Key Tips to Ace the Listening Test
- Speaker Giving the Wrong Answer First
One of the common tricks in the IELTS listening test is when the speaker makes a statement which is then changed. For example: ‘My phone number is 933 7734 – oh no, sorry, that’s my old number – my new number is 456 8432′. It is important to keep listening to the following sentence or two to confirm that the answer has not changed in any way.
- Keeping Focused on the Listening
One technique to help is to imagine that you are part of the conversation, even though you are not actually saying anything. Think about where they are, how old you think the speaker or speakers are, what they are wearing etc. By putting yourself ‘in the picture’, it is often easier to keep focused.
- Always Be Three Questions Ahead
Having only the next question in your mind as you are listening means that you can lose points quickly – if you miss the answer, you may find yourself waiting and waiting, only to find that the answer has gone as well as the next two or three answers. Get into the habit of planning the next questions ahead.
- Pre-read the questions
In between Sections 1, 2, and 3, there is a short break for you to read the questions, but at the end of each of these sections, you are also given half a minute to check your answers. Although it is worth having a quick check to make sure you have an answer for each question, this time should be spent pre-reading the next set of questions, not reading old answers. The more prepared you are for the next set of questions, the better your results.
- Highlighting keywords
In the time you are pre-reading the questions, make sure you are highlighting key vocabulary or points that you think will help you identify the correct answers. You are given a question paper and a separate answer sheet, so you can write on, underline, circle, or otherwise mark your question paper as you see fit. Underlining or circling keywords will help you stay focus and be clear about what you are listening for.
- ALWAYS write an answer
You are not penalized in the IELTS test for an incorrect answer in the listening or reading sections, so even if you are not sure or don’t know, always write something, even if it’s just a guess. You might get lucky, and it certainly won’t harm!