Boon or bane – this is how the first written test of IELTS is seen.
The International English Language Test System’s Listening subtest is said to be the easiest part of the examination. After all, all of the answers are in the recording. Others, however, are having problems with this part. If you have got this part under control, great for you, but if you still need some more help, here are some tips and tricks that may help boost your Listening band score.
- Learn the format and use it to your advantage.
The IELTS Listening Subtest is made up of 4 sections of increasing difficulty. Each section has 10 questions, totaling to 40 points. Think about this: if section 1 is the easiest and section 4 is the most difficult, then most probably you will get most of your mistakes in the last 2 sections. This means that part of your strategy should include perfecting the first two parts to build a base of 20 points. Use the last 2 sections to fill in the number of correct answers you need.
2. Learn to track the recording using your questionnaire.
The exam is chronologically arranged, meaning that the answer to question number 7 will be given before the answer to question number 8. This arrangement is what makes it possible for test-takers to track the recording. Using key words that you can choose from the test questionnaire, the IELTS taker can watch out for these words and determine whether an answer is about to be given. Choose specific words (names, numbers, places, and the like) as key words, as they are rarely repeated.
3. Learn to understand other English accents.
Filipinos generally have no problem understanding American English, but we must remember that the IELTS is an international exam of proficiency. It is then expected that test-takers would be exposed accents from different English-speaking countries such as the United Kingdom and Australia.
4. Learn the best approach from those who have taken the exam before.
It does not hurt to ask a friend regarding techniques, or to look for tips online. If you really have a lot of problems regarding the Listening test, remember that investing in a tutor or a review program that you can attend is much better than repeating the IELTS again and again. Teachers and review centers can help you with known techniques for success, or even craft new techniques for you.
5. Learn to follow the rules of time.
The IELTS Listening test goes on for roughly 30 minutes. Within this time, the test-taker should focus on getting the answer from the recording and writing these answers down on the test booklet. After the 4th section, the test-taker will be given time – 10 minutes to be exact – to transfer his or her answer to the Listening answer sheet. Do it this way so that you do not stress yourself out with dealing with questions and transferring answers at the same time.
Once you get the hang of it, the Listening Exam is easy. Don’t give up, work hard and work smart, and do not hesitate to look for help in the right places.
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