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How to Improve Listening Skills in IELTS?

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IELTS (International English Language Testing System) is conducted by Cambridge Assessment English, the British Council, and IDP Education. This test checks the English language proficiency of those candidates who want to go abroad for further education and work purposes. 

IELTS has four modules that are Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking. To score overall good bands in IELTS a student should focus on each module separately. But in this blog, we will discuss how to improve listening skills in IELTS.

Do you ever come across these questions like Oh no, I missed what the speaker said, while you are practicing IELTS Listening. If your answer is yes then continue reading this blog. Because this blog covers various effective strategies to improve your listening skills.

Description of IELTS Listening Module:

Before moving further, let’s discuss some important instructions related to the IELTS Listening module. 

Number of Listening Section4
Questions in each section10
Given time30 minutes approximately
Time allotted to transfer the answers on the sheet10 minutes
MarkingEach question is of 1 mark
Material ProvidedPencil, Eraser, Answer sheet, and Headphones

In addition to this, You will also hear some important instructions in the beginning of audio like you will hear the recording once. And in the end, the examiner will allow you 10 minutes to transfer your answers on the answer sheets.

Keep in mind that while transferring your answers on the answer sheet, try to write in clear handwriting with correct grammar usage. Because poor writing and grammar are penalized in the IELTS test exam.

NOTE: Both the IELTS Academic and General Training have the same Listening Test Format. 

Listening Test Format:

The test-taker listens to the audio in the accent of native English speakers. That includes various accents of Canadian, American, Australian, British, and New Zealand speakers.

So, to know how to improve listening skills in IELTS it is essential to understand the recording types of the speaker.

A candidate listens to the four recordings of native English Speakers and then writes the answers to each question. The type of recordings are:-

  1. Includes a conversation between the two people
  1. Speaker talking about a particular topic
  1. Conversation between two speakers on academics

For Example Admission opening and closing dates and related context

  1. Native speaker conversation with the student on subject topics

For Example, a Lecturer’s speech on a topic

Effective Strategies on How to Improve Listening Skills in IELTS

As of now, we get familiar with the description and Test format of the Listening modules. Now Let’s move further on the main topic and discuss the various effective strategies for improving Listening skills.

  1. Practice Listening Daily with different accents

Once the candidate knows about the description of the listening module, the next step is to improve the listening skills. If a student has good listening skills then they should focus on the right answering skills. Because the main part is that your answers should be transferred correctly on the answer sheet.

The first question that comes to the mind of test takers is How to Improve Listening Skills in IELTS? And How to practice daily?

Well, the answer to this question is: Listen to the different audio materials and practice daily. There are various online resources that help the student in doing the practice such as:-

  • Websites- HighLevelListening.com, Learningenglish.voanews.com
  • News Channels- Newsinlevels.com
  • Podcasts- Luke’s English Podcast, Aussie English, All Ears, and so on.
  • Ted talks
  • Music
  • Apps- Youglish.com
  • Movie Conversation between role players

So, all these online ways help students in improving their listening skills and help in gaining good band scores.

  1. Focus on your weaknesses

It is very essential to know your weaknesses because only by overcoming them, candidates score good marks. Spending too much time on listening to English Contents, and practicing mock tests daily will not improve your listening skills. Until candidates don’t work on their mistakes and improve their weaknesses.

For Example, In the question sheet, it is mentioned that “answer in only one word” but you are less attentive and answer in more than one word. So in this case, concentration might be your weakness.

To access and improve your mistakes practice with Cambridge English books. As it provides the transcripts to students that will help them to know why their answer is wrong. 

  1. Improve Concentration

Concentration is the key to scoring 8+ Bands because the main thing is “You Only Listen to the recording Once” which means the audio will play only once and the candidate doesn’t get the chance to listen to it again. Remember this always, distraction leads you away from gaining 8+ Bands.

For Example, A student is saying in the conversation that the last date for submitting the assignment was 15th May but later the teacher changed it to 25th May.

So if the student is listening with full focus only then they can answer the question correctly. To improve listening skills, start meditating and develop the habit of Listening to English Calmly. Because this is an effective strategy for answering your question of How to Improve Listening Skills in IELTS. 

  1. Keep Instruction in Mind

The biggest weakness of a student is that they don’t listen to the instructions. If they listen attentively, it happens that they forget it later. Following the instructions is significant as it helps in scoring good band scores.

For Example, “Write in three words only”, “answer in numbers only” and “Write in only words”.

So all these are some examples of instructions that should be kept in mind by the test taker. As it is an effective strategy in answering your question “How to Improve Listening Skills in IELTS?” 

  1. Check the transferred answers twice

In IELTS Listening the examiner gives you 10 minutes to transfer your answers on the answer sheet. The right strategy for gaining an 8+ Band score is to check your transferred answers on the answer sheet twice. 

In the end, even make the habit of matching the instructions also. If in the question it is mentioned that the answer is not more than three words then do keep it in mind while transferring your answers.

Also, remember that your answers should be in capital letters as it matters. Last but not least, do check spelling and grammatical mistakes before submitting the answer sheet to the examiner.

  1. Avoid Getting stuck on missing Question

If you don’t follow this strategy to avoid the situation. There is a possibility of a worst-case scenario that you will not be able to answer the upcoming questions because you lose your focus on the previous question.

But you can save yourself from that worst scenario by focusing on the remaining part and losing just one question. Even this strategy will help in attaining a good band score.

  1. Try to answer every question

In addition to the point that we just discussed, avoid getting stuck on the missing question and try to do the guesswork. As it might happen that just because of your guesswork you get marks.

Do remember this strategy and don’t leave any question blank because there is no negative marking in the IELTS exam. This is an effective strategy of How to Improve Listening Skills in IELTS.  

  1. Read the questions in the Given Time

Read the instructions carefully because the speaker will give you some time before the audio starts. Focus on reading questions except for getting distracted. Because at that time you get familiar with the question and you will know how you have to answer the question.

For example, In the Given Time focus on reading the question instructions such as “ answer in digits only”. 

Final Words

Remember before appearing in the IELTS exam, work on your concentration level, make yourself familiar with the test format, practice listening and understanding different accents, and so on. All these strategies will help in answering your question on how to improve listening skills in IELTS. 

The mentioned strategies are expert-proven strategies that will boost your score in the Listening module. But remember always that you have to focus on the other modules also to get an overall good band score.

Only having expertise in the listening module will not help you in attaining your goal of 8+ bands. So to prepare for other modules, also keep visiting our website. Stay connected for more interesting content. Thank you for visiting.

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