All You Need To Know About The IELTS Listening Test:

What Is IELTS?

The IELTS is designed to test your basic knowledge and application of the English Language. It will test your capability to speak, converse, address a foreign degree or work a foreign job in English.

IELTS has two versions that you can sit for-

Academic IELTS: which is for students going abroad for their higher studies, i.e- educational purposes.

General Training: taken by people looking to immigrate or work abroad.   

What is the IELTS Listening Test?

The IELTS Listening Test is a 30-minute test, with 40 questions, arranged according to the recordings and each carrying one mark. The test is divided into 4 sections, the difficulty levels of which increase with each consecutive section. The audio recordings are by native English speakers, two of which are conversations, and two are monologues.

Examinees will be given individual headphones and they can listen to each recording only once. As scary as it may seem, this is usually enough, for the recordings are neither fast paced and nor are they of a bad quality.

The challenge though, comes from the sections where the recordings will not directly phrase the answers. Instead, the recordings will use synonyms or descriptions or examples, and the examinee will have to determine the answers from that.

Do’s of Listening Test:

  • Practice as much as humanly possible from the available resources. This means listening to available recordings of past exams and also from any official websites.
  • Listen to international podcasts, TEDTalks, audiobooks as much as you can in the weeks leading up to your test, in order to familiarise yourself with the different kinds of native English accents.
  • Watch English movies and series, and listen to songs, but avoid subtitles and looking up the lyrics. Instead, concentrate on being able to understand what the actors/singers are saying.
  • Watch international news channels like BBC, CNN and Aljazeera in the days leading up to your test. This will not only aid you in your Listening test, but will also prove to be beneficial for both your Speaking and your Writing tests. 
  • Complete official practice tests under exam conditions, i.e.- with no external disturbance and keeping the time frame the same.

Don’ts of Listening Test: 

  • Losing your concentration mid-exam. While it might be difficult to keep steady concentration levels for 30 minutes straight, keep in mind that you will lose a lot of marks in trying to figure out where you lost track of the recordings and the answers. The Listening test gives examinees 10 minutes to transfer their answers on to their answer sheets, so just hold on to your minds for just a while!
  • Not paying attention to the instructions. Although this module can be as simple as listening to the recordings and jotting down the answers, failure to follow instructions WILL cost you marks. The instruction could tell you to write your answers in under or equal to two words, and you could write down four words because you missed out on instructions.
  • Avoid listening to mock recordings multiple times. Since you will be allowed to listen to the recordings just once in the exams, practice in similar ways, so that you are more familiarised with how things work in the actual examinations. Habituating yourself with multiple recounts of the recordings will only make things difficult later. 

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