It’s important to prepare thoroughly in advance for the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) exam if you intend to take it to be prepared for all four test sections. Many test-takers find the listening part, in particular, to be especially difficult. Yet with the correct preparation, you can strengthen your self-assurance and raise your chances of succeeding.
This article will use 10 quick and easy strategies to help you prepare for the IELTS listening test. These recommendations are based on years of experience helping students ace exams by improving their listening skills. To ensure you are completely prepared for the test, we have divided the advice into steps to include in your daily study habit.
These tips will equip you with the skills you need to succeed, whether taking the IELTS for the first time or retaking it to raise your score. By using these techniques, you’ll be able to concentrate on the listening section’s content rather than stumbling over the speakers’ accents or instructions.
10 Tips to Prepare for the IELTS Listening Test
So let’s begin with our top ten suggestions for preparing for the IELTS listening test. You can achieve your target score and realize your aspirations of studying or working in an English-speaking nation with a little hard work and determination.
1. Practice Active Listening
Active listening involves paying attention, posing inquiries, and summarizing what you have heard. You may teach your brain to interpret spoken English by listening to English-language media like podcasts, newscasts, and movies. Concentrate on important facts while actively listening, such as the main points, supporting details, and viewpoints or arguments.
Consider making notes as well to aid in remembering critical details. Active listening can help you improve your spoken English comfort level, which will benefit you in the IELTS listening test.
The ultimate purpose of active listening exercises is to improve your capacity to swiftly process spoken English and comprehend it more thoroughly, which will help you excel on the IELTS listening test and in everyday situations.
2. Focus on key vocabulary
Understanding the listening passages and correctly responding to the test questions require a wide vocabulary. A wonderful strategy to increase the size of your vocabulary is to learn new words and expressions every day. Reading novels, news articles, and other written things in English can help you with this.
Try to figure out a new term or phrase’s meaning from the context before using it, or check it in a dictionary. Also, you’ll remember new words better if you practice using them in various settings. Common English idioms and phrasal verbs, which might be difficult for non-native speakers, are also beneficial to master.
Finally, it’s important to remember that having a broad vocabulary involves more than just learning many words; it also involves using them correctly. To ensure that you can use new words accurately and confidently on the IELTS listening test, it’s necessary to practice using them in both spoken and written English.
3. Familiarize Yourself with Different English Accents
To succeed on the IELTS listening test, you must have the ability to understand various accents because English speakers have a wide range of accents. Speakers with a range of accents, including British, American, Australian, and Canadian, may be heard during the listening portion of the exam.
You can listen to various English-language audio and video content, including podcasts, TV shows, and films with various accents, to get ready for this. It’s crucial to keep in mind that different accents can have varied pronunciations and vocabularies when practicing because of this. You can also listen to news broadcasts, or radio shows from English-speaking nations to understand the various dialects and regional variances.
You can become more comfortable and confident throughout the IELTS listening test and better understand speakers from various English-speaking regions by becoming familiar with various English accents.
4. Get familiar with background noises
The background noises in every test center differ, but it’s a good idea to get a feel for what it will be like before your test. Find a cafe or bar with a lot of ambient noise and sit.
Try listening to conversations around you and see if you can understand them. Practicing in different locations allows you to get used to other sounds, making you less likely to lose focus during your exam.
5. Don’t panic
Everyone feels nervous before a test, especially one you might not do well on. What’s important is how you react. Taking deep breaths will help you relax and focus on listening to what’s being said.
The first time, try not to spend too much time figuring out why something was said or looking up words you don’t know in your dictionary; take notes on what is being discussed and move forward.
6. Use Practice Materials
The IELTS listening test has a certain format and a set of question types that you may encounter, so it is a good idea to get familiar with these before taking the test. Preparation materials include past exams, practice books, and internet resources.
These resources give you a chance to put your listening skills to the test and pinpoint any areas that may need work. You can better understand what to anticipate on the test and boost your confidence by practicing with these materials. Practice materials can also teach you how to recognize and prevent frequent errors.
Although other listening materials might not adequately reflect the test’s format or difficulty level, practicing with materials designed specifically for the IELTS listening test is important. A major element of IELTS listening test preparation is using practice resources because they can help you develop your skills and increase your chances of passing the exam.
7. Understand question types in exams
When you take a test in your native language, it’s easy to identify what type of question you’re answering. You know if it’s an opinion, a descriptive question, or even a personal essay.
But when taking an English exam (like the IELTS), questions can be more challenging to understand because their purpose is more subtle. In most languages (including English), questions are either yes/no statements or statements with multiple possible answers.
There are other forms of English language question types—and they might not be what you expect! For example, a statement can be worded as you must do something, but that doesn’t mean it has one correct answer.
8. Listen and repeat
No matter how good your spoken English is, there’s no replacement for hearing native speakers in their natural setting. If you’ve got a trip coming up, use it as an opportunity to practice real-world Listening.
Don’t be afraid to ask people questions and request rephrasing if you don’t understand what they’re saying. The more conversational language you hear, especially in unfamiliar settings, the more comfortable you’ll feel with spontaneous Listening during test day.
You can improve your score on IELTS by listening and repeating. Focus on repeating what you hear rather than figuring out precisely what you’re hearing. If you want something a little more challenging, try adding a task (solving math problems or trying to guess what happens next in a story), but make sure it’s fun!
9. Record your mistakes, then repeat them out loud slowly
One of your biggest mistakes in Listening may have been focusing on what you thought was correct instead of recognizing incorrect information. When you listen, make sure that you record all your mistakes, then replay them aloud slowly with a partner.
If possible, write down every word and phrase you don’t understand to refer back to it later. That way, if something comes up again on another listening test, you’ll be able to recognize it!
10. When you get a low score, learn from it
It’s easy to take a low score on an exam as a sign that you’re not smart enough, but that mentality will just prevent you from being successful. When you get a low score, think about what caused it. Where did you fall short? Was it something small, or was there some more prominent issue?
And don’t just learn from your mistake; also put together a better plan to prepare for your next exam. Next time, consider things you can do differently and use those insights on future tests. In other words, don’t just let that test take up space in your brain; think about it actively and make sure it doesn’t happen again!
Preparing for any standardized test can be nerve-wracking. But by following these simple tips, you can easily prepare and succeed on your IELTS listening test. Good luck!
Azizul Hakim is the founder & CEO of englishfinders.com. He is a passionate writer, English instructor, and content creator. He has completed his graduation and post-graduation in English language and literature.