The International English Language Testing System or IELTS as it is more commonly known as the test of four language skills – Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing. Everyone takes the same Listening and Speaking Tests. There are different Reading and Writing tests for IELTS Academic and General IELTS Training.
There are 40 questions and each correct answer receives 1 mark. The total marks is then converted to the IELTS 9-Band scale.
There are four sections:
- Section 1 is a conversation between two people set in an everyday social context
- Section 2 is a monologue set in an everyday social context
- Section 3 is a conversation between up to four people set in an educational or training context
- Section 4 is a monologue on an academic subject
IELTS Listening Preparation Strategies: While practicing Listening Test exercises are very important, there are various strategies to prepare for the Test itself.
Listen to various types of accent:
Not all native English speakers speak in the same accent. The English accent of Irish, Scottish, Dutch, Canadian, Australian etc., vary a lot. Further, within the same region, we have different accents based on different towns such as Bolton, Oldham and Salford. The more exposure you have to the various accents, the better you would be prepared to understand what the native speaker is speaking about.
Read the questions before you listen:
You will be given time to do this. The moment you read a question, ask yourself – “What am I looking for in the answer?” Is it name of a person, a number, a street address and so on. Paraphrase the possible answer.
Look at 2 questions at once:
While the conversation you hear gives answers to the questions in a sequential order, it is possible that they come in a quick succession and you might miss the answer for the next question. No point in waiting for answer to question 7 when the speaker is already speaking about question 9.
Write as you listen:
Many students make the mistake of leaving the writing part till the end – thinking that they will remember all that they have heard. Chances are you will forget what is spoken in the first part by the time you reach the third part of the test. Write your answers on the question paper as soon as you think you have got it. It helps you to change the same if required later during the listening secession. Transfer it to the answering sheet only at the end of the listening test.
Check your grammar and spelling:
You lose marks for wrong spellings and grammar. While this may look easier, a ‘G’ can always be confused for a ‘J’ even by the native English speakers. In part 1, you are almost invariably required to spell names and/or write down numbers. Also look at the word limit. If the word limit is 2 and the answer is ‘Leather Jacket’, you don’t get any marks if you write ‘Jacket made of Leather’.