Listening Hints & Tips

  1. Listen only once: You only hear the audio once. It is not repeated a second time.
  2. Active reading: You will be able to read the questions before you listed to the audio. Read everything carefully and underline key words.
  3. Guess: Even if you miss an answer, write something down. Guessing is better than leaving a question blank.
  4. Jump ahead: Before the test starts, there is an introduction that lasts approximately two minutes and 30 seconds. Read the upcoming questions and acquaint yourself with the questions types.
  5. Don’t dwell on missed questions: If you don’t catch the answer to a question, make a note if you have a guess, but otherwise don’t worry about it. Dwelling on the missed question could result in your missing other questions.
  6. Lost?: If you get lost and can’t find which question is next in line, this probably means you didn’t look carefully enough at the key words. Before listening, look for signpost words (key words) in the questions. Don’t expect the words to be the same; you may be listening for synonyms. If all else fails, turn the page when everyone else does.
  7. Numbers: Some numbers are easy to confuse: 13, 30; 15, 50; 16, 60. Be sure that you know how these numbers are pronounced.
  8. Practice, practice, practice: Do lots of listening to prepare for the test. Watching movies and tv shows without subtitles is a good method to use. You can also purchase tried and tested IELTS training materials from Cambridge.

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