“What skills I require to ace the IELTS Listening Test?”
“What should I do to improve my Listening skills?”
IELTS aspirants are often troubled with the listening module. Either they are unaware of the skills being tested in the exam or they are unclear about the way in which they can develop their listening skills. So, questions as above are obvious to be heard from them!
However, in order to achieve a high band score, it is important not only to practice with IELTS Listening practice tests but also to listen to audio books or podcasts and watch documentaries, TV shows or movies.
But, what skills will you develop while practicing with the above resources?
Well, here are 5 must-have skills for the IELTS Listening module.
- Making Prediction
- Taking Short Notes
- Paraphrasing & Synonyms
- Recognising Sequencing
- Understanding Opinion & Attitude
Let’s have a close look at each of these skills and comprehend why are they so important for the IELTS Tests.
1. Making Prediction
Prediction holds prime importance in IELTS Listening test. It helps you foresee the content and thus understand the speaker easily.
You must read the questions before the audio starts. This will help you grasp the context of the recording in advance. Let’s say, you can determine the main idea or the subject, what the recording is all about or whether the recording will be a conversation or a simple speech.
You can practice this with IELTS Academic Practice Tests.
2. Taking Short Notes
In the listening test, you are allowed to take notes while listening the audio. So, you can do this even when you are doing your IELTS test preparation. Noting down small pieces of information like name of person or place, date and number may help you determine the correct answer.
3. Paraphrasing & Synonyms
To be able to paraphrase and to recognize paraphrasing is a must in order to fetch high IELTS band score. The information given in the audio might be paraphrased in the question. Thus, you should learn to identify it. Sometimes, even synonyms are used to confuse you. If you can determine that both words are synonyms or have the same meaning, you can easily locate the answer.
So, always read the question before you hear the audio. You can even develop a habit of penning down every new word you come across so that you can learn and remember new words and expand your vocabulary.
4. Recognizing Sequencing
Ability to identify the sequence in the audio helps you to find your answers easily. Suppose, the audio is about a person explaining a certain process. While explaining the process, he/she is likely to use words like firstly, secondly, then after, after that, next or finally. These words denote the sequence and thus helps you determine what the speaker is going to say further.
5. Understanding Opinion & Attitude
You must be able to understand what the speaker is thinking and feeling while you hear the audio. With this knowledge, you can solve question types like identify writer’s views and opinions.
For example, the speaker is talking on his travel experience. You should carefully listen to the speaker’s views on certain places or the experience he/she had while visiting those places. This would help you gauge the correct answer.
Now that you know which skills are required to ace the IELTS Listening test, it is equally important to learn how to develop them.
How will you develop these skills?
Do you ever feel exhausted reading pages and pages together and doing a lot of IELTS Practice tests?
If yes, we have a new and interesting way to prepare for your IELTS Listening module – WATCH MOVIES & TV PROGRAMS.
You can watch movies, videos, TED talks, music videos and more to prepare for your IELTS Listening.
Who would like to sit and read when one has such wonderful options for test preparation?
So, should you watch movies and other TV programs with or without subtitles?
The answer is DO BOTH.
You must select English videos with subtitles. Usually, you get option to turn on and off the subtitles.
Here is a way in which you can practice with such videos.
- Turn off the subtitles when you play the video
- Listen carefully and try to comprehend what the speaker speaks
- If possible, note down every word you hear
- Now restart the video by turning on the subtitles
- Cross verify your notes and the subtitles
- Check your accuracy and practice more if needed
Follow this exercise regularly. You will surely notice improvement in your listening accuracy as well as skills.
You can even try retelling or describing the movie or show you watched. Ask some questions to yourself like ‘Which is my favorite character?’ and think of the answer.
Get familiar with different accents
Further, you get to listen to a variety of accents in IELTS Listening exam. Through this, examiners test your ability to understand different accents. Being accustomed to just one accent is not enough.
So, it is essential to prepare yourself to know all the different accents – British English, Australian English, Canadian English, American English and even accent from New Zealand. Thus, make sure that you watch English videos in various accents.
More than anything, the true key to success is consistent listening practice. Just watching movies and TV programs is not sufficient. You also need to learn certain tips and strategies for tackling each question type asked in IELTS Listening exam. You can appear for practice tests so as to get a clear idea about every part of the test. So, seek advice from experts or acquire proven tips from trusted resources like IELTS Tutorials.