Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"
Jessica Beck
"Director of IELTS Training"

Are you preparing yourself to understand all of these different ways of pronouncing English?

IELTS is an acronym for the International English Language Testing System.

This means that the creators of the IELTS Listening exam do not just try and test your ability to understand one kind of British English, or Australian English, but also various accents from Canada, the United States and even New Zealand.

This fact is, understandably, daunting to many IELTS candidates! As a student of English, you are probably used to understanding North American English, or possible British English, but, being accustomed to just one way of speaking is not enough.

You need to practice understanding all of these accents.

But how?

Australian English Resources

For many students, the Australian accent is the most difficult to decipher.

That is because you just don’t hear it as much as North American or British accents.

So, practice listening to Australian accents!

British English Resources

You have definitely heard the British accent more than the Australian one, but it might still be difficult to comprehend at times.

It’s also worth remembering that there are many, many British accents. Some sound more Scottish, while others sound more “BBC”.

In this episode, we give you a few ideas for enjoying popular podcasts and TV shows that will prepare you for understanding British accents.

North American Resources

Of course, this accent is the easiest to understand for most students. You hear it in movies and on TV shows, and you sing along with it in popular songs.

So, here are a few extra tips for using entertaining resources to practice for your IELTS Listening exam.

  • Choose a TV series and get into it! The more you watch and learn about the story and the characters, the more you will understand.
  • Sometimes, you just need to practice understanding. So, the first time through an episode, it is OK to watch it with English subtitles.
  • The second time you watch the episode, watch it without subtitles. You’ll be amazed at how much more you understand!

Use Audioscripts

Did you know that in the back of your textbook, or in the online course you have chosen to prepare for IELTS, there are usually audioscripts, or tapescripts, which are word for word scripts of what is said on all four sections of the IELTS Listening exam?

Watch this video to learn how to use this extra tool to improve your understanding of different accents.


Know What to Expect on the IELTS Listening Exam

Most importantly, remember that you need to get balanced practice.

This means not only improving your overall comprehension, as using the resources above will do, but also knowing what exactly happens on the IELTS Listening exam.

You also, of course, need to learn the best strategies for tackling the IELTS Listening exam. For example, what should you do before you listen? While you listen? After you listen? Our course gives you clear, simple strategies, for every part of the exam.

As with any test, there are certain tricks that IELTS pulls every exam. Learn from a trusted IELTS professional so you don’t get tricked like all the other candidates in the room on test day.

So, use these resources, listen to my advice, and ace your IELTS Listening test!

What did you think of today’s article?

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