Don’t let the Covid-19 affect your IELTS preparation plan. There are always ways to continue ensuring that you are as well prepared as possible. To that end, we have prepared a series of not-to-be-missed IELTS tips to help learners during this difficult time. See below for our essential Listening Tips:
1. Set a realistic goal for yourself and do not aim for shortcuts. Don’t expect to progress from low-level to high-level overnight! Like all skills, becoming proficient in a language takes a lot of time and effort. However, there are many useful strategies you can take:
2. Create a listening routine and stick to it:
(a) Listen to something different every day. For example, on Monday listen to a podcast, on Tuesday – listen to 15 minutes of a news program, on Wednesday – listen to a song, and so on.
(b) Listen to something which interests you!
(c) Choose different sources, like elllo.org. A variety of accents and dialects will help you understand better spoken English from around the world.
(d) Choose listening materials which fit your level. If you can understand <50% and >90% of the audio, then it is not for you as it is either too easy or too difficult. TED talks (https://www.ted.com/talks) are a great way to practice academic listening.
(e) Do it when you are most productive during the day – are you a morning or an evening person?
(f) Plan your listening activities and cross them off once you’ve completed them.
(g) Listen to something a few times; change the speed.
3. Focus on the overall message and do not get frustrated about detail.
4. Take notes while you’re listening and go back to discover what expressions or clues in the audio helped you understand the message.
5. Don’t worry too much about unfamiliar words; if you hear something which is repeated in different sources, look it up in the dictionary and study it.
6. Call a friend and discuss issues in English for a set time period (for example, 10 minutes).
7. Try to guess questions you haven’t answered. This is especially important for “yes”, “no” or “don’t know” questions as the chance of you getting the right answer by chance is pretty high!
8. Before each section you are given time to read the questions. Use this time sensibly and read the questions carefully but not too slowly or the recording will start before you have finished reading.
9. Be sure to answer with the correct number of words. If the question asks for two or three words, don’t use four or five.
10. Write clearly. If the examiner cannot read your writing, then you will get no marks. If you think your writing is bad, use capital letters.
11. During the transferring time first make sure you have transferred all the questions you have answered legibly (easy to read) and in the correct space. Then go back, review and try to answer the ones you haven’t. Make an educated guess, as your aim should be to have an answer sheet with no blank spaces.