IELTS listening section 1 is perhaps the easiest part of the IELTS listening exam. The reason is that you have simple questions of form filling or short notes type. If you can get all the ten questions right in this section, it would be quite good for you to boost up your band score in the listening module.
In section 1 of the IELTS listening module, you find a conversation going on between two persons. For example, a job candidate is talking to the HR or a student is making an enquiry, about hostel accommodation, from the hostel warden etc.
Now that we know what kind of questions are asked, let’s look at 5 simple strategies you can adopt for section 1 of IELTS listening.
IELTS listening is one of the four modules of the IELTS exam. This module basically focuses on testing the listening ability of the candidates. The candidates are required to listen to four recordings and then comprehend them to answer the given questions. IELTS is an international language proficiency test and therefore the recordings will be in different accents, mainly Australian, British or American.
The total time allotted for this module is 40 minutes. In this 40 minutes candidate has to answer 40 questions in 30 minutes and 10 minutes will be given to transfer the answers to the answer sheet.
Common questions in the IELTS listening test are:
# Dealing forms, table, flow- chart and summary competition
# Labelling maps diagrams and plans
# Matching task
# Multiple choice questions
# Sentence completion
# Short Answer Type question
Listening Section 1
The listening module section 1 contains a general topic, mostly a telephonic call. The pattern of this section is a general conversation between two different persons. The conversation can be in between a tenant talking about the facilities of the accommodation or a clerk at the inquiry desk at a transport industry and a man asking for travel information.
Listening Section 1: Instruction
First of all, you will hear the instruction and description of all four sections. Then you will describe the scenario of section 1. It is generally a conversation between two people. The one person is asking the other person for some information.
Before the actual conversation begins, you will be given time to look at the questions. And then the conversation will begin. While you listen to the recording you will be asked to write down the answers as you will only get to listen to the recording once. In the process, if you miss out on any questions, you should probably leave them for the last minute.
Common Types of Questions of IELTS Listening Section 1
Multiple choice question is one of common questions that you can see in section 1. In this type of question, you will be given an unfinished sentence and three different options. You will be required to find out the possible option. Remember to write in the answer sheet A, B or C rather than filling out the answer itself.
Form Completion Question
In this task you will have to fill in the blank. In this type of question, you will basically have to write down the main facts of the recording such as name, numbers or any data. In this type of question, pay special attention to your spelling
This type of question, you will be given different options and you have to match the correct option with the correct answer.
How to Prepare for the IELTS Section 1?
Understand the Format
Before you rage a war, you should know your enemy first and this is the same case with your test. Therefore before you try to attempt the test, get to know it.
For this try to understand the different sections of the listening module. There are four different types of sections in the listening test. In each section, you have to listen to a specific recording and try to answer the given number of questions. You should also pay attention to the previous year questions to get familiar with the question type.
Listen to Different Recording
Remember this is the test of the listening skill and you cannot ace this test without practicing listening. Try to listen to different recordings before your actual test. This could be anything ranging from English movies to TED talks. But just don’t stick to one accent. Rather listen to recordings from different countries such as Australian, British and American.
Remember, IELTS is an international English language proficiency test and different countries participate in this test and the accent of the recording won’t be of any specific country. Rather it will vary from candidate to candidate and can be any accent.
For instance, it can be British, American, or Australian. To be able to score well in the listening section you have to get familiar with the different accents. For this, you can hear recordings of different countries. Also, you can read about different accents and their specific characteristics.
It is a given rule that if you want to improve your English score well in any section of the IELTS you have to build a good vocabulary. In this listening section, you should try to get familiar with daily vocabulary. Also, section 1 revolves around a General conversation between two people. One is asking a question from the second one. And this could be anything, for example, an employee is talking to an HR or a person is talking to the inquiry counter clerk. Let’s see some few examples:
|Days of the week||Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday|
|Months||January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December|
|Seasons||Winter, Autumn, Summer and Spring|
|Shapes||circle, square, rectangle, triangle, cylinder, oval|
|Transportations||Cargo plane, shipment, container ship, boat, lifeboat, ferry, hovercraft, hydrofoil, liner, canal boat, narrow boat, dinghy sailing, sailboat, paddle steamer, cabin cruiser, rowing boat, rowboat, kayak, canoe, punt, gondola, aircraft, helicopter, seaplane, airship, hot-air balloon, airport, crew, passenger, platform, hire a car, automobile|
|Colours||red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, white, black, brown|
|Verbs||suggest, develop, borrow, persuade, discuss, review, concentrate, believe, crash|
|Adjectives||beautiful, necessary, fantastic, comfortable, convenient, wonderful, terrible, temporary, permanent, knowledgeable, exciting, boring, difficult, easy|
|In the city||Cities, street, lane, city centre, central station, car park, department store, bridge, temple, embassy, road system, hospital, garden, avenue|
|Vehicles||Double-decker bus, single-decker, minibus, school bus, coach, truck, tanker, van, lorry, transporter, forklift truck, tow truck, breakdown truck, pickup, jeep, caravan, camper, tractor, taxi, cab, tram, underground, subway, stream train, freight train, goods train|
As we have already stated above, while listening to the audio you have to write down the answers. Basically, you have to do multitask. On one hand, you have to listen and interpret the recording and on the other, you have to write the answer simultaneously. Why? Because you are only able to listen to the recording once. And in this time you should write down all important data such as name or number and specific keywords.
You will only get to listen to the recording once and that you have to answer the question in 40 minutes. You have to maintain your concentration otherwise you would miss important facts and details required for the answers. For this, you should start practicing concentration right now. You can try to increase your concentration by playing some brain games, meditating or working while listening to music.
You should also watch out for some general grammatical and spelling mistakes in your answers. Suppose you are able to listen to the recording and give answers to all questions. But then you have written with grammatical or spelling mistakes. What will happen? Your scores will be deducted. Sounds painful, right?
Therefore to avoid such a situation you should pay attention to your grammar and spelling as well. For grammar, you can read English grammar books and memorize some basic rules and for spelling, you should practice dictation.
The examiner will judge you on the basis of what you do in the exam. Suppose you have performed well in the test and written down all the answers correctly. But your handwriting is hardly recognisable. What will happen? The examiner will not be able to interpret the answers and hence you will get a bad score.
To avoid such circumstances you should try to improve your handwriting and make it readable at least. Try to write 1 to 2 pages daily to improve your handwriting.
In section 1 or any section of the listening module you are required to write the answer in the prescribed word limit. You are not supposed to write more or less than the given word limit. And if you do so your scores will be deducted. Hence you should practice beforehand to write down answers in the given word limit.
To get familiar with the test and question type you should take practice sets. These practice sets give you an idea of how to approach every question in the test. And also provides you with a clear insight into your initial performance. You can evaluate your strengths and weaknesses.
Tips for IELTS Listening Test
1. Predict Your Answer
First you should quickly go through all the 10 questions in section 1, to know the kind of blanks the questions have and also, you can predict the answer at the same time. For speculating the answer, you can carefully look at the grammar aspect; whether the answer should be a singular word or plural word, whether a number is asked in the question or it is a word to be written there in the blank.
First Name ……………… (Answer is a word)
Wage Rate………………. (Answer is a number)
2. Foreign Accent Pronunciation Matters
Learning foreign accent pronunciation of all the alphabets as well as numbers is highly recommended for clearing this section because it is definitely the case that answers would be spelled by the speakers. Such questions are highly scoring and thus, should not be skipped or missed.
Postcode …………..WXY702 (Pronunciation of alphabets and numbers)
Phone………………..1654078 (Pronunciation of numbers)
3. Carefully Finding Answers
In the audio, in section 1, the speaker is very likely to change the answer. So, it’s extremely important that you pay attention to the audio in order to listen to it thoroughly. Candidates often make mistakes here by listening only to the first word and not paying attention to the conversation afterwards.
So, keep in mind that you have to quickly write down the answer and listen carefully later on as well to see whether the speaker changes the answer or not.
Mike: I would like to know the time when you will be available to receive calls.
Sara: I am usually available on Monday in the afternoon at 2 pm. Oh wait but this time, I have some work outside the town. So, I would be available on Tuesday.
Availability: …………………….(TUESDAY is the answer)
4. Avoid Silly Mistakes
Though this is the simplest section in the IELTS listening module, students may still make silly mistakes. One of the common mistakes is to write down the unit when it is already written in the question or otherwise write down an answer without a unit when it is, actually, expected.
Pay rate: $……….(20 is answer)
Pay rate: …………($20 is answer)
Time: ………..hours (2 or TWO is answer)
Time: ………………..(2 hours or TWO HOURS is answer)
I hope in this article you have learned some ways to improve your scores in the listening section 1 of the IELTS test. If you want more search articles related to IELTS preparation you can visit IELTS Ninja. This website is a one-stop destination for those who are aiming to pursue their higher studies in foreign universities. This website offers different customised courses at the most affordable prices. So what are you waiting for? Click here and book a free demo for yourself.