IELTS Listening Test an overview & effective listening techniques
1. An overview of IELTS Listening Test
1.1. Structure of the IELTS Listening Test
- The structure of the IELTS Listening is in the same form for both IELTS General Training and IELTS Academic.
- The duration of the IELTS Listening is roughly 30 minutes. At the end of the paper-based test, there will be 10 minutes for test-takers to transfer the answers to an answer sheet. The recheck time for the computer-based test will be 2 minutes.
- The IELTS Listening Test covers 4 sections in total with gradually increasing difficulty level:
|Time allotted||Number of questions||Main content|
|Section 1||approx. 5 min||10||A daily-social conversation
(telephone call, interview, etc.)
|Section 2||approx. 5 min||10||A daily-social monologue
(presentation, radio programme, etc.)
|Section 3||approx. 5 min||10||An academic conversation
(thesis / dissertation, assignment, research project, etc.)
|Section 4||approx. 5 min||10||An academic monologue/lecture
(history, science, nature, etc.)
1.2. Question Types in IELTS Listening Test
- Multiple Choice Questions (MCQ)
- Map, Plan, Diagram Labelling
- Note, Form, Table, Summary, Flow-chart Completion
- Sentence Completion
- Short-answer questions
1.3. IELTS Listening Test Marking Scheme
The band score of IELTS Listening Test corresponding to the number of correct answers is illustrated in the table below:
|Band Score||Correct Answers|
(This table of band score is applied for both the Listening Test of IELTS General Training and IELTS Academic)
2. Common mistakes in Ielts Listening Test (with tips)
|IELTS Listening Common Mistakes||IELTS Listening Tips|
Candidates often tend to focus too much on waiting and looking for the answer to a particular question, which leads you to a state of bewilderment and dilemma in solving the question. As a result, you lose concentration and miss answers for the next ones.
|Don’t panic, stay calm and move to the next questions. In the last 10 minutes to check, return to the question and write down your best-guessed word.|
The correct answers in the IELTS Listening Test depend much on the instructions, especially for the word limit.
|Read the instructions first, underline keywords (e.g. NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS) before jumping into the questions|
The Listening Test regularly consists of distractors in order to check the understanding as well as attentiveness towards the listening audio. Consequently, some candidates miss these distractors and get a wrong answer.
|Be careful with the contrastive words such as BUT, HOWEVER, NO, etc., and the speaker’s tone (emphasise, stress, slow down, etc.)|
This type of mistake is often made in the IELTS Listening test. The most common ones are the ending sounds (s, es, ed, etc.), name of people, street, etc.
|Make sure to listen carefully to the answers and double check in the last 10 minutes.|
Paying too much attention to answering the questions, some test-takers forget to predict the information before the audio starts. Hence, you may find it difficult to get the main content of the audio or give the correct word form for the answer.
|Underline the keywords help you to guess the answer or note some predictions (part of speech, proposed words, etc.)|
A blank answer may result from wrong-place answers, which can lead you to lose your point. Besides, the predicted answer can be correct, so don’t miss any chances.
|Give an answer for the blank, even when you’re not sure about it.|
Try to avoid giving the answers on the answer sheet right at the time you are listening to the audio since you can be distracted or miss the information. Moreover, spelling and grammatical errors can be made while doing this process.
|Note the answer directly on the exam paper and utilize the 10-extra minutes at the end of the IELTS Listening Test to transfer your answers to the answer sheet|
3. Effective techniques in Ielts Listening Test
In order to score a high band in the IELTS Listening Test, you need to have a plan for improving your listening skills on a daily basis. These techniques are suggested by IELTS expert, teachers, and experienced test-takers to practice the IELTS Listening Test in the most effective way:
>> > Practice now: IELTS Listening Practice Test
- Create a daily habit of listening to English, including passive and active listening:
– Passive listening: listening anytime, anywhere without trying to understand the specific content through films, music, podcasts, radio, news, etc.
– Active listening: comprehensive listening by figuring out the main content and details of the audio.
- Refer to authentic listening sources such as BBC, CNN, youtube channels (Ted talk, Ted ED, etc.)
- Practice with Dictation method in which you will you listen to a record and complete missing words or write down exactly what you have heard
- Analyse in detail the audio scripts and answers after each test:
While checking the answers, listening again to the audio, then highlighting new words, missed information, etc.
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