Master effective IELTS Listening tips to achieve a high band score. Pay attention to every single detail. By following these suggestions, you can improve your IELTS score and achieve your dreams of studying or settling abroad.

1. It's a one-time thing

Never forget that the recording will be played only once in the exam. You have the luxury of listening to the recording more than once during preparation, but not in the actual exam. Practice enough to develop your vocabulary skills so that you can answer in a single go. Take advantage of online IELTS listening practice tests.

2. Be a multi-tasker

The IELTS Listening format is a bit complex for some people; you have to listen, read and write down the answers at the same pace. This is a multitasking test where you have to showcase your presence of mind. You can sharpen your skills with lots of practice.

3. Use A Pencil

Practice transferring your answers to the answer sheet using a pencil and not a pen. This is because then you will be able to erase your answers when they are wrong.

4. Use Capital Letters

You can write your answers in lower or capital case letters. But, it is highly recommended to use capital letters. Capital letters are clearly visible to the eyes and help to avoid mistakes.

5. Don’t leave questions unattempted

There is no negative marking for the wrong answer. This means you will not lose your marks if the answer is wrong. If you don’t know the answer, you can take a guess but don’t leave the answer sheet blank.

6. Read the instructions for word limits

It is important to read the instructions to see the word limits before attempting the test. Every question may not have the same word limit. Take some time to read the instructions carefully. For example: Write no more than one word and/or a number for each answer.

7. Be careful about making spelling mistakes

Avoid spelling mistakes; even if one character/letter is misplaced in the word, you will lose marks for the particular question.

8. Focus on the type of questions in MCQs

Focus on the type of questions. If it is a multiple-choice question and asking you to write a letter as your answer, then write a letter, not a word.

For example:
a) Cat
b) Dog
c) Sheep
d) Fish
Suppose the answer is b) Dog, then you must write ‘b’ as your answer. The word ‘Dog’ would be marked wrong.

9. Go with the flow

You may find answers very quickly while listening to the recording. But at the same time, there may be a gap between answers, and this is common in section 4. Don’t panic and avoid overthinking.

10. There will be misses. Just don’t lose focus.

Don’t lose focus even if you have missed listening to the answer. Move on to the next question; don’t waste more time in thinking over what is gone.

11. Improve your concentration to enhance listening

Concentration is imperative while listening to the recording for a long time of 30 minutes. Never lose your focus; you will probably miss your answers. Practice before the IELTS Listening test at your home to build up your ability to concentrate.

12. Listen to the complete sentence

Never assume the answer without listening to the complete sentence. It may be possible that the speaker can change the answer at the last moment when the sentence is about to finish. Be prepared for such situations.

13. Filter your answer & save time

Don’t try to understand everything from the recording. IELTS will add much information but try to filter your answers to save time.

14. Don’t get confused between singular and plural words

IELTS may try to confuse you with singular and plural words. Especially focus on the plural words with 's’ because it will surely test your listening ability.

15. Learn to calculate word and number counts

• A date ‘1993’, is considered one number
• A large digit number ‘152,345’, is considered one word
• A hyphenated word ‘runner-up’, is considered one word
• A compound noun ‘lunch box’, is considered two words

For more detailed preparation for IELTS Listening, you can also download the IELTS Tutorials Mobile App (which is available on both Android and iOS). Get free practice resources, tips and tricks, and expert advice.

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