Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"

The IELTS Listening Exam has 4 sections, with 40 questions for you to answer. The answers are always in order.

These are examples of exam characteristics you need to be aware of in order to get the highest scores.

You should also know what to expect, such as how many speakers there will be and what kinds of topics they’ll talk about.

Additionally, of course, knowing the test also involves learning and practicing listening strategies.

Today, you’ll learn 2 tips that add to your IELTS knowledge and prevent you from losing it on test day!



Not Understanding Multiple Speakers

Recently, we’ve received a lot of messages from IELTS candidates noting that Listening Section 3 is the most difficult for them.

This is because the topic under discussion is more difficult than the first two sections, and, moreover, there are at least 2 people talking. Both of these things lead many students to losing track and missing the answers.


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So, to prevent this happening to you on test day, you must improve your understanding and ability to track multiple speakers.

  • First, find a sitcom in English.
  • Watch for 10 minutes, so you learn what the different characters sound like.
  • Then, close your eyes and just listen to the show for 10 more minutes. Focus on matching the voices you hear with the image of the characters in your mind.
  • You can also go online and get the scripts for the episode, and read along while you watch. Scripts are easy to find on Google!

Only Looking at the Questions

Many students make the mistake of staring at the question, waiting for the answer to come, and then going to the next question.

However, if they miss one answer, they may lose track altogether.

Thus, you must learn to track all the information as you listen.

In note completion for instance, there are a lot of words around the questions themselves. Don’t ignore that other information.

As you listen, track all the words as you hear them, so you focus more intently and you are ready for each answer as it comes. Follow along actively with your pencil or finger.

What do you think of today’s advice?

Share your thoughts and questions with us in the comments section below!

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