Preparation Tips for IELTS Listening (Part 1)

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.

In general
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.
Listening – a skill, not a gift!
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.
Teach yourself the words
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”.
Then say it out loud. If you understood that phrase at first, this exercise will improve your pronunciation. If you didn’t understand the phrase for the first time, this repetition will give you more time to hear it better, break it into words and make sense out of them. And if it is still difficult, you can always rewind and hear the phrase again.
There is a big difference between seeing a word printed on paper while reading and hearing it. If you saw a word, it doesn’t mean you will recognise it when you hear it. So every word you have seen, you must hear at list once.
Instructions will keep you safe
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.
Note: when counting words – “a” or “the” counts as a word.
1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 Rating 2.67 (39 Votes)

Hadia Hasan
If I'm getting a 7 band score in the listening mock test, will I be able to score well in the final test?
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Nishan Dhakal
I am very confused about multiple choice questions. Is there any idea to overcome from multiple choice question problem? Please suggest me.
IELTS Mentor
No, you should not. If the correct answer is 'skills' you will lose marks for writing 'skill' or 'skill(s)'. NB. Answers provided on this website often write skill(s) in the answer section and that's intentional. It means that the correct answer can either be skill or skills. But you should never do that in your real test. Write either 'skill' or 'skills' only.
No, you can't write like this. You will be penalized for this, you should write either skill or skills not skill(s). For the correct answer try to listen to the answer properly.
I want to ask that in listening if the answer is =skills, can I write skill(s).
Gurdeep Singh
I am confused.
I am doing IELTS. My WhatsApp number is 00919517146483.
I am doing IELTS.
Muhammad Ahmed
My advice is 'just do practice and practice...' Even you should listen to listening tapes not only once, again and again, while practising, and try to find your faults and then focus on this.
I want to learn General Training reading and listening top tips.
Garry Sidhu
I am very confused in listening (in multiple choice questions).
Farid Kadri
Very useful tips, Thank you.
Well done.
Samreen Atiq
It's easy for me now to enhance my listening skills. Thanks!
Mansurivahora Zamil
I want to learn more because I am very very weak for the IELTS test.
Gurjit Singh
Please help me. I am trying to improve my listening skills for IELTS test.
Gurjit Singh
I am very weak in IELTS listening skill. Please help me...
Manpreet Singh
I want to learn more because I am very weak in English.Please help me.
Habib Baloch
Sir, I'm weak in listening MCQ's type questions. Can you guide me, please? Thank you in advance.
Mohammed Moiz
I need to learn more because I am very weak.
Sohel Sarker
I am weak in listing section. Please help me.