The IELTS Listening test is divided into four parts. The candidate is required to listen to different audio and answer questions based on it accordingly. These include blanks, one word, and matching item based questions. The IELTS listening band score can be improved to a great extent based on regular listening practice and by performing sample exercises based on it. This blog will target how to improve listening skills for IELTS.
The key to improve IELTS listening score is to find listening practice tests on different websites and repeatedly attempt them. There are several websites that provide practice tests for improving the IELTS listening score. Also, it is important to take along grammar and vocabulary with practice, so that no stone is left unturned in the preparation process.
IELTS Listening Exam Pattern
Aspirants listen to four recordings of aboriginal English speakers and then answer back to a series of questions in writing.
Recording 1 is a conversation between two people that takes place in a normal social setting.
Recording 2 – a monologue in a popular public setting, such as a speech about regional conveniences.
Recording 3 – a training or educational conversation between up to four people, such as a university tutor and a student discussing an assignment.
Recording 4 – a monologue on a topic related to academia, such as a university lecture.
There are four sections, each with ten questions. The answers to the problems are introduced in the same order as they are listened to in the audio.
The first two sections are concerned with situations that occur in everyday social settings. There is a conversation between two speakers in Part 1 (for example, a conversation about travel arrangements), and a monologue in Part 2. (for instance, a speech about regional facilities).
The final two sections are concerned with situations that occur in educational and training settings. Part 3 features a chat between two primary speakers (for instance, two college students talking about a topic with the help of a tutor), and Part 4 plays up a monologue on a theme of educational interest.
Task Type 1- Multiple Choice
A question is followed by three possible answers, or the beginning of a sentence is followed by three possible ways to finish the sentence in multiple choice tasks. Aspirants must choose one of the three valid answers: A, B, or C.
Test takers are occasionally given a longer list of possible answers and told that they must select more than one. In this case, they should carefully read the question to determine how many responses are required.
Task Focus: Multiple choice questions are used to assess a variety of abilities. A detailed understanding of specific points or an overall understanding of the main points of the listening text may be required of the test taker.
Task Type 2- Matching
Type and format of the task: Aspirants must match a numbered chart of components from the listening theme to a set of alternatives on the question paper. The set of options could be some kind of criterion.
Matching assesses a candidate’s proficiency to listen for detail and understand data given in a discussion about a common topic, such as the various types of hotel or guest house lodgings. It also assesses your proficiency to follow a two-person discussion. It can also be used to infer whether or not test takers can recognise connections and relationships between facts in the listening text.
Variable number of questions.
Task Type 3- Diagram Labeling, Plan and Map
Test takers must complete labels on a diagram (e.g. of a piece of equipment), map (for example, a section of a town), or plan (for example, a building). Typically, the answers are chosen from a list on the question paper.
This type of task evaluates the proficiency to comprehend a description of a place, for instance, and relate it to a pictorial representation. This could include the skill to decipher and follow language that conveys spatial connections and paths (for example, through/straight on the far door).
Variable number of questions.
Task Type 4- Form, Flowchart, Table and Set of Notes
Type and format of the task: Test takers must fill in the gaps in an outline of a portion or the entire listening text. The main ideas/facts in the text will be the focus of the outline. It could be:
#a form: a document that is frequently used to record factual information such as names.
#a set of notes: used to summarise any type of information and show how different items relate to one another using the layout.
#a table: a way of summarising information that is related to distinct categories – for example, time/place/price,
#a flowchart: a diagram that summarises a process with distinct stages and arrows indicating the process’ direction.
The main points that a listener would naturally record in this type of situation are the focus of this task.
Variable number of questions
Task Type 5- Sentence Completion
Type and format of the task: Aspirants must examine a batch of sentences summarising key data from the whole listening text or a fraction of it. They furthermore use data from the listening text to fill in the gaps in each sentence.
Aspirants are penalised if they write more words than the allotted time. (Aspirants should double-check the word threshold for every task: it can be one, two, or three words.) Words that have been contracted will not be tested. Words with hyphens are figured as single terms.
Sentence completion is a task that concentrates on identifying key data in a listening text. Test takers must be able to recognise functional relationships like cause and effect.
Variable number of questions.
Task Type 6- Short Answer Questions
Type and format of the task: Aspirants must read a problem and then write a short answer using data from the listening text. Candidates are penalised if they write additional words than the allotted word count. (Aspirants should double-check each task’s word limit.) Words that have been contracted will not be tested. Words with hyphens are measured as single terms. Aspirants are occasionally asked to list two or three points in response to a question.
Sentence completion concentrates on the ability to listen for concrete facts in the listening text, such as prices, places, or times.
Variable number of questions.
How are Listening Tests Scored?
The Listening test is graded by certified markers who are monitored on a regular basis to ensure their accuracy. Cambridge Assessment English examines all answer sheets after they have been marked.
For each version of the test, a Band Score conversion table is created, which converts scores from 40 to the IELTS 9-band scale. Half bands and whole bands are used to report scores.
In the 40 mark test, one mark is given for each correct answer. When writing answers on the answer sheet, use caution because poor spelling and grammar will be penalised.
How is the IELTS Listening Test Conducted?
The IELTS Listening test consists of 10 questions in each of the four parts, which makes it a total of 40 questions. Each part is conducted over four different webpages, and the candidate has to move from one to another after completion. The different parts are a combination of conversations or recited paragraphs which have to be listened to carefully, including minute details, which may be asked as blanks or matching questions.
The total duration of the exam is 30 minutes, an additional 10 minutes are provided for writing answers on a separate sheet. There is time for going through all the questions and also to recheck your answers. This can also be done in the additional 10 minutes provided for copying answers on the answer sheet.
How to Get Band 9 in IELTS Listening? Mastering IELTS Listening Test
Getting a band 9 score is possibly the best one could imagine while awaiting the test results. It is not impossible to ace the IELTS exam and get a band score of 9. However, it requires rigorous practice and constant adherence to get there. The following tips will help in improving IELTS skills and improving band score:
Regular English Listening
Probably the best way to practice listening is to get acquainted with the natural and fluent usage of the English language. Constantly hearing podcasts, Ted Talks, YouTube videos, and sample listening exercises online helps a great deal in gaining a better understanding of listening tasks. They also help in identifying words from various accents with ease.
Making it an Enjoyable Habit
The more you have fun with it, the better are chances of excelling in it. Making it a practice to listen to audios while doing daily tasks, while travelling, or during idle time, makes a person enjoy the experience and achieve better interest in it.
Following a Strategy
The test consists of a varied range of questions, but they are basically along with a similar format. Preparing a strategy is important because repeated exercise might not improve your IELTS score. The score is improved by culminating listening practice with vocabulary, accent knowledge, grammar, and active participation.
Reflecting on Errors
Continuously reflecting and checking on errors gives an upper hand while preparing for tests. It is crucial to focus more on them rather than the strong points so that the learning process is enhanced. There are several ways to do this, like noting words that are commonly misspelt, misheard, or mispronounced. These will surely help in improving the band score.
Get Going when Preparation is Complete
It is important to stay focused on practising and stay vigilant while studying. Once you feel confident enough about your skills and preparation, only then should you appear for the exam. It will surely be a confidence boost and help achieve a better band score.
Can we Use Capital Letters in IELTS Listening?
For the IELTS test, writing in capital letters is acceptable in both computer-based and paper-based tests. In fact, the answers can be written totally either in uppercase or in lowercase. Using capital letters in IELTS makes it easier for the examiner to read the answers, and there is also no issue of comprehending handwriting flaws (paper-based). There is no issue at all with the computer-based test.
In the additional 10 minutes given in the paper-based test, you have to copy answers on a separate sheet. The answers should be checked for spellings while transferring and writing in capital letters will make it easy for the examiner to understand as well. In the case of computer tests, there is no need to transfer the answers, and they just need to be checked once before submitting for any mistakes.
Important IELTS Tips for 2022
#Try to predict what the speaker will say; this will require a lot of focus.
#Aspirants need to practise listening to single people speaking (monologues) as well as multiple people speaking at the same time.
#Make sure one spell everything correctly. Poor spelling causes a lot of easy marks to be thrown away.
#Keep a list of words that are difficult to spell in a notebook.
#Before one listens, read the questions so you know what they are looking for.
#Candidates should also try to anticipate what kind of information one will be hearing.
If they don’t know the answer to a question, try it anyway but don’t waste time; move on to the next one right away.
#Make sure one’s spelling and grammar are correct.
#In completion type questions, pay close attention to what one is being asked to do.
#Use capital letters with caution. If the word is a person’s or a place’s name, it must begin with a capital letter.
#It is critical to become familiar with the various types of test questions and to practise IELTS past papers.
This blog extensively covered tips on how to improve IELTS Listening skills, how the test was conducted, and the importance of IELTS listening practice. All these factors are to be well acknowledged while preparing for the test. Hopefully, these will help to get a band 9 score for IELTS listening.