Some of the little strategies that I will explain below simply refer to the skills which are important during your IELTS listening test in all sections. Apparently, one of the major challenges that you as a test-taker have to face in many cases is that while you are listening to the tape recording, you must be able to recognize more than just names, places, time, and then try to connect ideas, organized information, generalize as well as infer the meaning from all the spoken materials being played.

Here are several tips of IELTS listening module test that you can use them to help you achieving a better score for all the question types.


1. BEFORE YOU LISTEN, it is well-recommended that you need to:

a. Read the instructions carefully to know how many words are allowed or required for you to write. This includes the word limits such as articles and prepositions. Hence, try not to go above the word limits otherwise your answer will be marked incorrect by the examiner.

b. Read through the questions and notes on the question paper, then decide what the topic delivered is all about. For example, in order to get the right information from a conversation or monologue, it does help you if you ask yourself before you begin listening in the first place, such as:

- Who is talking?

- What are they talking about?

- How do they feel about it?

c. Analyze the questions and prompts, and then decide what sort of information is required. Perhaps, this may include the types of specific information such as price, name, or time.

d. Underline the keywords in the rubric, questions, and options before you listen. In other words, by highlighting the keywords around each gap in completion tasks or in questions can actually help you to listen more effectively. For example, a speaker might use a range of vocabulary that helps you to identify how the talk is organized. And let’s just say that a Professor Kate is giving a lecture about Newton’s law of physics. So, in that case, she probably would discuss each law by using the sequence of cohesion such as ‘first, next, in the meantime, then, finally’ in her speech, where the entire script can be organized as follows:

i. Body paragraph 1: ‘Isaac Newton first thought that ... He tested his theory by ...’

ii. Body paragraph 2: Next, Newton had always believed ... He conducted an experiment that ... Then he saw ...’

iii. Body paragraph 3: ‘Finally, Newton concluded that his theory ... However, he also learned that ...’

2. WHILE YOU LISTEN, here’s what you have to do:

a. Listen for any clue that the speakers are about to answer the questions. Perhaps, they probably will use different words (mostly, the synonyms) from the question given.

b. Always choose only the required number of options for each question.

c. Do not write more than the maximum number of words that you are asked for. Again, try to read and follow the instruction given carefully. Write only the words that you hear without changing them.

d. In case if you miss an answer, keep listening. Otherwise, you will miss the next questions by accident.

3. AFTER YOU LISTEN, this is what you must do:

a. Make sure you have answered every question because you will not lose marks for wrong answers.

b. As you copy your answers, check out the words you have written make sense or logical in the context. So, pay attention on the words you have written in particular of whether they are grammatically correct/correctly spelled or not.

c. Do not copy anything printed on the question paper when transferring your answers to the answer sheet provided. In that case, you should copy what you have written yourself.

Obviously, anticipating is literally defined as thinking about what might come or will appear next. Besides, anticipation can make you more focused and your listening easier. Knowing the topic beforehand helps you to predict and anticipate certain details.

For example, a college student who wants to talk about his term paper might have a problem with the topic, organization (body assignment), due date, bibliography or a partner. Likewise, a professor who delivers a lecture about bees might discuss their appearance, abilities, evolution, migration, reproduction, diet, reasons for studying them, and so on. Hence, by knowing the possibilities of what might come out next, it will make your listening task achievement easier to be accomplished as a result of being able to hear clearly what the speaker says.

Perhaps, if you decide to take notes during the exam, you need to make sure that your notes are both effective and efficient. Having said that, you need to determine the topic of the talk, study the questions, plus decide what types of information and words are missing. So, based on your observations, simply focus on noting down only those missing information and words. Also, while you are making notes, less important words could either be omitted (eliminated) or recorded using symbols and abbreviations.

For example, let’s just say that an essential topic of the talk is a project that started in 1997. So, the key word to remember is the ‘project, started, and 1997’. For your information, it is very unlikely or quite impossible that in the IELTS exam, you will be asked to complete the gap with a word ‘started’ or ‘the’. Thus, you could make the following notes by your own, something like ‘project √† 1997’.

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