« IELTS Reading: keywords from blog exercises | Main | IELTS Writing Task 2: 'high salaries' essay »

October 11, 2016


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Tips :
1. Use the breaks to read ahead
2.underline the keywords
3. Listen for keyword or synonyms
4.Be careful with spelling
5.Dont get stuck on a difficult questions - move forward

Thx u Simon . I love your PowerPoint - clear and simple .
Have a nice day .

Do you have listening part in your video course?

Hi Binh,

Simon has just posted the 1st listening session on video course.

Hi Simon,

Thanks so much for your listening course. I'm waiting for the next listening sessions.

Do you plan to make writing task 1 for general training test?

IELTS Listening lesson 1
In this lesson we’ll just quickly cover some basic information and some general tips about the Listening test.
So starting with the basic information is very important that you know what to expect in the test. So you must really know the test. Let’s look at the general information about the test then. Well,
- It’s about 30 minutes long.
- Extra 10 minutes at the end. And at the end of the test you then have 10 minutes to transfer your answers to a single answer sheet – one piece of paper where you put all of the answers. (There you got 10 minutes to the end to do that.) And that’s also (a) good time to check your answers and check your spelling especially.
- There are 40 questions in total. So 40 points. By the way, band 7 is about 30 out of 40 so you can make 10 mistakes and still get band 7. That gives you an idea of how many points you need. Each question is worth one mark. 40 marks all together.
- There are 4 sections of 10 questions. They start off easier and get more difficult.
- The answers are always in order. Of course, if you (are) listening and the answer was 5 minutes ago (it) would be very difficult. So the answers have to go in order as the recording (place).
- There are only 3 main types of question in the listening test.
• You’ve got mostly gap-fill questions. There will be lots of those. Just (fill in) words in the gaps.
• There will be some multiple choice questions. They are quite common as well.
• And you might have a simple matching question.

- Various English accents. Finally, you need to be ready for variety of English accents you’ll hear. British English, Australian, New Zealand, and American, Canadian English. The main English accents are usually present in the test. So it’s a good idea to do some practice and get used to listening to those different accents. But don’t worry too much about the different accents. Whatever accent you hear the speakers in the Listening test will speak very clearly. And they won’t speak too quickly () so you should be able to understand everyone of the speakers with just a little bit of practice of getting used to the different accents before you going for your test. Don’t worry about it too much.
- One final thing that we do need to worry about, about the test, is that you only hear the recordings once! This is the most difficult aspect of IELTS Listening. If you (had) a chance to hear the recordings again, (a) second time, you could get any answers that you missed the first time. But you don’t have that chance in the Listening test. Once you’ve heard it and it’s finished. If you () missed the answer, you’ve missed it. You don’t have another opportunity.
Now let’s move on to looking at the 4 sections of IELTS Listening in some more detail.
Starting with Section 1.
- You will always hear two speakers in Section 1.
- And they will be having an ‘everyday’ conversation. Nothing academic. It is always an everyday conversation like/e.g. making a booking in a hotel or for travel or maybe joining a library. Something simple, like that.
- One speaker gives basic information. And one of the speakers will give basic information to the other one. So you might hear, for example, a receptionist in a hotel asking a hotel guest for their basic details.
- And you’ll have to do a simple gap-fill: filling in some missing details where there are gaps.

- And those details might be very easy things like names, addresses, dates, times and numbers, easy information that (is missing). You listen to the recording, you fill in that information. Be very careful with your spelling.
- Section 1 is easy, but you need a high score (9 or 10 correct). So Section 1 is quite easy. But I recommend that you need to try to get a high score, very high score in this section: 9 or 10 out of 10 correct. That means that you can make mistakes later in the more difficult sections. So practice Section 1 a lot, until you become very good at it.
Before I tell you about Section 2, let’s quickly look at the key technique for IELTS Listening. And that is using the breaks to read ahead. Use the breaks to read ahead. There will be breaks in the recording where you’ve got time to read and those breaks will be:
• before each section starts
• in the middle of each section (except in Section 4 - there is no break in the middle of that one)
• and at the end of each section.
When you get those breaks, that’s your reading time to prepare the questions that are coming next. Don’t look back, don’t check what you’ve just done – that’s a waste of time – always read ahead. Don’t check back, read ahead.
Ok, let’s go on to Section 2 now.
- In Section 2 use all of the break time at the end of Section 1, of course, to prepare for this.
- You’re going to hear one speaker only in Section 2.
- And the speaker will give a short speech about a non-academic topic like/e.g. tourism, a park, some local facilities.
- You’ll hear the speaker speaking and you’ll have to do a gap-fill or maybe some multiple choice questions or maybe some matching about what the speaker says.
- There’s a break in the middle of Section 2, so you’ll only have to prepare maybe 5 questions at a time.
- And Section 2 is still quite easy. So I recommend that you aim for a high score. Practice Section 2 a lot, until you become good at it, before you worry too much about Sections 3 and 4.

Let’s move on to Section 3 now.
- Use breaks to read and underline. In this section use the breaks. Use the break at the end of Section 2, of course, and the break in the middle to read ahead and underline keywords that you might think you should listen for.
- You’ll here two or three speakers. Probably two main speakers and maybe even (a) third could be, for example, a teacher with two students. So this is a little bit more academic.
- They are supposed to be talking about academic topics here. A conversation related to education or training, for example/e.g., a tutor with a student.
- There will be gap-fill or multiple choice. And the multiple choice questions in this section can become quite difficult.
- If you get a multiple choice question this is where you really need to use the breaks to read ahead and underline keywords in the questions and in the choices that you () given.
- But remember when you’re listening later in the recording you’re going to listen for keywords or synonyms. That means you might not hear the exact words that are given in the question, you might hear a similar word. So, for example, if the question contains the word ‘lesson’, don’t be surprised if you don’t hear the word ‘lesson’ in the recording, you might hear the word ‘tutorial’ or ‘seminar’ instead of the word ‘lesson’. So be aware that you’re underlining keywords in the questions and choices but you might not hear those exact words, you might hear synonyms. That’s important, especially in Sections 3 and 4.
- So this is a difficult section. So you might only aim for 6 or 7 correct answers in this part. If you’ve done very well in Sections 1 or 2 (one answer) you can make mistakes here. And it’s the same in Section 4.

Let’s look at Section 4 now.
- Use the break at the end of Section 3 to read ahead. You’ve got no break in the middle of Section 4, so you need to read and underline as much as you can in the break at the end of Section 3.
- Underline keywords, remember.
- There is no break in the middle, as I’ve said.
- One speaker only. You’ll only hear one speaker this time.
- And this speaker will give a speech about an academic topic.
- You’ll get gap-fill, maybe multiple choice questions.
- And you need to listen for the keywords or synonyms, as I’ve said in the previous section.
- This is difficult. Section 4 is supposed to be the most difficult section. And the reasons are that you’ll hear faster speech, there will be more content, so there will be extra information which doesn’t necessarily contain any of the answers. You might here, for example, a whole 30 seconds or even longer of speech without any answers being given by the speaker. So be ready for that.
Those are the four sections then. And we’ve talked about knowing the test really well. But the best way, of course, to know the test inside out. Perfectly is to do some real practice tests. This will give you the best idea of what the test is really like and what you need to do to improve.
Before we(’ll) come to the end of this lesson I’ll just repeat some of the key tips that I(’ve) given:
1. The first main tip was to read ahead during the breaks, only check back at the end.
2. () Second key tip to remember: underline keywords when you’ve got the break time. You (read in) the questions, underline keywords.

Thanks Dina!

3. And listen for the keywords or synonyms that might not be the exact words that you see in the question, that you hear in the recording.
4. Tip 4: be careful with spelling. If you make a spelling mistake the answer will be marked wrong. So if you have a problem with spelling, you really need to work on it and practice it for this test.
5. Tip 5: Don’t get stuck on a difficult question – move forward. If you find one question difficult, don’t start worrying about it, miss it and go on to the next one.
6. And finally, number 6: concentrate. Again if you lose concentration, you’re going to miss some of the answers, and once you miss one or two, you’ll find yourself lost and you could miss a lot more of the answers. So you must get used to concentrating for the full 40 minutes and listening very carefully to everything.
That’s the end of this lesson () tips.
In the next lesson
- we’ll look at some example questions for 4 sections
- and will look at some good sources of further listening practice.

Listening Tips :
1. Use the breaks to read ahead
2. Underline the keywords
3. Listen for keyword or synonyms
4. Be careful with spelling
5. Dont get stuck on a difficult questions - move

The comments to this entry are closed.