IELTS Listening Tips And Strategies: The Ultimate Guide

IELTS listening module is designed to assess the listening skills which tests how well you understand the ideas and specific factual information, recognize the opinion and the attitude of the speaker and follow an argument. This section is the same for academic and general tests.

This section consists of four Sections with a total of 40 marks. There will be a total of 40 questions with a time limit of 30 minutes. You will be given extra 10 minutes to copy your answers to the answer sheet. 

In this article, let us look at:

  1. The IELTS test format for listening module
  2. Types of Listening Questions
  3. IELTS Tips for Listening

1. The IELTS test format for listening module

Section 1: A conversation between two people set in a daily context

Section 2: A monologue set in a social context e.g.: speech about local facilities

Section 3: A conversation set among 4 people in an educational or a training context e.g.: a university tutor and students

Section 4: A monologue on an academic subject e.g.: a lecture

2. Types of Listening Questions

  • Multiple Choices
  • Matching
  • Plan, map, diagram labeling
  • Form, note, table, flowchart, summary completion
  • Sentence Completion

The Sections get tougher as we progress through the exam. Section1 is the easiest and section 4 is the most difficult. IELTS is an international test with a range of accents which are probably American, British or Australian. IELTS accepts both American and British English spellings. Practicing different accents and following few IELTS listening tips

 3. IELTS Tips for Listening

Here is a list of IELTS listening tips below:

  • You must practice the full listening tests by listening to the audio only once. This can be one of the best IELTS listening tips to practice. This tip should be followed several times as you hear the audio only once. You will not hear it a second time.
  • When you are developing skills and vocabulary you might have to listen more than once. This is common and you should do it while you practice.
  • Multitasking is one of the skills you need to develop as you should be able to read the questions and find the answers while you listen and write down the words at the same time.
  • Transfer your answers to the answer sheet while you practice at home. This helps you to manage the time during your test.
  • Write your answers using a pencil not a pen while you write on the answer sheet. This is the same as the reading test.
  • Your section score is based on the number of answers you get right. The IELTS band scores are explained here. You’ll not lose a mark if the answer is wrong.
  • Do not leave the answer blank. Guess an answer and fill in it,
  • You can write the answer in capital or lowercase letters. It is always recommended to use all capital letters.
  • Check the number of words you have to write in the answer. For Example: the question might be given as “no more than two words/ number” the answer should be written as exactly mentioned in the question.
  • Check the instructions if you can have a number or numbers.

How the words and numbers are calculated:     

1) A date “1950” is considered as one number

2) A large number “1000,500” is considered one word

3) A hyphenated word “part-time” is considered as one word

  • A compound noun which is not hyphenated “tennis shoe” is considered as two words
  • To write an answer with a preposition or an article totally depends on the type of the question mentioned on the exam paper.

1) The best place to meet is —- “at the hospital” is the correct answer. This is grammatically correct.

2) If the question is to mention or complete a form such as a place the answer can be “hospital” or “the hospital” depending on the number of words to be used in the answers mentioned in the question.

  • Spelling is most important to get an answer right. If the spelling goes wrong the answer is considered wrong. IELTS listening strategies include the spellings as well. You do not have time to concentrate on spelling while listening to the audio recording. Always check the spellings before transferring the answering to the answer sheet.
  • Writing letters or words in a multiple choice question is mentioned in the question. If the question is asked to write down a letter you should write only the letter.

For Example: if the options are mentioned as below:

a.      spring

b.      summer

c.      winter

If the answer is b, you should write the answer as b but not summer. This IELTS listening trick is one of it to keep in mind all time.

  • The IELTS listening tips and tricks are to be followed and should be in practice every time you give a test. The tip here is not to understand everything in the audio recording but your only aim is to search for the answers only.
  • You might find a few answers very quickly but there might be a gap in getting down the answers. Write down the answers very quickly so you can concentrate on the audio.
  • IELTS listening test tips not only allows you to find the answers quickly but also to listen to the answers accurately. It might be difficult to hear the plurals so listen to the audio very carefully.   
  • The IELTS listening test tips also give you solutions to common problems.
  • The answers might change immediately. Hang on! Keep listening to the audio and be ready for the speaker to change the answer. Similar words might not be the right answer. Keep listening attentively.
  • If you miss an answer, move on to the next question. These are the best IELTS listening tricks I can give you. Never waste time hanging on to the same question. Do not lose your place in the audio.
  • Last but not the least, this is the most important and necessary IELTS tips for Listening. Concentrate!! It is must and should to be active and attentive during the 30 minute long four audio recordings to get the answers right.

The best IELTS listening tips and tricks academic and general should be followed and practiced rigorously. These IELTS listening tips actively increase the skills and the ability to extract meaning from conversations or speeches. The best way to improve your listening skill is to immerse in the language and hold the information and construct answers in the mind as the best skills.

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