Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"

Today you’ll learn possible reasons for why listening scores may go down, and how to make sure this doesn’t happen to you!

You think you will get good scores in a specific section because you’ve done so previously. You’re probably only taking the test again to increase your score in another section.

Then, your scores come in, and they’ve actually decreased from your previous ones!

Why might this happen? How can you make sure this does not happen to you?


1. The test was harder

Although IELTS does an excellent job of consistency, some Listening and Reading Exams may be more difficult than others.

That’s why having solid strategies and broad preparation is vital. You need to be ready for anything.

2. Unfamiliar topics

Perhaps the first time you took the test, you lucked out and were familiar with the topics and vocabulary.


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Then, in the second exam, you were faced with discussions and talks about ideas you’ve never thought about.

To make sure this doesn’t happen to you, you must listen widely, to a variety of media, topics and accents.

Listen and watch things made for native speakers.

Try the podcast Fresh Air on NPR. Tons of variety, and it has transcripts!

Get into a BBC series so you become comfortable with the British accent. I recommend a detective/crime series called Luther.

3. Never had solid strategies

Again, maybe the first time you got lucky because it was easy to understand, but then, the second time around, it was tough and you didn’t have supportive strategies to fall back on.

As with the Reading Exam, you need solid listening strategies.

For instance, you need to underline key words, then practice tracking them. They all come in order. This way, if you miss something, you won’t panic. Simply go back to tracking the key words, and maintain your focus.

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