Register for IELTS

Tips to boost your IELTS Listening band score

by IDP IELTS India 10 Jan, 2021

IELTS is recognised as the most popular English proficiency test for anyone who wishes to study, work or live in an English-speaking country. If you wish to score a high band, you will have to put in the time and effort to improve all your language skills.

The Listening section of IELTS can be a bit tricky given most candidates are not used to it. But don’t worry, we have some really easy tips that you can use and get a higher band in your IELTS Listening test. Let’s understand the structure of the Listening Test first.

The section consists of 40 questions, split into 4 different parts. Each section has a separate recording.

  • In the first part, you will listen to a telephonic conversation between two people. When the audio plays, pay close attention to the anchor words i.e., details and information which are usually nouns like names, dates, telephone numbers, places and so on.
  • The second part comprises of a monologue in which one person describes an everyday scenario.
  • The third part has more than one speaker engaged in an academic discussion such as two students conversing with their professor.
  • The fourth and the last part is most crucial as there is another monologue (only one speaker talking) on a topic, generally an academic lecture.

Tips to score high in your Listening test

Now that you are aware of the structure of your Listening section, here are some tips to get a higher band

  • Before the recording starts, read the questions carefully. This will help you follow the recording and identify the answers with much ease
  • After completing one section, go through the questions for the next section in advance as well
  • In some cases, you may have a list of options to choose from. These possible answers may be listed in an alphabetical order rather than the order in which you hear them. Keep a note of that
  • It’s good to keep a count of your word limit. For example, if there is an instruction that mentions write no more than two words, then writing more than two words will mean you will receive no marks at all for your answer, even if your answer is correct
  • Try to grasp the keywords or synonyms (i.e., words with similar meaning as another word) from the question to identify the answer. For instance, in the recording, you might hear, “She likes going to the gym and playing tennis”. While on your answer sheet, this could appear as “She is an active person
  • Listen to the words which indicate the stage of the recording you are listening to - like ‘firstly’, ‘my next point’, ‘to sum up’. All these words can help you identify which question you have reached
  • While you listen to the recording, eliminate the options that don’t fit. This will help you reach the right answer sooner
  • In case of writing dates as an answer to any question, remember that there are several correct ways to write them like 24th April, April 24 and 24 April
  • If there are questions which you are unable to answer, leave them and move to the next one. This will help you to stay calm and positive. You can always go back to those questions if you have some time left

Top 5 tips to improve your IELTS Listening score

Top 5 tips to improve your IELTS Listening score

You must understand that English is a language, and it takes time to ace it. Instead of redoing the same practice tests, listen to a diverse collection of accents, styles, and topics to work on your weak spots. Try listening to podcasts, audiobooks or even TED talks. The best part about audio practice is that you can do it anytime, even when you are cooking, roaming around in the house or just resting on a couch. If you need more practice, IDP offers a range of free preparation material that is available on our website. So, gear up and start practicing.