How to get a good mark in IELTS academic listening

The IELTS Academic Listening is the first of the four tests you take. It has four sections with increasing level of difficulty.

The first section is a conversation between two people on general or everyday topic. The second part is a monologue-one person speaking-on a subject of general interest. The third section is about education or training related topic by two or more people, and the last section is another monologue but more of a lecture or a talk.

It takes about 30 minutes to answer 40 questions in IELTS Academic Listening module, 10 questions from each section. The questions vary in types such as multiple choice, completing notes or sentences, completing or labelling diagrams, charts or tables, classifying, matching, and writing short answers.

Useful Tips

The audio in the listening module is played only once and initially, answers are written on the test booklet. Before the start of each section, you are given time to read the questions. Use this time to predict or anticipate possible answers.

After the test, another 10 minutes is given to transfer your answers to the answer sheet. This is your time to check you answers on possible errors like grammar, spelling, and whether you answered what is asked. If the direction states that you need to write NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS, then you should not give four. You can write one, two or three but more than this, you will lose mark.

ex. The company bought three ________________. answer: (new sophisticated scanning machine)

If you have written the words in parenthesis as your answer, you will lose mark. Why? Because you gave more than three words as answer. But will you get a mark if you have written "sophisticated scanning machine" only? No, because the word machine should be in plural(machines) because it is preceded by the word three. Always make sure that every word in the sentence agrees in number, tense, and gender. Simply put, it follows the rules on Subject-Verb Agreement.

Homophones Homophones are words with the same sound but with different spelling. Since you only hear the words, there is a chance that your answer might be misspelled, so always make sure to give the word as needed.

You should WRITE, not right nor rite the RIGHT word.

Here are some helpful videos for improving your listening ,and advice for Japanese students who want to improve their listening skills in English.

From IELTS Academic Listening to Exercises

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