6 quick tips to crack "Listening Section" at IELTS

6 quick tips to crack "Listening Section" at IELTS


Listening section in the IELTS exam has the most non-conventional format. What makes this section challenging are the below mentioned facts :

1. Multitasking : You are listening to the audio, reading the questions and writing the answers all at the same time.

2. Lose track : If your focus gets diverted even for a few seconds you lose the complete track of the audio.

3. It’s a rapid exercise : Questions follow each other very closely; hence speed has to be maintained along with concentration.

4. Strict time management : You get 30 minutes for the complete exercise and then 10 additional minutes to transfer your answers to the sheet. If you are prepared well, this is good amount of time else, it’s a big challenge.

5. Hit or miss : You are allowed to listen to audio clip “only once” against other listening exams where the audio clip is played minimum twice. Hence, this makes it a little difficult since you have to be equally alert all through 40 minutes as there is no second chance available.

6. Concentration : It’s quite a task to keep your brain glued to one exercise for as long as 40 minutes at a stretch with no scope of divulgence.

However, a little practice and guidance can help you to crack this section easily. You just need to have the right kind of practice. The following tips can be of great help:

1. Read before listening : This will help you to know what you are listening for. This will also help you to avoid wasting time as you will be practicing “focussed listening” rather than “random listening”.

2. Avoid selective listening and selective reading : Try and listen to each and every word of the audio clip carefully and read the entire question before answering. Most of the mistakes are caused because students start answering without reading the full questions due to lack of time and speed of speech in the audio clip.

3. Be spontaneous : Do not leave writing part till the end. This is the most popular mistake. Students think that they should listen to the clip carefully without getting distracted and it’s in the end that they should attempt the questions since they will remember everything. This is not true. There is lot of information, you are stressed and it’s easy to lose track of what you were listening. There is a huge risk involved in leaving the answering part to the end. Though some students apply this approach but it is not suggested. Answer, read and listen all at the same time. This is how this section is formulated.

4. Practice shorthand : Practicing shorthand can be an added advantage. You don’t have to write everything. You would however, want to write the names, dates and figures very carefully.

5. Spell check : It is very important that you get the spellings right since in part 1, you are required to spell names and figures in the answers.

6. Youtube – a handy tool : Try and listen to a lot of English videos on Youtube. This will increase your retention, understanding and will help you to get comfortable with the speed and accent.
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