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How to Improve Your IELTS Listening Score

If you are planning to take the IELTS test, you already know that the listening part of the test can be quite tricky. It challenges you to comprehend spoken English in various accents, situations, and pace.

However, it is possible to raise the listening score considerably if you know how to do it properly. Here, you will find useful strategies and methods to improve your IELTS listening effectively.

Understand the IELTS Listening Test Structure

To proceed with the preparation tips, knowing the layout of the IELTS listening test is crucial. The test encompasses forty questions divided into four sections . These sections are designed in such a manner that the level of difficulty rises as you go through it.

  • Section 1: A conversation between two people set in an everyday social context.

  • Section 2: A monologue set in an everyday social context, such as a speech about local facilities.

  • Section 3: A conversation among up to four people set in an educational or training context.

  • Section 4: A monologue on an academic subject, such as a university lecture.

The whole listening test takes approximately 30 minutes, and you are allowed ten more minutes to transfer your answers to the answer sheet.

Tips to Improve Your IELTS Listening Score

1. Practice Regularly

The best way to enhance your listening skills is through practice. Engage with English audio materials daily. This could be done through listening to podcasts, radio shows, audiobooks or watching English TV shows and movies. The more exposure one gets to different accents and speaking speeds, the better one is likely to comprehend what is being said.

2. Use IELTS Practice Tests

One should attempt as many practice tests as possible to succeed in IELTS. This will assist you in a way that will enable you to be conversant with the format of the test and the kind of questions you will be expected to answer. Practice tests also allow you to see your weaknesses so that you can work on them to improve your chances of getting a higher band score. 

3. Improve Your Vocabulary

Knowledge of a wide range of vocabulary is essential in the IELTS Exam. It is recommended that you learn new words daily and try to comprehend the usage of these words in various situations. A rich vocabulary enables you to recognize synonyms in the audio which helps you to understand the context of the speech/ conversation and figure out the correct answer. Enhancing your vocabulary will  not only help in the listening part of the IELTS test but will also be beneficial for your reading, writing, and speaking module.

4. Focus on Keywords

During the test, try to pay attention to the keywords in the audio. Keywords are the words that contain the main message of a given statement or sentence. They can still assist you in grasping the context even when you do not catch other words. When listening to English audio, try to focus on identifying keywords.

5. Develop Note-Taking Skills

It is always good to take notes when one is listening. Come up with a way of writing that will enable you to write quickly while ensuring you write down relevant information. This should be done frequently to prepare for taking notes during the test.


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