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See this video tutorial for more on this.IELTS listening – 10 tips 1. Read before you listen – predict the answer One difficulty in the exam is that you are not just listening. but it can sometimes help to try and predict the type of answer you are looking for: is it a name for instance or a number? 2. One simple tip is to read the questions before you listen so that you know what you are listening for. Read as you listen – focus on the whole question A huge proportion of mistakes are made not because you haven‟t listened well. As you are listening focus on the precise wording of the question. but because you you do not focus on the question. It is a difficult skill to master. . but reading the question and writing the answer all at the same time.

Look at 2 questions at once One difficulty is that the answers to 2 questions often come quickly one after the other. 4. the real problem is if you lose track of where you are in the listening and you are still listening for question 13 when the cassette has moved onto question 15. after each listening you should be moving onto the next set of questions to read them.3. most importantly. In my experience. thinking that they will remember what they heard. . maybe not: but the only way you can is if you are ready for the next question. I‟d add that it‟s no problem getting one question wrong. Can you get both answers? Maybe. this almost never works: there‟s a lot of information. you‟re under stress and. Don‟t leave the writing to the end Sometimes candidates leave the writing part to the end.

So what you need to do is to learn how to write down enough for you to recognise as you are listening so that you can write it out in full later. Practice your shorthand You do not have to write everything that you down: you have 10 minutes at the end to copy your answers onto the answer sheet. 6. How about Thursday evening?” “Fine. I‟m busy then. Don‟t write the answer too quickly Sometimes you hear what you think is the answer. Thursday at 7 0′clock” .5. The one exception to this is in part 1 with numbers and names where you have to write everything out in full as you are listening – that is the challenge. but the speaker goes on to correct themselves or give slightly different information: “So I‟ll see you on Wednesday afternoon” “Sorry.

but in my experience can often go wrong and the problem is that if you get any spelling wrong.7. but G is for God How do you spell “why”? W-H-Y A is for apple E is for elephant I is for „I” 8. Firstly. particularly if it is a multiple choice style question. there is a danger if you leave a blank that you write the answers in the wrong boxes on the answer sheet and that can be a disaster. you lose the mark Of course you know the alphabet. your guess may well be correct. Secondly. but I suggest you make your own: J is for Jesus.Numbers and names – check your spelling In part 1. but some letters can cause problems even for advanced learners. Don‟t leave any blank answers There are 2 reasons for this. . in particular: J&G Y A&E&I My tip is to make an association that you can remember: these are mine. you are almost invariably required to spell names and/or write down numbers. This looks easy.

the heading says “equipment” and some of the completed boxes say “paperclips” and “cardboard” you have a good clue as to what you should be listening for. but sometimes the words that are the answer are repeated: if you need to make a guess choose the words you hear repeated. Look for clues in the question A frequent question type is completing a table. for example. they could well the be answer. in this type of question you will often find clues to the answer by looking at the other information in the table.9. 10. look at the headings of the rows and columns: if. . In particular. Listen for repeated information This doesn‟t always work.

At the end of the test. You will hear each recording of the Listening test only once. As you listen. Nothing you write on the question paper will be marked. You will be given time to read through the questions before you listen. It is essential that you transfer your answers to the answer sheet. and make sure you understand how to respond to 'completion' type questions. write your answers on the question paper. you will have 10 minutes to transfer your answers to the answer sheet in pencil. You may write your answers in lower case or capital letters.Listening test advice Follow this Listening test advice. .

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attempt it but do not waste time. you may not need to use it check your answers be careful with your spelling and grammar . let a member of staff know straightaway listen for the specific information you want follow the instructions carefully. move quickly onto the next one try and anticipate what the speaker will say.Make the most of your Listening test: if you cannot hear the audio clearly. this will require concentration do not worry if there is a word you do not understand. they may be different to practice or previous tests if you do not know the answer to a question.

the correct answer is 'morning' attempt all questions. relax and tune in focus precisely on what you are asked to do in completion type questions if the question asks you to complete the note ‘in the…’ and the correct answer is ‘morning’. there are no penalties for incorrect answers pay attention to the word limit.do not panic if you think the topic is too difficult or the speaker is too fast. note that ‘in the morning’ would be incorrect. if you are asked to complete a sentence using no more than two words. for example. write and listen at the same time . the answer ‘coat made of leather’ would be incorrect read. if the correct answer is ‘leather coat’.

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2. Before the exam – practice Following on from the previous advice. you need to practice before the exam to make sure that the appropriate skills are automatic. If you hear a question in the past tense: Eg “What sports did you play as a child?” A good answer will use the past tense – the examiner will be listening for this. The reason for this is that it is the one time you are face to face with the examiner and nerves are a sigificant problem. you are likely to become more nervous and not perform to your best. . This will only happen if you practice sufficiently. One example here is in part 1. you also need to practise the right skills – each part of the speaking paper tests a different skill. In the exam – listen to and answer the question IELTS speaking 10 top tips The best advice for IELTS speaking is very simply to listen to the question and answer it.1. However. If you are trying to remember complex advice. Keep it simple.

My first language is Chinese and I speak English too.” Better would be: Answer: “I speak two languages. 4. . that very long answers are not always a good idea. Key advice – extend your answer appropriately If there is one key piece of advice. The advice here is plain: make certain that you are already speaking English before you go into the exam.” Be aware. it is to extend your answer appropriately. however. this is inappropriate: Question:” How many languages do you speak?” Answer: “Two.3. I started learning it when I was in primary school. Immediately before the exam – speak English The problem for many people is not speaking English. For example. I‟ve been learning English since I was 10. Chinese and English. rather it is moving from their own language into English. It is possible that you will go off topic and lose coherence.

If you don‟t understand the question.5. . You are marked by the examiner in the room and you should do everything you can to show that person that you are a good communicator. Make eye contact A large part of communication is non-verbal. 6. 7. If you don‟t understand the question – ask This is a speaking test and not a listening test. If you do not make eye contact with the examiner. Do not learn answers One temptation is to learn answers before the exam. Do not. ask the examiner to repeat or explain it – you should not be penalised for this. If you try to answer a question you do not understand. you will almost certainly become incoherent. s/he is probably going to be less impressed with your performance. The examiner will notice and your score will be badly affected.

This does not mean. It is good communication. This will show the examiner that you have control over the language. What you can do is start by repeating/reformulating or commenting on the question: “What did I enjoy doing as a child? Let me see…” “That‟s not something I‟ve thought about before. . a small mistake may become a much bigger one. Give yourself time to think – repeat/reformulate the question In parts 1 and 3 you are not given any thinking time: you are supposed to start speaking immediately. do so. you are unsure how to correct yourself. If. however. move on: the examiner may not have noticed the mistake in the first place and if you try unsuccessfully to correct it.‟ This has several benefits. 9.8. It‟s an interesting question. Correct yourself – if you can do it immediately If you make a mistake and you can correct it immediately. however. It should also make you answer the question and not the general topic. that you need to start answering the question straight away. It allows you a little time to think.

If you relax too much and become too conversational. your English may suffer. In a conversation the speaking conventions are quite different: you expect the other person to share 50% of the talk time and to react to your comments. You need to recognise that this is not a true dialogue between two people: it is more of an interview with one person speaking and the other listening. . typically one person will not speak for any length of time.10. Do not relax too much – it‟s not a conversation This is an exam and you need to show the best side of your spoken English.

This should help you feel comfortable when speaking. . It is as close to a real-life situation as a test can get. The Speaking test is a face-to-face conversation with a certified examiner. friend or teacher.Speaking test advice Follow this Speaking test advice and try to talk fluently. The examiner will ask you about familiar topics such as home. Try and relax so that you can speak as naturally as possible. work or studies in part 1. Take time before the test to practise speaking with a partner.

be confident and enjoy using your English speak more than the examiner . practise at home and record yourself do not learn prepared answers.Make the most of your Speaking test: try to talk as much as you can talk as fluently as possible and be spontaneous the examiner’s questions tend to be fairly predictable. the examiner is trained to spot this and will change the question express your opinions. you will be assessed on your ability to communicate ask for clarification if necessary develop your answers relax.