can be expected. This makes you ready for the answer or the words that you will listen to in the audio. For example, if the question says Postal Code, you would be ready to hear alphabets and numbers in the audio. This would be helpful to get accurate answers.
It is important that you do not let your mind wander, once the audio starts to play. A single thought and you can lose on your score. Being focused all the time is the key to score well in the Listening test of IELTS. This would require practice but it is important that you learn mentally how to block the disturbances or background noises while preparing for the exam.
Move one if you have missed an answer
Even if at any time you have lost the track of the recording, it is crucial that at that point in time you move on in order to avoid a chain reaction that can cause you to lose multiple answers. It is not a good idea to get stuck with the missed answer and lose all the answers from the first one you missed and to the end of that section. Try to guess the missed answer later when you have time to check the answers (in case of CBT) or while transferring the answers to the answer sheet (in case of PBT)
Check here to know the difference between Computer Based test and Paper Based test and find which one suits your requirements.
Get accustomed to the accents commonly used in an IELTS Listening test
In the Listening test of IELTS, you will come across the recordings which feature different accents like British, Canadian, American, Australian, etc. You should be aware of these accents if you do not want to face any surprises on the test day as the pronunciation of some words differs from one accent to the other. You can expose yourself to those by listening to various podcasts. Avoid watching English shows or movies as the visuals tend to distract us. One such podcast that can be really helpful is the British Council Podcast as it even transcripts while the audio plays.
Listen thru the end
It is important that you follow the development of the conversation as the speakers in the conversation do change their minds, just as in any real-life conversation. For example –
John: Book me a double occupancy room.
Receptionist: Okay Sir.
John: Hey but I am traveling alone and if I look at the budget, single occupancy would be suitable. Go ahead with that.
Avoid general mistakes
Many a time, in spite of the answer being correct, gets disqualified due to technical reasons. For this purpose, make sure that you pay complete heed to the instructions like the word limit, usage of numbers or words. Also, you need to be careful while transferring your answers from the question booklet to the answer sheet. Take care of grammar and spelling before you transfer.
If you want to know more about the IELTS exam, the sections, format, and the challenges they offer, please go through an in-depth video training blog here. We have tried to explain every section in detail with variations that are expected for the IELTS academic test and IELTS general test for the exam. It will clear all the questions you have in mind before starting the preparations.
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