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IELTS Listening - Top tips!

What’s the IELTS listening module?
 
In the listening section you’re going to have listen to 40 questions relating to a pre-recorded conversation. Make notes as you listen.
 
After you have listened and made notes of your answers, you will then have 10 minutes to transfer your answers over to the answer sheet. 
 
It’s important to remember that in this part of the IELTS it is possible to get a very high mark, especially if you follow our tips.
 
Follow the instructions.
 
On the IELTS you will have to read the instruction of what do before you listen and you’re going to see “Write no more than three words” which an instruction you must follow.
 
One mistake a lot of students make during the IELTS is they don’t read instructions properly. They are normally nervous and worrying about the whole test and they write whatever comes to mind and do not follow the instructions properly.
 
If you see something like “Write no more than three words” do exactly what it says do not write four do not write five. Write three or less.
 
Get used to British English.
 
A large part of the IELTS, you will be listening to British accents, you may hear Australian or Canadian accents or even other nationalities.  But most of the accents will be British so it’s very important to get used to listening to British accents.
 
If you can’t get access to a British teacher I would recommend that you watch the BBC world news or listen to the BBC world radio service. This website also contains lots of materials for practice listening. Remember the more you practice listening with British accents the easier it will be to understand British speakers, especially if you’re used to American English.
 
British vocabulary.
 
You should learn British vocabulary as it is slightly different from American and Canadian English. Where Americans say truck the British say lorry. So make sure you know the British vocabulary. You will find a list of British & American vocabulary here.
 
Spelling counts.
 
Spelling is very, very important as the listening part of the IELTS is not just listening. You are actually using other skills like writing and reading therefore when you are writing down your answers be very, very careful about using the correct spelling.
 
This is something you should really study and practice and learn the spelling rules before you take the listening part of the IELTS.
 
Sometimes as part of the IELTS they will have somebody spell something out. So maybe someone will be on the phone and they’ll say their last name then they will spell it.
 
One thing to be careful double letters as they will often say it’s double T or double L. So be careful to listen for the word ‘double’, and be aware that you have to write down two of the following letter.     
 
Plural versus singular.
 
Plural versus singular is the thing that always gets most students it’s important that you practice plural versus singular. You have to listen carefully on whether you’re writing down the plural with an s or the singular.
 
If the question wants me to write down: cat, someone’s talking about their cat and I write down: cats, it’s incorrect and you will lose marks.
 
So it’s important to be careful to really listen if it is a singular thing or it is a plural thing.
 
To do practice tests.
 
This is probably the most obvious tip, but very important to do practice tests. There are many, many books out there on the IELTS that have practice tests with a CD. You can listen and you can practice. The more you do the better your chances of getting a high score.
 
So do as many practice tests as you can for the listening. Do not worry as when you start it will be very difficult it is for most people.
 
Maybe you’ll do a test and you’ll do very poorly on it but that’s the point of practicing. Just keep going, even if you do badly at first you will get better the more times you practice.
 
Prediction.
 
It’s very important on the IELTS during the listening section to read the questions that are coming up. At the end of each section, you have some time to check your answers and to read the next set of questions.
 
It is very important that you look ahead and any time you have a chance to stop and to read ahead on the IELTS do so.
 
The reason is that you can get a good idea of what you’re listening for and can predict what an answer is going to be. The chance of getting that answer right is going to be higher than listening without knowing what your listening for.  
 
“This woman will travel on..........” So I’m going to have to listen to the recording for the word travel but it would be better if you make some notes before listening of all the things that woman could be traveling on maybe she’s travelling on a bus, or maybe a plane.
 
Think of as some things she might be travelling on and make some notes so when you’re listening you have a good idea of what it could be which will give you a much better chance of getting the answer right when you hear it on the recording.
 
By preparing before you listen you will have a better idea of whether you’re listening for a noun, adjective, adverb, or verb.
 
The trick on the IELTS.
 
This is the trick on the IELTS, be aware of changes. Often they will have a phone conversation as part of the listening and somebody says something like: “OH, the number, its 2048“. So you write:”2048” but later in the conversation they say: “OH, no, wait. I’m sorry. It’s actually 4028.”
 
So you have to be very careful because often they will give information and then the information changes during the rest of the recording.
 
This is one of the most challenging things about the IELTS, you’re listening and writing at the same time. The listening is not only listening, it’s also listening, writing, reading, and not speaking.
 
It’s important that you practice these skills together on the Choose English website we have some very good videos in the listening section. We recommend that you listen to those without looking at the video and make as many notes as you can, then play the video again and check your notes against the transcript on the video.
 
Get used to writing quickly while you’re listening it is one of the most important skills you can learn.
 
Practice listening to groups of numbers
 
One thing to practice listening for is groups of numbers, maybe you’re great a listening to single numbers. But you need to listen to groups of numbers such as phone numbers.
 
It’s also important to listen for the difference between 13 and 30, 14 and 40 and so on. Get used to listening to these numbers so you can actually hear the difference, because you might hear it on the IELTS.
 
Handwriting must be clear. 
 
Your handwriting must be clear, if they can’t read what you have written then you’re not going to get the marks for your answer even if it’s correct.
 
So if you have bad handwriting you should practice writing. Start off slow and then work on speed like all things the more you practice the better you get and the better you get at writing the faster you can write.
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