This post is all about the top IELTS listening tips that will score you a band 7. These tips have been tried by thousands of students taking the IELTS exam and have helped them score a high band.
IELTS Listening Tips
As an IELTS coach with over 7 years of experience, I have gathered the most important IELTS listening tips that will help you score a band 7. You will have to be able to multi-task while listening to 4 audio recordings back to back, which can be overwhelming, especially because you have to be able to listen to the recording, read the question, and listen for the answer all at the same time. Then you have to make sure you quickly write your answer before you miss the answer to the next question.
You are going to learn about the IELTS listening tips, the IELTS listening band score, IELTS listening question types, the IELTS listening score calculator and you will see an IELTS listening practice test.
This post is all about the most important IELTS listening tips.
IELTS Listening Tips
IELTS Listening Section 1
The IELTS listening section 1 is the first of four parts of the IELTS listening exam. In this section, you will hear a conversation between two people then you will be required to answer questions that relate to the recording.
One of the biggest IELTS listening tips to keep in mind is that the IELTS listening section 1 is the easiest of all 4 sections, and as you go through the different sections they will get more challenging. Furthermore, it’s important to note that you will be hearing the four different recordings back to back, so you need to make sure you are able to at least identify keywords in the questions that you should listen for.
Next, you are going to learn about some IELTS part 1 listening tips that will help you achieve your desired score.
IELTS Part 1 Listening Tips
Here are a list of IELTS part 1 listening tips that you should consider before completing the part 1 section of the exam:
- Familiarize yourself with different English accents that you may hear in the audio recordings. I recommend that you watch YouTube videos of people who have an American, Canadian, Australian or British accent. Listen for words that you may not know the meaning of and look it up in the dictionary.
- When you are handed your questions for part 1, make sure that you take advantage of every SECOND you have to review the questions. Highlight the keywords that stand out the most so you know what to listen for when the audio is being played.
IELTS Listening Question Types
- Know of the different IELTS listening question types that you may see on the IELTS part 1 listening section. These can range from:
- Flow charts, summary completion
- Multiple Choice
- Short Answer
- Charts & Diagram Completion
Keep reading to learn about IELTS listening section 2.
IELTS Listening Section 2
In IELTS listening section 2, you will hear one person discussing an issue of some sort. During the second recording, it is important that you keep concentrated and try not to lose focus because the audio recordings are only played once. Therefore, you must be able to catch the answer during the one playback.
The biggest IELTS listening tip I have for section 2 is to ensure that you write your answers near the questions during the test since you will be given time in the end to transfer answers to the answer sheet after the recordings are played.
Next, you will read about more section 2 IELTS listening tips.
Section 2 IELTS Listening Tips
The section 2 IELTS listening tips are listed below:
- DOUBLE CHECK the word count for the answer they are looking for. Some questions say NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS etc, this is important that you follow these instructions. Each question will have its own instructions.
- If you are writing the answer for a fill-in-the-blank type of question, make sure you include the article and preposition to complete the sentence. For example, if the question says After work, we will go to ___________, and the answer is movies, you cannot just say movies. Rather, you should write After work, we will go to the movies.
Next, you will read about IELTS listening section 3.
IELTS Listening Section 3
In IELTS listening section 3, you will hear a recording that will take place in an academic setting of up to 3- 4 people. During this conversation, it will be a discussion about something that may be a few classmates discussing a course they are taking or a discussion of a project.
Remember that it is important that you are able to identify the different voices you will hear because one of your questions may ask you who said something.
Furthermore, remember that as you go through the sections, they become more challenging. Therefore, it is essential that you stay focused while trying to multi-task between reading the question, listening to the audio, and writing your answers.
Below are some section 3 IELTS listening tips to help you achieve a high band.
- Pay close attention to any unfamiliar vocabulary you may not know. Listen to the word that comes before and after it to try to guess the meaning.
- Since IELTS listening section 3 is often known to be the most challenging, I highly recommend that you identify any possible keywords that may stand out to you that you may be able to listen for when you are listening to the recording.
- Think of synonym language when listening for answers. Remember, this is an English test so it’s likely you will not hear the same words from the question in the passage, rather you will hear similar words.
IELTS Listening Section 4
Since the level of difficulty goes up between the different parts, the IELTS listening section 4 will probably be the toughest. Especially because you will hear a recording that will be the last one and hear 3 recordings prior to it.
The IELTS listening section 4 will be of one person talking usually a lecture in a university setting. This will be challenging because the recording will be more academic-related and you will not have any time to comprehend what is being said. Rather, you must listen for the answer and write.
Have a look at some section 4 IELTS listening tips to help you.
Section 4 IELTS Listening Tips
Section 4 IELTS listening tips are important to know, especially because it’s the last of 4 audio recordings that you will hear.
- DO NOT try to start transferring your answers because it’s the last recording. You will be given time for this afterward.
- Guess the answer if you don’t know, this will only be an opportunity for you to get it right.
- If you get a table question, try to identify a keyword such as a date or a name to make it easy for you to listen for the answer.
Although learning about IELTS listening tips is important, understanding the IELTS listening score calculator is as important.
IELTS Listening Score Calculator
When looking at the IELTS listening score calculator, you will be given one mark for every question you get correct. Therefore, you will not be given a half score if your answer is right with an extra word. That’s why it is important that you pay attention to the requirements of each question and you read it thoroughly.
If the question says NO MORE THAN 2 WORDS, then be sure to write a maximum of 2 words, or else you will not get the answer right.
Next, you will learn about the top methods to complete the IELTS listening practice test.
Where To Complete An IELTS Listening Practice Test
I often tell my students that completing an IELTS listening practice test over and over again will not be the solution to scoring a high band. Especially because you will not even likely get the same question you did a practice test on.
However, building on your listening skills by listening to podcasts is a great way to build your vocabulary and look up unfamiliar words in the dictionary.
Another great method is to watch a show in one of the English accents you are not too familiar with because you can prepare yourself for words you may not understand because of the different dialects.
I know that some words used in British English are totally different than American English, I often have to look them up!
Lastly, if you feel that you want to look over a few IELTS listening tests, then I recommend that you check out some IELTS preparation books from your local library where they have books with a CD attached of many IELTS listening practice tests.