Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"

Do you know how to prepare yourself for these listening situations?

Today, I’m going to share 4 tips for activities to include in your study plan that will help you walk in on test day feeling calm and confident.


One of my biggest beliefs as an IELTS teacher is the value of working backwards.

In our course, The 3 Keys IELTS Success System, we engineered all of our strategies for the Speaking and Writing modules by first looking at the end goals: what the examiner wants to see/hear. Then, using these as our guide, we’ve built all of the skills and strategies around teaching you how to fulfill these expectations.

We can also use this idea of working backwards in our IELTS Listening practice. It not only lends a different perspective to our preparation, but it also builds our IELTS testing skills in very real ways.

In this YouTube video, I outline easy activities that you can do with audioscripts to increase your comprehension on test day.

In the case of two or more speakers, following the audioscripts while listening to the conversation will help you identify who is talking, and get comfortable with this skill.

This is the strategy behind using audioscripts in our IELTS preparation: you must practice understanding.


Probably the biggest hurdle for many IELTS candidates is not just telling people apart while listening, but merely getting through the various accents that are presented.

In a conversation between three people, for instance, they might all be from different countries. You may have to listen to a conversation between an Australian, a Brit, and an American. This is a whole extra layer of difficulty, in an already difficult exam.

Again, the answer is in your preparation. In our course, we provide a 30 day study plan and a 60 day study plan, with all the activities included to give you the practice needed to understand the wide variety of accents which IELTS uses.

In this blog entry, I outline all the resources you need to understand the various accents. Once you feel comfortable with them, they will actually help you to distinguish between multiple speakers.

Be Active

This is the most important thing to learn how to do on the IELTS Listening exam. The unsuccessful IELTS candidates are passive exam takers. They sort of sit back and wait for the answers to come to them. You cannot do this on exam day!

It’s all about learning the right strategies to tackle the exam. For example, you have to practice predicting the answers you will need and hear, in order to get your brain ready to recognize the answers when they do come.

Also, you must study with an IELTS professional who can teach you about the IELTS tricks and quirks that are on every IELTS Exam.

One classic IELTS trick to recognize, and you’ll see this if you are using the audioscripts in your preparation, is the negative statements. One speaker may give an answer, and then immediately follow it by saying something like, “Oh, no. That’s not right. It’s actually…”

When the conversation is tough to follow, you must have strong strategies to fall back on.


In this episode, we outline specific activities you can include in your study plan to help you understand 3 speakers.

Above all, the most important thing to remember is that you can do this. It’s all about how you prepare!

What did you think of today’s advice?

Leave us a message in the comment’s section below!



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