How to Prepare for the IELTS Listening Test

IELTS is one of the standardized English language tests recognized and accepted internationally by English-speaking countries. It tests people’s ability to speak, write, read, and listen in English. Non-native English speakers must obtain high scores on the test if they want to migrate, work or study in the UK, Ireland, U.S., New Zealand, Canada, or Australia. 

The IELTS Listening Test is part of the four modules applicants should prepare for. It primarily assesses your ability to listen to different conversations, understand the content, follow the story, and make conclusions. As your listening skills are one of the foundations to success in school and work, this guide can help you understand, prepare for, and get high marks on the test.

IELTS Listening Test Structure

The Listening section is a timed test that takes a total of 40 minutes to complete. The test proper is 30 minutes. An extra 10 minutes will be given for you to transfer your answers to the final answer sheet. The module has four parts, and you will be asked ten questions in each. 

In the first part, you will listen to a conversation between two speakers about daily social circumstances. The second part consists of a monologue. Think of it as a speech about everyday contexts. In the third part, you will listen to a conversation between two to four speakers in training or educational settings. The last part is a monologue on an academic subject. 

The sections go from easy to hard. The easy sections will include slow conversations. However, by the third and fourth sections, the speakers talk faster and may use advanced vocabulary.

You will hear the conversations only once before you are asked ten questions for each section. The questions focus on your ability to understand the main ideas and factual information in detail. It tests how well you comprehend the attitudes and opinions of the speakers, the purpose of the conversation, and finally, your competence in following the idea’s development.

The test includes various types of questions such as multiple choice, matching type, sentence completion, mapping, table sentence completion, and short answers.

IELTS Listening Test Prep

Your success in the IELTS Listening Test depends on practice. It’s best to listen to English speech regularly and practice months before the test. Most IELTS test-takers prepare six months in advance to give them enough time to study and learn. 

You can listen to English in several ways. For example, you can watch TV programs, listen to English songs, and watch videos online. Listening to conversations among people with different accents can also help. In the actual test, you will hear people with British, American, or Australian accents.

You can also make listening to the radio or a podcast part of your everyday routine. Doing so will also allow you to hear how English is used in real-world settings. Additionally, you can visit IELTS-related sites and take practice tests. These exercises help you familiarize yourself with the test format and allow you to understand and follow instructions properly. 

Tips on Taking Listening Tests

On test day, keep calm and remember that you have prepared well for the exam. For each recording, listen carefully to the dialogue or monologue. Make sure you understand the instructions and the questions. Take note of the important points in the recording. 

Remember that you will only hear each recording once. So, it’s really important that you pay close attention. Try to understand the context of each conversation you will hear in the test. Ensure that you know the speakers, their topic, and their location so that you will comprehend the dialog better.

Take note of word indicators like finally, then, but, or however, as they can assist in anticipating what the speakers will say. Moreover, do not write your answers immediately. The information could be repeated or corrected as the conversation continues. 

When the listening proper ends, you have ten minutes to transfer your final answers to the answer sheet. Ensure that you transfer them accurately. Avoid making grammatical errors or careless mistakes. Double-check your answers before submission.

Get High Marks 

Passing the IELTS Listening test is essential to your overall IELTS score. You can ensure a high mark by practicing continuously. Develop a study plan and stick to it. See to it that you incorporate official IELTS practice tests in your study plan, as well as other methods mentioned in this guide to increase your vocabulary and become more comfortable in having conversations in English.