Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"

Do you want to know how to be confident on the IELTS Listening Test?

Here is the answer: Prepare!

If you ask anyone who gets that magic score of a 7 or higher on the listening test, they will tell you that they practiced listening.

They didn’t just practice the listening exam, however.

Students who understand what they hear on the exam worked hard to strengthen their overall listening ability as well, outside of textbooks and test practice.

With that in mind, here are five activities to give you confidence on the listening exam.

All they require are a computer or smartphone, paper and something to write with.

Ready to get started?

Check out these resources below!

#1) Listen to a podcast, an IELTS listening practice test, or any recording of spoken English with an audio script.

Try to write out what you hear- word for word.

You can pause it anytime to write.

Compare your notes with the audio script.

Notice any words that you didn’t understand, and listen to that part again.

#2) Close your eyes and listen to a podcast, an IELTS Listening practice test, or any recording of spoken English with an audio script.

Listen again and follow along in the audio script.

#3) Choose a video that has subtitles or closed captioning (look for a button or icon with CC on it to turn on the closed captioning subtitles). Watch it with the subtitles so you can read and listen at the same time.

Watch the same video again with NO subtitles/closed captioning.

#4) Choose a song you like. Read the lyrics online, and sing along.

Try these websites for some great ideas to get started.

#5) Choose a song you like. Try and listen and write the lyrics as you hear them. You can pause the song at anytime to write.

Compare your notes with the lyrics.

Listen to the song again and sing along.

What else should you do?

Besides these activities, you should still watch movies and TV shows whenever you like, without turning it into a listening practice activity.

Just choose something you are interested in, watch, and enjoy!

Also, when you are doing IELTS test practice, do the listening practice test a couple of times.

After you do the test the first time, circle the answer you got incorrect.

Then, check the audio script, or tape script, and find the answer that you missed.

Next, you can listen to the whole thing one more time and follow along with the answers, listening for the correct ones.

Finally, you can listen for the last time, and follow along with the audio script.

This will help you get used to the speed at which they speak and the different accents that are used on the IELTS exam.

Most practice exams come with an audio script, so use it!

On test day, just remember to follow the directions.

The IELTS exam is very well designed, so just listen to what the person on the CD tells you to do, and do it.

For example, when she/he tells you to look at the questions 1 to 5, only look at those questions.

When the person tells you to check your answers for a section, check those answers.

Do not go ahead to the next section.

Try to work in as many of these activities as you can every day, working on improving your overall listening ability for 10 to 20 minutes a day.

That’s not too much time- and the investment will pay off on test day!

Good luck and let us know in the comments if you have any questions!

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