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  IELTS Listening Tips

As in all IELTS tests, the questions get harder as it goes on. You will see from your practice that the types of listening and questions that you encounter in Section 1 are more difficult in Section 2 and so on. This does not mean that by Section 4 they are impossible but they are more demanding linguistically.

Beware of some questions which require a number (i.e.: a telephone number) or some letters (i.e.: a postcode) as sometimes what you think is the answer will be read out only for the speaker to correct him or her self and then say the correct answer.

An important tip is to answer all the questions as you hear them; don't wait until later. Sometimes people in these tests hear the correct answer but decide to remember the answer and write it down later so they can wait for the next answer. This I feel is a mistake. Firstly, people will very often forget this answer and secondly, if you follow this method, you will have to remember up to 5 or 6 answers in a row before you can write them down. Then you'll forget even more.

As I said above, at the end of the test you have 10 minutes extra to transfer your answers from the question paper to the answer paper. Some people put their answers directly onto the answer paper. I feel it's better to write the answers on the question paper and use the 10 minutes given at the end for the transfer. Writing the answers on the question paper allows you to keep your concentration on the questions and, if you make a mistake, it's not so difficult to correct.

One area that students don't like is that, in the listening test, good grammar and spelling are important. The grammar part is not so important as you can't make many grammar errors in 3 words (the maximum you use in the listening test) but, if you spell something wrong, it will be marked as wrong. People think, quite rightly in my opinion, that the listening should test whether you understand what you heard and not how you spell something but these are the rules. So, be careful about your spelling!

If the question asks for no more than 3 words, use no more than 3 words. Writing 4 words is wrong. You won't be asked to do it in 3 words or less unless it is possible so don't worry; it can always be done.

Don't panic if you miss an answer. If it has really gone, then it is history. Worrying and panicking is only going to make you miss another one. One miss is probably not going to destroy your mark so calm down and listen for the next one. Sometimes you think you have missed it but you are mistaken. If you are calm and keep listening, maybe the answer will come or even be repeated.

Never leave a question unanswered; especially if it is only an A,B,C,D question or something similar. Guess if you really don't know. There are no marks taken away for wrong answers or even stupid answers. So, have a go! Logic, general knowledge or just luck might give you the right answer!

Anyway, work hard and good luck with the IELTS Academic Listening Test! I hope that this tutorial has helped you.