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Specialist Language Courses

How to Ace the IELTS Listening Test – Preparation is key

Students generally think that the IELTS listening paper is going to be the easiest, however often find its fast pace challenging.

Try these techniques to get yourself prepped for the big day!

Listen to English Radio and Podcasts:

Listening to English is always going to be the best way to prepare for an English Listening Test. However, you don’t need to bore yourself by continuously listening to dry practice tests or dull old scripts! With the internet your options are endless, there are radio and podcasts for every category/topic, most of which can be downloaded straight to your smartphone. Pick something that interests you and you’ll be more likely to stick to it!

You’ll find a great selection of podcasts in English via the links below:

Underline Important Words:

In the exam you will be given a few seconds to read the questions before listening to the recording. Try and get into the habit of underlining or circling important words within the question.

Look at this example question below and see if you can identify the key words:

You will hear an interview with Jane Sanders who sailed around the world last year.

Put a tick next to the correct answer

Jane wanted to do this trip to:

  • impress her friends
  • be the first woman to sail around the world alone
  • achieve a personal goal

By highlighting the words you focus on them and this enables you to recognise them more easily during the recording.

Don’t get stuck on one question:

Many candidates fall into the trap of getting stuck on one question and run out of time to do the rest. The recording is only played once, so if you don’t know the answer, move on and focus on getting the rest right!

Don’t fall at the last hurdle!

At the end of the test you have 10 minutes to correctly transfer your answers to the answer sheet. Take this time to make sure your spelling is accurate and fill in any blanks with guesses.

Three steps to success:

  • – Listen to English radio and podcasts
  • – In the exam underline key words and don’t get stuck on one question
  • – Be accurate when transferring your answers to the answer sheet

By highlighting the words you focus on them and this enables you to recognise them more easily during the recording.

[Referenced from International House Blog – http://www.ihlondon.com/blog/posts/2015/how-to-prepare-for-the-ielts-listening-test/]