Monday, 8 April 2019

The IELTS Listening Test

The listening test is the part that tests your listening ability as well your ability to briefly represent what you hear in writing. It is divided into four sections and you are to answer 40 questions altogether. You will listen to an audio which will play for 30 minutes. You must bear in mind that the audio plays only once. You do not pause, forward or rewind. So you must pay rapt attention when it is playing.

You will be given two answer sheets. One will serve as what I call it the rough sheet, where you will write the answers as the audio is playing. The other sheet is the official booklet where you MUST transfer all your answers to at the end of the 30 minutes audio. In fact, after the first 30 minutes, you will be given 10 more minutes to transfer your answer to the official booklet. If you do not transfer, you will not receive any listening score.

Helpful Tips For The Listening Test
Tip 1: You must be absolutely attentive. Your mind must be 100% there.

Tip 2: Start answering the questions immediately. Don't wait till the end of the audio before answering.

Tip 3: Use your time wisely. Before the audio starts playing, you will be given about 30 seconds to go through a particular set of questions, which you will hear the speaker mention. So use this time to go through those questions only. At the end of a set of questions, you will also be given some time to cross check your answers. You can use this time to either cross check the set of questions you just concluded or use it to study the next set of questions before hand.

Tip 4: Since the audio plays in the order in which the questions are arranged (i.e you will hear the answer to question 1 before that of question 2 and so on), your attention should be on number 1 first. As soon as you are done answering question 1, quickly move your attention to number 2. As soon as you are done with number 2, immediately move your attention to number 3 and so on.

Tip 5: The speakers may be telling lots of stories. Do not get carried away by too much stories. Listen attentively for the answers.

Tip 6: If you miss an answer to a question, please don't get stuck. Move on. If you get stuck to a question, the audio keeps playing and you will miss the answers to the other questions.

Tip 7: Don't bother about the accuracy of your spellings when writing into the rough sheet. Bother about that only when you want to transfer into the official booklet. Let me drive home the point by means of this experience. During a listening practice session with a candidate I was tutoring, she heard the word encyclopaedia. So she started battling with the right spelling while the audio kept playing. At the end of the day, she lost out on the answers to many questions that follow. I am sure you got the point. While your spellings in the official booklet must be correct, do not bother much about the accuracy when you are writing into the rough sheet. Just capture the information as fast as you can, even shortening it. But the most important thing is that you know what you have written so that you can easily write the correct answers in the official booklet.

Tip 8: Pay attention to speakers who correct themselves. For example, two speakers may be talking about the date of an event. The first one says 1950 and later the second corrects him by saying that the date is 1960. You know, in the heat of trying to capture what you hear in writing, you may be tempted to write what you hear first (i.e 1950). But paying close attention would enable you to realize that it's 1960 and not 1950.

Tip 9: You may hear a variety of accents, British, American or Australian. Practice listening to different accents.    

Tip 10: Pay attention to word limits. Like we saw in the reading test, you may be given an instruction to write no more than two or three words. Pay attention to this instruction only when you are transferring to the official booklet. Don't bother about word limit when you are writing into the first answer sheet. Try as much as you can to capture the information.

Please refer to the reading section to learn how to answer questions involving word limits. Answers that exceed a particular word limit are marked as incorrect.

Tip 11: Always read instructions. If the instruction involves word limit, stick to it. If it says you should write letters, please write letters.

Tip 12: Incomplete or shortened answers are marked as incorrect. For example, do not write Dec. for December or Mon. for Monday. Endeavor to spell correctly and fully.

   A1 GRADE 




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