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5 Steps to Ace IELTS Listening Section

published by Azabella Marina

tags: ielts, (all tags)

origin: 5 Steps to Ace IELTS Listening Section (

Knowing how to read, write and speak English doesn’t necessarily translate to excellent IELTS results. You also need to understand the accents of native English speakers well, and this may be a hurdle for you if you are not in a predominantly English-speaking environment. But don’t worry, there are plenty of steps to take to ensure that you ace the listening section.

1) Be familiar with the British accent

Don’t watch Hollywood films in the hopes that it’ll help you with the IELTS listening section. Be aware that the accents on the tapes will be British accents. So spend a few months prior to your IELTS test listening to British radio stations or watching the BBC news channels or British films. This is a major difference between the IELTS and TOEFL, which generally features American accents.

2) Follow instructions very closely

When the question paper is handed to you, read the instructions on the front page of the paper while also listening to the instructions coming from the tapes. Do not turn the page unless instructed to do so. If the instructions clearly state “Write no more than four words”, refrain from writing more or you will not receive any marks for it, even if part of your answer is correct. Instructions may differ in various sections of the paper so remember to take the time to read each instruction carefully.

3) Inform the invigilator if the tape is faulty

The invigilator will play the first couple of sentences of the tape to test if the tape is working well. This will not be part of the test; the sentences played are simply introductory sentences. So listen carefully and make sure you can hear the tape well. Don’t wait until the test has started before you say something. Take note that once the test starts, the tape cannot be stopped.

4) Questions are arranged according to the oral text

If your mind accidentally wandered and you missed a couple of sentences of what’s being said, don’t panic. Just quickly scan the following questions and see where the speakers have gone. Remember this point because it will help you to focus on the current question and also help you to move forward if you’ve been left behind. Unfortunately, the tape will only be played once and there will not be any repeats. So if you’ve missed any questions, consider giving a logical guess that follows the story.

5) Transfer all questions clearly and correctly

At the end of the test, you will be given 10 minutes to transfer your answers to the answer sheet. This may seem like an obvious tip but many marks are lost because students accidentally transfer their answers to the wrong number on the answer sheet. This is the best time to double-check your answers. Although the test gets progressively more difficult, you will get the same mark for each correct answer.

So just take note of these tips for your IELTS listening section and you should be able to ace the test without much difficulty.

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