Listening Tips & Tricks


The IELTS Listening Test includes several types of questions:

1. Multiple Choice Questions

2. Multiple choice with more than one answer

3. Matching questions

4. Labelling on a map, diagram, and plan

5. Fill in the gaps

6. Fill in the gaps: short answers


Some general tips and strategies to help you in the listening section are provided by our website. One of the most important things you can do to avoid losing easy points on the listening paper is to make sure you always read the direction. The directions provide important information such as word limits. On your short answer questions you always have a limit to the number of words and numbers you should use.


Using one word or two or three, maybe on different questions you're supposed to answer with letters or numbers or numerals. This information is always supplied in the directions. You need to make a habit of looking to the directions quickly before each listening passage and its questions. Also, reading the directions helps you to understand each question fully. 


It's very important that you go to the questions that you're about to answer and analyze them a little bit before you listen to them. One part of the IELTS listening exam is that there are pauses in between each section of the test. The reason it's important is because it's the best way and really the only way that you can keep up with the speaker as he or she is speaking. And answer all the questions well on the listening paper. The reason for that is you're only going to hear each passage one time. The expectation is that you will answer questions as you're listening to the passage.


A key strategy is to find landmarks within each question before you listen. A landmark is something that you find within a question to let you know what you should be listening for within the part. Before you hear the answer to question 2 and you will hear the answer to question 2 before you will hear the answer to question 3. All of the answers come in order as you listen. Thus, finding landmarks relates to this fact. The questions will come in order. If you have a good sense of the landmarks, the things you're planning to listen for, you will then know what to expect from the questions that are coming next.


Use your question paper to take any kinds of notes that you might take. You should not try to memorize answers as you take the test. Therefore, you really do need to answer questions as you hear them. This takes a lot of practice and in other lessons in this about the listening paper. This does not work well on the IELTS exam. You will lose points. Because it's too difficult to remember all the information. Remember that spelling counts. And this is tough for the listening paper, because you are listening to things, not necessarily reading them on a page.


Some of the words you need to fill in for your short answers are not written somewhere within the questions. Thus, spelling is important, as you are studying vocabulary preparing for the IELTS exam, make sure that you are studying spelling as well. If you're not sure about the spelling of your word then practice it on your question sheet.

Learning common English names

Names come up often on the IOT exam, names like Mary, John, Kate etc. Learn how to spell basic names in English. Go to word name list that you can find on the Internet and just spend a little time getting familiar with English names. You're supposed to know how to spell them. And sometimes they do test you on that on the listening exam.