Preparation Tips for IELTS Listening (Part 1)
- Last Updated: Monday, 03 October 2016 12:28
- Written by IELTS Mentor
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• The voice on the cassette tape reads the instructions on the front of the question booklet. Read the instructions as you listen to the tape to become accustomed to the speed and accent of the speech.
• Ask the administrator of the IELTS examination to adjust the volume to a suitable level, if necessary.
• You should not open your booklet until you are told to do so.
• You must answer the questions provided while you are listening. The questions mostly follow the same sequence as the information contained in the Listening cassette.
• Write your answers directly into the question booklet.Do not write at answer sheet at this time.You are allocated 10 minutes to transfer your answers at the end of the exam.
Read the question and guess about the upcoming question.That will give you the advantage to answer correctly. Use a pencil to write down the answers as you might need to change the answer or correct a spelling. Pay special attention to the date, time, spelling of a person's name.
• Become familiar with the instructions before you do the test.
• Practice listening as much as possible before you do the test.
• Listen carefully to the introduction to the test.
• Listen carefully to any instructions on the cassette.
• Write as much as you want in the question booklet.
• Write notes and answers directly into the question booklet as you.
» Your answers need to be legible, i.e., they must be clear and readable. This applies to all the types of answers you give: letters, numbers and phrases.
» You write your answers on the question paper as you do the Listening sub-test, and when it is completed, you have 10 minutes to transfer them carefully onto the Answer Sheet. Make sure that each answer is transferred accurately and is legible.
The Listening Test is probably the one people get most scared of. To help yourself overcome that fear, start watching TV programs in English. It is better than radio or audiobooks because you also see images that help you understand the words you hear.
From my experience, in many cases, Listening is the least developed skill. So if you feel especially weak in that area - pay attention to the following tips, that will help you improve your Listening ability. Remember – nobody is born with it, it’s just a skill and you learn it. If you think your Listening needs no improvements – skip the “Teach yourself the words” part, move forward to the next tips.
The only way to improve your Listening ability is to train your “ears” to separate and understand the words you hear in the flow of sentences. Often what you hear is a blah blah blah...”, which you can't break into words, and for that reason, it makes no sense to you. When training, take a recording of the news, lecture, television program movie or an actual IELTS Listening test and work with it. I suggest using MP3 player. You can easily record English from the radio or any other source to it. It is also easy to repeat (re-play) sentences you didn't understand. MP3 player is small and light, so you can use it in any spare moment that you have – riding the bus or tram, walking the dog, taking a walk yourself, etc.
First, listen, remember what you heard and stop the recording after each phrase. Even if you didn’t understand the phrase, play it in your head a couple of times, like a broken record – “Tonight we have a special guest”, “Tonight we have a special guest”, “Tonight we have a special guest”.
Every task in IELTS Listening test has its instructions. It may sound stupid, but you really need to read them carefully. Why? Because they will tell you exactly what to do with the information: how many words you can use to answer, is there a table you must fill, is there a list to choose words from, how many items you must name, etc. And if the answer must be in 3 words – write EXACTLY 3 WORDS, because writing four or two words will get you 0 score.
To make my point crystal clear, let’s take the following scenario, for example, The speaker on a tape says:
“Well, if you are dieting, try to avoid fruits with lots of fructose like watermelon, mango, peaches or grapes.”
The question in the booklet is:
“Name 2 fruits a person on a diet should not eat”.
The answer may be “watermelon, mango” or “mango, peaches” or any combination of two items, but never three or four!!! Anyone who writes “just in case” – watermelon, mango, peaches, grapes – receives 0 score for that question.