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IELTS Listening Course

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Lesson 2 of 9
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Introduction to the listening test

In this lesson, we look at what you need to know about the listening test.

Video: Introduction to the Listening Test

5 pro tips for the listening test

Students with a high level of vocabulary do much better in the IELTS listening test. Here are some ways to increase your vocabulary. 

  1. Keep a vocabulary book of new words. 
  2. Watch lots of English speaking television and youtube videos with subtitles

More ways to increase your vocabulary are outlined in our vocabulary course. 

The listening test will have recordings of a range of different accents- usually British, American, or Australian. One of the best ways to this is to watch lots of different youtube videos. Pay attention to accents that you find difficult to understand and spend more time getting accustomed to those accents. 

Before your test, you should be familiar with the different listening question types. This will mean that you don’t have to work out your strategy for each group of questions- you will already have a clear understanding of what to do. This course will enable you to practice all of the different speaking parts. 

We recommend doing all of the practice activities in exam conditions. This means listening to all of the audio sections just once. After that, have a look at the solutions and tips for each practice activity. Then do the activity again to practice your listening skills. Some students even like to keep a record of the vocabulary that they learn from the recording.

Many candidates struggle with having to concentrate for the full listening test. Doing full practice tests will help you to develop your concentration skills. There is a link to full practice tests that you can do at the end of this course. 

Frequently asked questions about the listening test

Yes, in the answers come in order.

Yes. You will have a short amount of time (usually 30 seconds) to read the questions. The instructions will tell you how many questions to read. Use this time to underline keywords. 

Yes, it is very useful to make notes on the question paper. Remember, these will not be seen by the examiner so make sure you write all your answers in the answer sheet before the end of the test. 

No, you should write all your notes on the question paper. 

Yes. We recommend that you do this. It is clear for the examiner to read and you don’t have to decide if the answer should start with a capital letter.

For the listening and reading test you have to write with a pencil. You should bring an eraser with you. 

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