IELTS listening tips: 10 tips for completing the section

Preparation for IELTS should be carried out for all sections at once. The listening section is often bypassed, saying that there is no need to develop any specific skills, but just practice. However, it will be much easier to pass IELTS if you use our preparation tips.

Read the assignment, then listen to the recording

The difficulty lies in the fact that in the IELTS exam you need not only to listen to the recording, but also to read the task and record the answer at the same time. We advise you to read the task first and then proceed to listening, so you will be aimed at finding certain information. This skill is quite difficult to develop, but sometimes it helps to predict what type of answer you need to look for (for example, is it a name or a number?)

IELTS Preparation: Every Word Counts in the Assignment

Most errors occur not because the candidate did not listen well to the recording, but because he was inattentive to the task. While listening, keep in mind the exact wording of the task.

IELTS questions: Read two questions at once

The fact is that the answers to the questions often follow each other, in the same sequence. Will you be able to catch the answers to two related questions at once? No one can say for sure, but the only way to do this is to prepare in advance for the fact that one answer may be immediately followed by another. The problem isn’t even that you can misunderstand the issue. It’s much scarier if you get confused and listen to the recording in the hope of hearing the answer to the 13th question, while in reality it will be the 15th.

Do not postpone the written component of the section for later

Sometimes candidates hesitate to record answers, believing that they will remember everything until the end of the recording. But in reality, this tactic almost never works: there is a lot of information on the record, you are worried, and most importantly, you constantly have to move from one block of questions to another.

IELTS Preparation: Learn to Write and Shorten Words Quickly

You don’t have to write down the full answer right away: when you’ve completed all the tasks, you’ll have ten minutes to fill out the answer form. Thus, your task is to learn how to record information during listening so that later you can remember the full answer and transfer it to the answer form. The only exception to the rule is the first part, where numbers and names meet. Here you will have to write out the answers in their entirety directly during the listening.

Do you pronounce words well by letters?

In the first part, you will almost certainly have to write down names or numbers by letters. At first glance, nothing complicated, but practice shows that candidates often get confused and incorrectly write down the words spoken by letters. In this case, you lose precious points. Of course, you know the alphabet, but some letters can embarrass even the most well-trained candidates. In particular, these are:

J and G


A, E and I

Try to develop your own system for recognizing these letters, and then you will not have difficulties.

Do not rush to write down the answer

Sometimes the following situation happens: it seems to you that you hear the answer, but then the announcer corrects himself or makes small clarifications. For example:

“So I’ll see you on Wednesday afternoon”

“Sorry, I’m busy then. How about Thursday evening?”

“Fine, Thursday at 7 0′clock”

Hold your horses. Be extremely careful.

IELTS: Don’t miss a single answer

There are two reasons for this: first, there is a chance that you will guess, and the answer will turn out to be correct. This is especially true for questions with many possible answers. Secondly, there is a danger that by skipping one cell for an answer, then you will get confused which cell corresponds to the right question. This can be problematic, so it’s best to completely fill out the answer form – especially since you won’t be penalized for answering incorrectly.

Identical words in task and answer

This is not a universal rule, and it does not always work. But still sometimes it happens, so if you answer at random and hear the same words on the recording as in the task, there is a chance that this will be the correct answer.

Look for clues in the task itself

Often in the task you need to fill out a table; this type of task will necessarily contain a hint, since the table is already partially filled, and the information provided may be useful to you. In particular, look at the column and row names of the table. For example: in the name there is “equipment”, and some of the filled cells are already filled and in them you can see “paper clip” and “cardboard” – this is a great clue for you, which will help to make a clear idea of what words to look for in the record.

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