IE LT S L is te n in g S tr a te g ie s
T he U ltim ate G uid e w ith T ip s, T ric ks a nd P ra ctic e o n H ow t o G et a T a rg et B and
Sco re o f 8 .0 + i n 1 0 M in ute s a D ay
-- B y R ach el M it c h ell - -
Tex t C op yrig h t © b y R ach el M it c h ell
A ll r ig hts r e se rv ed . N o p art o f t h is g uid e m ay b e r e p ro duced i n a n y f o rm w ith out
perm is sio n i n w ritin g f ro m t h e p ublis h er e x cep t i n t h e c ase o f b rie f q uota tio ns
em bodie d i n c ritic al a rtic le s o r r e v ie w s.
Leg al & D is c la im er
The i n fo rm atio n c o nta in ed i n t h is b ook a n d i ts c o nte n ts i s n ot d esig ned t o
re p la ce o r t a k e t h e p la ce o f a n y f o rm o f m ed ic al o r p ro fe ssio nal a d vic e; a n d i s
n ot m ean t t o r e p la ce t h e n eed f o r i n dep en den t m ed ic al, f in an cia l, l e g al o r o th er
p ro fe ssio nal a d vic e o r s e rv ic es, a s m ay b e r e q uir e d . T he c o nte n t a n d i n fo rm atio n
in t h is b ook h av e b een p ro vid ed f o r e d ucatio nal a n d e n te rta in m en t p urp ose s
The c o nte n t a n d i n fo rm atio n c o nta in ed i n t h is b ook h av e b een c o m pile d f ro m
s o urc es d eem ed r e lia b le , a n d i t i s a ccu ra te t o t h e b est o f t h e A uth or's k now le d ge,
in fo rm atio n, a n d b elie f. H ow ev er, t h e A uth or c an not g uara n te e i ts a ccu ra cy a n d
valid ity a n d c an not b e h eld l ia b le f o r a n y e rro rs a n d/o r o m is sio ns. F urth er,
ch an ges a re p erio dic ally m ad e t o t h is b ook a s a n d w hen n eed ed . W here
a p pro pria te a n d/o r n ecessa ry , y ou m ust c o nsu lt a p ro fe ssio nal ( in clu din g b ut n ot
lim ite d t o y our d octo r, a tto rn ey, f in an cia l a d vis o r o r s u ch o th er p ro fe ssio nal
a d vis o r) b efo re u sin g a n y o f t h e s u ggeste d r e m ed ie s, t e ch niq ues, o r i n fo rm atio n
in t h is b ook.
Upon u sin g t h e c o nte n ts a n d i n fo rm atio n c o nta in ed i n t h is b ook, y ou a g re e t o
hold h arm le ss t h e A uth or f ro m a n d a g ain st a n y d am ag es, c o sts , a n d e x pen se s,
in clu din g a n y l e g al f e es p ote n tia lly r e su ltin g f ro m t h e a p plic atio n o f a n y o f t h e
i n fo rm atio n p ro vid ed b y t h is b ook. T his d is c la im er a p plie s t o a n y l o ss, d am ag es
o r i n ju ry c au se d b y t h e u se a n d a p plic atio n, w heth er d ir e ctly o r i n dir e ctly , o f a n y
a d vic e o r i n fo rm atio n p re se n te d , w heth er f o r b re ach o f c o ntr a ct, t o rt, n eg lig en ce,
pers o nal i n ju ry , c rim in al i n te n t, o r u nder a n y o th er c au se o f a ctio n.
Y ou a g re e t o a ccep t a ll r is k s o f u sin g t h e i n fo rm atio n p re se n te d i n sid e t h is b ook.
You a g re e t h at b y c o ntin uin g t o r e ad t h is b ook, w here a p pro pria te a n d/o r
necessa ry , y ou s h all c o nsu lt a p ro fe ssio nal ( in clu din g b ut n ot l im ite d t o y our
docto r, a tto rn ey, o r f in an cia l a d vis o r o r s u ch o th er a d vis o r a s n eed ed ) b efo re
usin g a n y o f t h e s u ggeste d r e m ed ie s, t e ch niq ues, o r i n fo rm atio n i n t h is b ook.
Tab le o f C on te n ts
I N TR O DUCTIO N
I E LT S L IS T EN IN G T EST I N TR O DUCTIO N
I E LT S L IS T EN IN G F O RM AT
Sectio ns 1 & 2 :
Sectio ns 3 & 4 :
I E LT S L IS T EN IN G M ARK IN G A ND A SSE SSM EN T:
I E LT S L IS T EN IN G Q UEST IO N T Y PE S:
MULT IP L E C H OIC E Q UEST IO NS:
CO M PL ETIO N Q UEST IO NS:
SH ORT A NSW ER Q UEST IO NS
LA BELLIN G A D IA GRA M .
I E LT S L IS T EN IN G T IP S & T R IC K S
TIP 1 :
TIP 2 :
TIP 3 :
TIP 4 :
TIP 5 :
TIP 6 :
TIP 7 :
TIP 8 :
TIP 9 :
TIP 1 0:
TIP 1 1 :
TIP 1 2:
TIP 1 3:
TIP 1 4:
TIP 1 5:
TIP 1 6:
Tip 1 7:
Tip 1 8:
Tip 1 9:
Tip 2 0:
Tip 2 1:
Tip 2 2:
Tip 2 3:
Tip 2 4:
Tip 2 5:
Tip 2 6:
ONLIN E D IC TIO NARIE S
TH E A NSW ER S H EET:
LIS T EN IN G S T R AT EG IE S
Lis te n in g f o r r e la x atio n
Lis te n in g f o r m ain i d eas
Lis te n in g f o r s p ecif ic i n fo rm atio n
Lis te n in g a g ain a n d a g ain
CO NCLU SIO N
CH EC K O UT O TH ER B O OKS
I N TR O DUCTIO N
T han k y ou a n d c o ngra tu la te y ou f o r d ow nlo ad in g t h e b ook
“IE LT S L is te n in g
S tr a te g ie s: T he U ltim ate G uid e W ith T ip s, T ric ks, A nd P ra ctic e O n H ow T o G et
A T a rg et B and S co re O f 8 .0 + I n 1 0 M in ute s A D ay.”
T his b ook i s w ell d esig ned a n d w ritte n b y a n e x perie n ced n ativ e t e ach er f ro m
t h e U SA w ho h as b een t e ach in g I E LT S f o r o ver 1 0 y ears . S he r e ally i s t h e e x pert
i n t r a in in g I E LT S f o r s tu den ts a t e ach l e v el. I n t h is b ook, s h e w ill p ro vid e y ou a ll
p ro ven F orm ula s, T ip s, T ric k s, S tr a te g ie s, E xpla n atio ns, S tr u ctu re s, L is te n in g
L an guag e, a n d V ocab ula ry t o h elp y ou e asily a ch ie v e a n 8 .0 + i n t h e I E LT S
L is te n in g, e v en i f y our l is te n in g i s n ot e x celle n t. T his b ook w ill a ls o w alk y ou
t h ro ugh s te p -b y-s te p o n h ow t o d ev elo p y our l is te n in g s k ill; c le arly a n aly ze a n d
e x pla in t h e d if f e re n t t y pes o f q uestio ns t h at a re a sk ed f o r t h e I E LT S L is te n in g
T est; p ro vid e y ou s te p -b y-s te p i n str u ctio ns o n h ow t o a n sw er e ach t y pe o f
q uestio n e x celle n tly .
A s t h e a u th or o f t h is b ook, R ach el M itc h ell b elie v es t h at t h is b ook w ill b e a n
i n dis p en sa b le r e fe re n ce a n d t r u ste d g uid e f o r y ou w ho m ay w an t t o m ax im iz e
y our b an d s c o re i n I E LT S L is te n in g. O nce y ou r e ad t h is b ook, I g uara n te e y ou
t h at y ou w ill h av e l e arn ed a n e x tr a o rd in arily w id e r a n ge o f u se fu l, a n d p ra ctic al
I E LT S L is te n in g s tr a te g ie s a n d f o rm ula s t h at w ill h elp y ou b eco m e a s u ccessfu l
I E LT S t a k er a s w ell a s y ou w ill e v en b eco m e a s u ccessfu l E nglis h u se r i n w ork
a n d i n l if e w ith in a s h ort p erio d o f t im e o nly .
T ak e a ctio n t o day a n d s ta rt g ettin g b ette r s c o re s t o m orro w !
T han k y ou a g ain f o r p urc h asin g t h is b ook, a n d I h ope y ou e n jo y i t.
IE LT S L IS T EN IN G T EST I N TR O DUCTIO N
The L is te n in g t e st i s t h e
fir st m od ule
o f t h e I E LT S t e st. A ll I E LT S s tu den ts
ta k e t h e s a m e l is te n in g t e st. S o, i f y ou'r e t a k in g a cad em ic I E LT S o r g en era l
tr a in in g I E LT S, y ou a ll t a k e t h e s a m e t e st, t h e s a m e q uestio ns, t h e s a m e
fo rm at, a n d t h e s a m e s c o rin g.
It t a k es a p pro xim ate ly
30 m in ute s
, t h en c an did ate s a re g iv en a n e x tr a
min ute s a t t h e e n d
t o t r a n sfe r t h eir a n sw ers f ro m t h eir Q uestio n B ookle t t o
th eir A nsw er S heet.
There a re
4 s e ctio n s
10 q uestio n s e a ch
(4 0 q uestio ns). T he f ir s t t w o
se ctio ns a re t h e e asie st; t h ey a re s o cia l. T hat m ean s t h e c o nte x t o f t h e
situ atio n i s a s o cia l s itu atio n ( a n e v ery day s itu atio n) a n d t h e l a st t w o s e ctio ns
are m ore d if f ic u lt, t h ey a re a cad em ic i n c o nte n t.
The r e co rd in g i s h eard o nly o nce. E nsu re y ou l is te n c are fu lly . I f y ou m is s
so m eth in g, t h ere 's n o s e co nd c h an ce. T hat m ean s y ou r e ally a re m ultita sk in g
durin g t h is l is te n in g t e st. Y ou n eed t o l is te n t o t h e r e co rd in g, r e ad t h e
questio ns a n d a t t h e s a m e t im e w rite d ow n y our a n sw ers . I t c an b e q uite
dif f ic u lt a n d i t's s o m eth in g t h at y ou d o n eed t o p ra ctic e.
Test g ets m ore d if f ic u lt a s i t c o ntin ues.
There a re a t o ta l o f
40 q uestio n s
, w ith 1 0 q uestio ns p er s e ctio n.
A v arie ty
of t a sk s t h at m ay b e p re se n te d
in t h e L is te n in g t e st ( e .g ., M ultip le C hoic e,
Short A nsw er, F orm C om ple tio n, s e n te n ce c o m ple tio n, l a b elin g d ia g ra m s,
etc ...) .
Can did ate s a re g iv en t im e t o r e ad t h e q uestio ns b efo re t h ey l is te n a n d t im e t o
ch eck t h eir a n sw ers a fte r t h ey l is te n .
Can did ate s m ust u se a
t o w rite a n sw ers o n t h e A nsw er S heet b ecau se
it i s s c an ned b y a c o m pute r. T hat's t h e s a m e a s t h e I E LT S r e ad in g t e st.
IELTS LISTENING FORMAT
Sections 1 & 2:Everyday activities and common settings (Shopping, registering for a course,
renting an apartment, hotel and restaurant reservations, getting repairs, nature
and animals, etc.)Section 1: the section 1 has two speakers (a social situation). A typical example
is a phone conversation where somebody is registering for a course . For
example, you want to book a course and they need to know what date; they need
your name; they need your address, your telephone number. Or perhaps, you're
booking a table at a restaurant or organizing to meet someone and you need
to think of the time that you're going to meet. It's very specific information and it
is quite easy to improve your score for this section. This section is the easiest of
the four sections because you are asked to listen for basic information such as
names, numbers, dates and locations.
Here is a sample Section 1 from a Question Booklet.
Section 2: the section 2 is also social (everyday situations) but there is only one
speaker . A typical example would be a tour guide . It would be a tour guide
explaining about a resort, for example, what facilities there are or the history
behind the resort . Another example could be, for example, talking about an
historic building or talking about a charity, a company or an organization .
Here is a sample Section 2 from a Question Booklet.
Sections 3 & 4:Academic settings (seminars, lectures, training, tutors and students discussing
assignments, etc.)Section 3: the section 3 is academic (the first academic section) that has three to
four speakers . This is challenging because it's a discussion (an academic
discussion) . When you've got three to four speakers that means you've got
different voices and you have to be able to identify who is speaking. That could
be quite challenging, but the most difficult is the section four.
Here is a sample Section 3 from a Question Booklet.
Section 4: there is only one speaker and it is an academic lecture (very often
involves a university lecturer speaking on an academic topic). This section is the
most difficult, because you are asked to listen to a longer lecture.
Here is a sample Section 4 from a Question Booklet.
IELTS LISTENING MARKING AND
· The scores are calculated by the number of correct answers you have. There
are 40 questions which is equivalent to 40 points . Each time you get a correctanswer, you get a point. That is how your band scores are calculated.
· You have to follow the Instructions exactly (e.g. must stay within
· Spelling and grammar must be correct (e.g. singular or plural; use the
correct form of the words) . You will lose marks if you misspell a word or if
you put a word in the wrong grammatical form. Of course, when you're
listening, you don't have time to think about spelling. However, at the end of
your test, you have 10 minutes to transfer your answers to the answer sheet.
That is the time for you to pay attention to spelling. Pay attention to your
spelling, capital letters, and check the grammar. Use the ten minutes for
transferring answers wisely.
Here is a list of difficult words. Try to practice spelling them correctly.
1. quite and quiet
2. choose and choice
· The scores for band score five, six, seven and eight
Band 5.5 = 20 – 22 correct answers.
Band 6.0 = 23 – 26 correct answers.
Band 6.5 = 27 – 29 correct answers.
Band 7.0 = 30 – 32 correct answers.
Band 7.5 = 33 – 34 correct answers.
Band 8.0 = 35 – 37 correct answers.
Band 8.5 = 38 – 39 correct answers.
IELTS LISTENING QUESTION TYPES:
These are the 4 most common question types in the IELTS Listening test:
1. MULTIPLE CHOICE QUESTIONS:
This type of question asks you to choose the correct answer or answers from a
list of three or four choices.
To help you predict answers to Multiple Choice questions, you need to look at
the key words in the answer choices to identify:
· Similar answers : similar sounding words; one word differences; differences
in time and tense.
· Similar sounding words: Usually with numbers. They sound very similar
Examples:1. 1930 & 1913;
2. 30,000 & 13,000
3. 1940 & 1914;
4. 40,000 & 14,000
5. 1950 & 1915;
6. 50,000 & 15,000
7. 1960 & 1916;
8. 60,000 & 16,000
9. 1970 & 1917;
10. 70,000 & 17,000
11. 1980 & 1918;
12. 80,000 & 18,000
13. 1990 & 1919;
14. 90,000 & 19,000.
· One word differences:
Examples:1. How do most people travel to work?
c. Private busd. Private carThe answer will be highly likely to be C (private bus) or D (private car)
2. What kind of film does Tom like?
a. Chinese action filmsb. American comedy
c. Chinese love story filmsThe answer will be highly likely to be A (Chinese action films) or C (Chinese
love story films)
· Differences in time and tense:When will the school be built?
A. as soon as they receive funding from the billionaire.
B. after they receive funding from the billionaire.
· Less likely answers.
What does Peter want to do in the morning?
A. go to the zoo
B. go shopping
C go to a popular nightclub
D. visit his grandparents.
We can guess that C might not be the answer: Tom is not likely to go to a
nightclub in the morning . He is more likely to go to the zoo, shopping or visit
his grandparents, so we should listen for these answers in the listening passage.
2. COMPLETION QUESTIONS:
In Completion questions, information is missing in one of the following:· A SENTENCE· A FORM· A TABLE
· A FLOW CHART· A SUMMARY PARAGRAPHYou need to complete the information with words or sometimes a number as
There are two prediction strategies you should use during the 30-second break to
help you hear the answers to Completion questions:
· Underlining the keywords, and identifying nouns, adjectives, verbs, adverbs,
prepositions and articles.
Ex: The little girl happily decided to go to the birthday party.
infinitiveHe happily decided to go to New York to visit his brother.Predicting possible answers from context.
3. SHORT ANSWER QUESTIONS
Short Answer questions are usually questions that begin with question words,
· How much?
· How many?
· How often?
These words give clues about the type of answer you should be listening for,
such as a name, an amount of money, a distance, a place, a time or a reason.
4. LABELLING A DIAGRAM.
The diagram could be:
· A man-made object such as a camera· A natural object· A map of a building or a city
IELTS LISTENING TIPS & TRICKS
TIP 1:Before listening:In the IELTS test, you will have 30 seconds at the beginning of each section to
look at the Question Booklet before listening. During these 30 seconds, there are
three main things you should do to improve your score:
1. Read the instructions carefully. The instructions are usually in italics and
sometimes in BOLD CAPITAL LETTERS . Read the instructions carefully so
that you know what to do and predict what you will hear. Think about who is
talking, where they are and what the topic is. In the exam you will only have a
short time for this, so do it as quickly as possible.If the instruction tells you to write NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS for each
answer. This means that you are allowed to write one, two or three words as your
answer. However, if you write four, or more than four words, you will receive no
marks for this question, even if your answer is correct. Be careful!
If you look at your question paper, it will always tell you how many words you
need for the answer. It will give you a rule. For example, if the instruction tells
you to write NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS AND/OR A NUMBER for each
answer. This means that you are allowed to write one word; you can write two
words; or you can write two words and a number or you can write just a number,
but you cannot write three words. Be very careful with the instructions. Make
sure you pay attention to the instructions very closely.
2. Read the questions, ensure you understand them and underline the key
In the questions, the key words are usually:
Nouns: people or things (e.g., “students”, “New York”, “cat”, “dog”, or
Verbs: actions words (e.g., “walk”, “sing”, “drink”, “go”, or “run”)
Adjectives: words that describe nouns (e.g., “friendly” or “beautiful”, “noisy”,
“quiet”, “big”, “small”)
Adverbs: words that describe verbs (e.g., “listen carefully” or “study hard”)
Prepositions: e.g., “at”, “in”, “on”, “in front of”, “before”, “after”.
Question words: e.g., “who”, “what”. “when”, “where”, “why”, “how”, “howoften”, “how much”, “how many”, “how far”, “how long”, etc.Key words are usually not :
• Articles (e.g., a, an, the)
• Conjunctions (e.g., and, but, or, because)
Example:What subjects is Peter studying ? (The keywords are underlined)How much does it cost ? (The keywords are underlined)
3. Predict answer types (e.g. name, number, noun, adjective, verb, singular,plural).
While listening:· Listen carefully to the instructions.
· Understand the instructions and questions.
· Only look at the key words you underlined. Do not read everything again.
· Stay focused - it's quite easy to miss the answers if you lack concentration,
even for a moment.
· While you listen, write down the possible answers that you hear so that you
don’t forget them when you decide on the correct answer.
· Note that the answers are always in order.
After listening:· Ensure that you have answered each question. Don’t leave answers blank.
Make a good guess if you are not sure.
· Check your answers and transfer them carefully to the Answer Sheet.
TIP 2:You can write your answers in capital letters or lower case . You can choose but
whatever you choose, you must stay with that choice . If you decide to use
capital letters, all your answers must be written in capital letters. You can't
change suddenly on your answer sheet. Likewise, if you choose lowercase, you
must make sure that all your answers are written with lowercase on your answer
sheet. Capital letters means every single letter is written as a capital. There is no
difference at all; but if you're using lowercase you need to remember that some
words start with a capital letter. For example, names (Mr. Johnson, Mary, Peter)
or places (New York, Canada, Sydney) will start with a capital letter. Make sure
if you do decide to use lowercase, you remember your capital letters at the start
of your answers for names and places .
TIP 3:Learn about the types of questions that you will get in the IELTS listening.
There are quite a lot of different types of questions and you need to practice each
type of question when you get in your listening test. Knowing and having a
strategy, a technique for each type of question is important for your IELTS
listening test. One of the most difficult types of questions is the multiple choice
; that's often where you have A, B, or C option to choose from. However,
multiple choice could also be a very long list, for example, eight options and you
need to answer three questions relating to all those eight options.
There are a lot of different types of questions that you need to practice if you
want to have practice with these question types then you can get a book of
practice tests or you can visit online blogs where there are free practice lessons
using many of these types of questions.
TIP 4:Don't try to understand everything. The aim in IELTS for listening and
reading is to find answers to questions. A correct answer is one point. All you
want are answers . You are not aiming to understand everything. You need to
look at your question, try to think of what type of answer you're looking for;
listen for that answer. There will be a lot of extra information given in the
recordings and you need to just relax and focus on the answers that you're
TIP 5:You need to prepare your answers and questions quickly. Now before you
listen to the recording, you will hear a message and it will say to you. You now
have time to prepare questions 1 to 5 . That means you will have time to prepare
and read questions 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 . Then you will listen to it and after, you will
have a chance to prepare question 6, 7, 8, and 9. You're always given time to
prepare but it's not long. Therefore, you do need to train yourself to prepare
TIP 6:Answers can come quickly, so you need to prepare for that. The answers do
not come at regular intervals. You could get suddenly three answers coming
together. That means you need to keep your eye on the next question . Don’t just
look at the question that you're looking for. Keep your eye on the other questions
coming so you can move quickly to the next question and you don't lose time.
You don't get lost. In addition, because the answers come quickly, you don't
always have time to write long words. If the answer is Japanese Restaurant , you
might want to just make a note. Particularly if the answer is Japanese Restaurant
, I just note like this “Jap res” . You would write that on your question paper,
and then when you transfer your answers to the answer sheet, you would write
the full words which is Japanese Restaurant . Therefore, making notes is very
useful. You should also make notes of possible answers because maybe you're
going to miss one. You can write all over your question paper because the
examiner will never see it. Make notes on your question paper, write down the
short version of the word if you need to, and transfer answers correctly to your
TIP 7:There may be a gap between answers. Sometimes, we have answers coming
quickly, but also there could be a gap and this is when students start to panic.
They’re listening and waiting and waiting and there's no answer; the recording is
going and going and they get very nervous. That's the reason why it's important
to underline your key words because then you know that you need to wait for
these words to come. Don't panic, you need to be calm and keep listening, keep
your eye on the next question, make notes while you're listening and be prepared
for any gaps between answers.
TIP 8:Common traps. These are ways that IELTS really try to test your understanding
and your vocabulary. Now I'll give an example of a common trap. This is when
the answers are given. For example:
Shall we meet at 5 o'clock?
Yes, definitely. Let’s meet at 5.
So we've got the answer “5 o'clock” , but then it's changed and the speaker says:
“Oh, actually sorry. How about half past seven?”
So suddenly instead of the answer being 5 , it is now 5:30 . So when you listen
and you hear your answer obviously, you can make a note of the answer but keeplistening because that answer might be changed . Be careful with that. Another
type of trap is when you have the same words in the question and the same
words in the recording. Of course, people immediately think “oh this is my
answer” but actually that could be a trap because usually IELTS will use
paraphrasing rather than using the exact same words completely. Therefore,
always be a little bit suspicious when you hear all the same words. If you want to
have practice with common traps, then visit online blogs where there are lots of
practice exercises with these types of traps and it will help you to practice for
TIP 9:Repeated answers. This is when you've got three or four people having a
discussion; and of course when they are discussing something, people might say
“is this what you mean? ”, “Do you mean this?” And the answer could be
repeated again and that can help you to locate the answer.
TIP 10:Listening for plural nouns. IELTS is a listening test and they know that many
foreign language speakers struggle to hear plurals, so you need to pay attention
to “does that word have an “S” on the end or not?” If you have a sentence
completion, sometimes you can see in the grammar that you need a plural
answer. Therefore, just take a look, but keep your ears open for those plurals.
There are three main strategies that help you improve your listening for plurals.
Strategy 1 : know your uncountable nouns because they do not have the “S” on
the end (e.g. advice, information, equipment, milk, water, happiness, furniture).
Strategy 2 : know your vocabulary and spelling , for example, “grass roots” . It
always has an “S” that is how the word is written. Obviously, this is an English
language test and this is testing your vocabulary.
Strategy 3 : be careful of linking sounds . That's very important because they
can make it very difficult to hear the “S” and if that happens, you need to use
grammar to help you. If the “S” is not clear, think of the grammar and think
about the articles. Is there an article “a” in the question? If there isn't, listen for
the article “a” in the audio. Somewhere there will be an article if it's a singular.
TIP 11:If you don't know the answer, you can guess . Write something on your answer
sheet. Don’t leave an empty space because if your answer is wrong, it will not
affect your band score. You don't lose a point if your answers is wrong.
Therefore, always guess if you don't know the answer.
Before section 1 truly begins, you have a chance to listen to an example and see
an example answer. You should use that time to get used to the speaker's voicesbecause that will help you understand what they're going to say. This example is
only given at the start of section 1, not at the start of section 2, 3 or 4, so use the
time effectively and listen carefully to the example.
TIP 13:Accents. The accents that come in the IELTS listening test, of course there will
be a lot of British English accent and Australian accent as well. However, IELTS
is an international English language test, so that means there will be a range of
accents. Therefore, when you practice for your listening test, make sure you
practice listening to different types of accents.
TIP 14:Look for the title. You will often find titles on your question paper and those
titles are very useful because it helps you prepare for the topic that's coming.
Therefore, if you have a diagram completion, map completion, table completion
questions, have a look for the Title, read it, and underline it.
TIP 15:The technical and academic language is often not paraphrased. Not all words,
but often technical and academic language are not paraphrased. If you see a very
complicated word or a technical word, then that can be useful for you. Don't be
scared of that language and it can be useful because it might not be paraphrased
and that means when you hear it, you know what question you're on and you can
keep your place.
TIP 16:Concentration. You need to really concentrate for the IELTS listening test. If
you lose focus at any time, you can not only miss an answer, but you can lose
your place in the recording; and then it's very difficult to locate the following
answers. Therefore, you need to practice building your concentration before you
go into the real Ielts test.
Pay attention to any information that answers the questions what?, when?,
where?, how?, who?, why?
Example:What: an action movie.
When: last night.
Where: at the cinema.How: interesting, fun.
Who: Jackie Chain, Bruce Willis, Dominic Purcell
This method is very important and works in all sections of the IELTS Listening
Tip 18:Because you cannot use a dictionary during the IELTS test, you have to guess
the meaning of a word from the context of the listening passage. This is an
important strategy to help you understand vocabulary while you listen.
Tip 19: identifying synonyms and rephrasing
Because the words used in the Listening test questions may not be exactly thesame as the words you hear in the listening passages. Therefore, when you learn
a new word, you need to develop a wide range of vocabulary by learning
synonyms for that word.
SYNONYMS (words that have the same or similar meaning):
Example 1:The original sentence “It can be difficult to choose a suitable website designer
from a large number of applicants.”
The paraphrased sentence “It is sometimes hard to select an appropriate website
designer from many applicants.”
The original sentence “Our car needs petrol .”
The paraphrased sentence “Our vehicle requires fuel .”
Example 3:The original sentence “I enjoy reading comic books.”
The paraphrased sentence “I like reading comic books.”
Example 4:The original sentence “That is a building of 15 floors.”
The paraphrased sentence:
- “That is a 15-floor building .”
- “That is a building which has 15 floors .”
REPHRASING (the wording of the questions is different from the wording in thelistening passage):Example 1:The original sentence “Tom is a very handsome actor .”
The rephrased sentence “Tom is an actor who is very handsome .”
Example 2:The original sentence “Parenting can be a challenging task .”
The rephrased sentence “Parenting can be a task which is challenging .”
Example 3:The original sentence “Watching films develops people’s imagination .”
The paraphrased sentence:
“People’s imagination development is a positive effect of watching films.”
“Film watchers can develop their imagination .”
Example 4:The original sentence “I gave him a watch for his birthday.”
The paraphrased sentence “He was given a watch for his birthday.”
Tip 20: distinguishing between different speakers
To do this, you need to be able to hear the difference in their voices. This
particularly works when the gender of the two speakers are the same.
These are some techniques you can use to distinguish between speakers:
Before you listen:1. Identify the speakers’ names, underline other key words in the questions, and
predict the topic of the conversation.
While you listen:2. At the beginning of the conversation, listen carefully for the speakers' names.
3. Distinguish between the speakers’ voices.
How do you distinguish between voices?
In order to help you to distinguish between their voices. You should pay
• Tone: How high or low their voice is
• Volume: How loudly or softly they speak
• Accent: A native speaker or non-native speaker accent
Tip 21: listening for time, dates, numbers, and prices.
Listening for numbers:In the listening test, you often need to listen and write down a number, and of
course, IELTS know all the problems that many students have with numbers in
English and one of the common problems is the difference between 13 and 30.
Even for native speakers sometimes, it can be difficult to hear the difference
between 13 and 30; 15 and 50. IELTS often give you those numbers in the test to
test your ability to hear and understand in English.
How did you do well this part?
Let’s have a look. As you can see, we've got the “teens (thirteen, fifteen,
sixteen)” and the “ty (thirty, fifty, sixty)”. Obviously, the difference is that this
sound “teens (thirteen, fifteen, sixteen)” is much longer and this one “ty (thirty,
fifty, sixty)” is shorter. That is the difference.
Listening for time:In English, there is often two different ways to say the same time. Can you think
of another way to say the time 2:50 (two fifty)? Well, the other way is ten to
three . That means 10 minutes before 3 o'clock . So there are 2 different ways to
tell the same time, and in your IELTS listening test, IELTS will often try to test
you on that and trick you.
In Section 1, usually you will be asked to listen for information such as
numbers, times and dates . These can all be expressed in different ways. For
1. How do you say the time 9:10 ?Answer: nine ten or ten past nine.
2. How do you say the time 11:20 ?Answer: eleven twenty or twenty past eleven.
3. How do you say the time 10:15 ?Answer: ten fifteen/ quarter past ten.
4. How do you say the time 2:35 ?Answer: twenty-five to three.
5. How do you say the time 9:45 ?Answer: quarter to ten/ nine forty-five.
6. How do you say the time 4:30 ?
Answer: four thirty/ half past four.
7. How do you say the time 7:50 a.m. ?Answer: seven fifty a.m.
8. How do you say the amount of money $14.50 ?Answer: fourteen dollars and fifty cents/ fourteen dollars fifty.
9. How do you say the amount of money $286.77 ?Answer: two hundred eighty-six dollars and seventy-seven cents.
10. How do you say the amount of money £30.50 ?Answer: thirty pounds and fifty pence/ thirty pounds fifty.
11. How do you say the amount of money £350.60 ?Answer: three hundred and fifty pounds and sixty pence.
12. How do you say the number 4,300 ?Answer: forty three hundred/ four thousand three hundred.
13. How do you say the number 6,500 ?Answer: six thousand five hundred/ sixty five hundred.
14. How do you say the number 3.5 million ?Answer: three and a half million/ three point five million.
15. How do you say the number 4.45 million ?Answer: four point four five million.
16. How do you say the number 2,350 ?Answer: two thousand three hundred and fifty/ twenty three hundred and fifty.
17. How do you say the number 4,500 ?Answer: four thousand five hundred/ forty-five hundred/ four and a half thousand
18. How do you say the number 16,500 ?Answer: sixteen and a half thousand.
19. How do you say the number 17,650 ?Answer: seventeen thousand, six hundred and fifty.
20. How do you say the number 950 ?Answer: nine hundred and forty-five.
21. How do you say the date 26 May ?Answer: the twenty sixth of May/ May the twenty sixth.
22. How do you say the date 21 March ?Answer: the twenty first of March/ March the twenty first.
23. How do you say the date 22/7/08 ?Answer: the twenty-second of July two thousand and eight.
24. How do you say the fraction ½ ?Answer: a half.
25. How do you say the fraction 1/3 ?Answer: one-third.
26. How do you say the fraction ¼ ?Answer: one-fourth/ one-quarter.
27. How do you say the fraction 2/3 ?Answer: two-thirds.
28. How do you say the fraction ¾ ?Answer: three quarters/three fourths.
29. How do you say the telephone number 8848-5665 ?
Answer: double eight four eight five double six five.
30. How do you say the telephone number 0547-447-621 ?Answer: oh five four seven double four seven six two one/ zero five four seven
double four seven six two one.
31. How do you say the number 4.5% ?Answer: four point five percent/ four and a half percent.
32. How do you say the number 6.05% ?Answer: six point oh five percent/ six point zero five percent.
33. How do you say the number 65.80 million ?Answer: sixty five point eighty million.
Tip 22: improving your spelling of common names and places.
Let me give you a list of strategies to help you when you listen for names.
Strategy 1: Write the capital letters . A name always starts with a capital letter.
Don’t forget it; don't lose a point because you forgot the capital letter.
Strategy 2: Spelling . If it's a long name, it will be spelt; and you need to practiceyour spelling to make sure that you get that name correct. Make sure you
practice spelling at home.
Strategy 3: Common names . In the test, you will be given some names that you
have to spell, and some names you don’t. Why? Well, the reason is these names
are common such as Simon, David, Mary, etc. IELTS expect you to know the
spelling of common English names that means you need to learn them and
practice them. So if it's a common name, IELTS probably won't spell it.
However, if it is a longer name, more unusual, then they will spell it.
COMMON NAMES:1. McDonald
PLACE NAMES:1. Australia: Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Canberra
2. Scotland: Edinburgh, Glasgow
3. Wales: Cardiff
4. England: London, Oxford, Cambridge
5. Ireland: Dublin, Belfast
6. Canada: Vancouver, Toronto
7. India: New Delhi, Calcutta
8. Thailand: Bangkok
9. Hungary: Budapest
10. New Zealand: Auckland, Wellington
11. The United States: Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington D.C., New
12. Portugal: Lisbon
13. Spain: Barcelona
14. Argentina: Buenos Aires.
15. Brazil: Sao Paolo
16. Peru: Lima
Tip 23: listening for locations and directions (map gap-fill)
COMMON LOCATION AND DIRECTION WORDS:1. On the right of
2. To your right
3. On the left of
4. On your left
5. Next to
7. Ahead of you
8. In the corner
14. In front of
16. Not far from
17. Across from
18. At the end of the…(hallway, street, road, etc.)
19. To the north of
20. To the south of
21. To the east of
22. To the west of
23. On the north side of
24. On the south side of
25. On the east side of
26. On the west side of
Tip 24: Listening for signposts:
How can signposts help you?
· Signposts will tell you at what stage you are in the listening passage (the
beginning, the middle or the end).
· Signposts will help you anticipate what the speaker is going to do next.
- First/ Firstly…..- Firstly, we learn
- Second/ Secondly…..
- Third/ Thirdly…..
- Final/ Finally……
- Last/ Lastly…..
- Last but not least…
- At the same time…..
- As soon as…..
- After this / that…..
- Following this…..Showing a
sequencehow to clean,
secondly we learn
how to cook.
- After taking five
minutes to think, he
finally answered that
- Last but not least,
let me introduce
Jessica, our new
- After that, she went
- Then, she
remembered that she
had once met a
friend of her father's.
- Due to the fact that
- Due to
- Because of
- As a result of
- Owing toGiving a cause- The meeting was
of/due to the bad
- As a result of the
accident, Tom was
out of work for three
- Owing to the storm,
we arrived late.
- Due to the fact that
it is raining, we
cannot go hiking.
- On the other hand.....
- On the contrary.....
- On the other hand.....
- Unlike.....Show contrast- He worked hard for
the test; however, he
- Although Mary was
extremely tired, she
washed the dishes.
- In contrast, car
prices seem to be
- Unlike his brother,
Peter exercises every
- Even though.....
- In contrast to this.....
- Then again.....
- In the same way.....
- Similar to.....
- Like the previous
- At the same time.....
- Just as.....Show
comparison- Likewise, he is very
good at French.
- Similarly, there is
no rule that….
- Like the previous
point, I think that this
applies to other
aspects of our lives
- As a result.....
- As an effect.....
consequence,- Hundreds of people
came to the wedding;
therefore, it was not
possible to say hello
- The reason why.....
- For this reason.....
- Because of thiseffects or result- As a result of
studying hard, he
passed the exam.
- Tom had lost his
wallet, and because
of this he couldn't
pay for a hotel room.
- As an example.....
- For example.....
- For instance.....
- To show an
- Such as.....
- In particular.....Giving an
example- There is a similar
word in many
in English and
- Take the Japanese
class that I took last
semester as an
- We would like to
show an example for
- As an evidence.....
- To illustrate.....
- In my opinion......
- I think.....
- I strongly agree with
the idea that.......
- My opinion is that.....
- I strongly disagree
with the given topic....
- In my view.....
- I believe.....
- From my point of
- To my way of
- It seems to me that.....
- To me.....
- I feel that.....Giving
Opinions- In my opinion,
shopping is fun.
- I think/believe he
can do it.
- I personally feel
that/ From my point
of view/ From my
way of thinking,
eating meat is
cruel to animals.
- It appears that.....
- I suppose.....
- What do you think
- How do you feel about
- What are your views
- Don’t you think...?Asking for
Opinions- What do you think
about White Smoke?
- How do you feel
about the issue?
- What are your
views on climate
- Don't you think she
did a great job?
- You’re right.
- I suppose you’re right.
- I think you’re right.
- I believe you’re right.
- I completely agree
- I strongly agree.....Agreeing- I couldn't agree
more. We've got to do
- I completely agree
that this is the best
way to tackle the
- I quite agree that....
- I agree with the
- I totally agree with the
given idea that.....
- I could not agree
- I am quite inclined to
the opinion that.....
- I concur with the
group who believe that.....
- I accept the fact
- I accept that.....
- I am in agreement.....
- I approve the idea.....
- I consent that.....
- Yes, but.....
- (I‘m afraid) I don’t
- I can’t say that I agree.
- I (completely)Disagreeing- I don't really agree
- I (completely)
disagree with you.
- I can't say that I
- I don’t think so.
- I doubt it.
- I wouldn’t say that.
- Not really.
- I strongly disagree.....
- I disagree with the
- I completely disagree
- I disagree with the
- I totally disagree with
the given idea that.....
- I disagree with the
group of people.....
- I quite oppose the
- I totally do not accept
the fact that.....
- I disapprove that.....
- My own opinion
- However, my opinionagree with your point
- I wouldn't say that
he is honest.
- Provided that.....
- Providing that.....
- For this reason.....
- Because of that.....
- In case.....
- So that.....Expressing
condition- She will come
provided that she is
- Providing that the
weather is fine, we'll
have a picnic on
- If you don't hurry,
you will be late for
- Unless you hurry,
we will be late for the
- Of course…..
- No doubt…..
- Without any doubt…..
certainty- He will
be at the airport to
- Without any doubt/
Undoubtedly, he is
- In addition…..
- As well as…..
- What’s more…..Adding further
information- Furthermore/ In
addition, purchase of
new equipment will
- He is clever, and
moreover, he is
- Besides, I enjoy
- In conclusion.....
- To conclude.....
- In summary.....
- On the whole.....
- To sum up.....
- To conclude with.....
- To summarize.....
- All in all,To show the
conclusion part- To sum up, there
are three main ways
- In conclusion/ In
summary/ All in all,
some people are
better suited to
working from home
- To sum up/ To
conclude/ In short,
in the middle school
- In short.....
- Overall.....program need to be
Tip 25: Listening for stressed words
In the IELTS Listening test, when speakers want to give facts or express their
opinions, they usually use stress to emphasise their important words. Therefore,
recognizing stress will help you hear an answer related to both facts and
Tip 26: Practice
In order to prepare and practice for the IELTS listening test, you should:
1. Go through and practice listening as many tests in the official Cambridge
IELTS books as possible.
2. Improve your listening skill by doing as many listening test samples as
possible on the official IELTS website https://www.ielts.org/about-the-test/sample-test-questions
3. Analyze your mistakes when you finish listening a test.
4. For difficult parts of each test, try to listen to them several times until you
understand all of the correct answers.
5. Write down and learn new vocabulary that are presented in each test.
Oxford Learner’s Dictionary
THE ANSWER SHEET:
You can see that there are spaces for 40 answers . You have 10 minutes at the
end of the test to transfer your answers from your Question Booklet to the
Answer Sheet. It’s very important for you to practice using it before you go into
your IELTS test.Note: don’t ever leave your answers blank, or they will be marked incorrect. If
you cannot find the right answer, you can guess.
Listening for relaxation
Listening for relaxation is important since you can choose to listen to what you
are interested in. For example:Short storiesSongsMovies
While you are listening for relaxation, you don’t need to take notes . If you want
to know the meaning of a new word, write it down immediately while you are
listening and then use your dictionary to find the meaning later . This way helps
you be able to keep relaxing without worrying that you must understand and
learn every new word you hear.
Listening for main ideas
This method helps you listen for general information rather than specific
details. For example, you could listen for things such as:The general topicCause and effectProblems and solutionsComparisons and contrasts
Listening for main ideas will help you understand and follow the context of a
conversation. This way then help you to identify the specific information for
your answers in the test.
Listening for specific information
This means you need to focus on listening for details such as:
Numbers: dates, times, amounts, percentages, credit card details, telephonenumbers, etc.Names: places (eg, names of streets, countries, cities), people, groups and
Listening again and again
I recommend that you should listen to the same recording several times when
you practice listening to anything in English at home. This way will help you
learn or find something new when you listen again and certainly improve your
listening skill more quickly than if you only listened to everything once.
Thank you again for downloading this book on “IELTS Listening Strategies: The
Ultimate Guide With Tips, Tricks, And Practice On How To Get A Target Band
Score Of 8.0+ In 10 Minutes A Day.” and reading all the way to the end. I’m
If you know of anyone else who may benefit from the useful strategies,
structures, tips, guides for IELTS listening that are revealed in this book, please
help me inform them of this book. I would greatly appreciate it.
Finally, if you enjoyed this book and feel that it has added value to your work
and study in any way, please take a couple of minutes to share your thoughts and
post a REVIEW on Amazon. Your feedback will help me to continue to write
other books of IELTS topic that helps you get the best results. Furthermore, if
you write a simple REVIEW with positive words for this book on Amazon, you
can help hundreds or perhaps thousands of other readers who may want to
improve their English Listening skill sounding like a native speaker. Like you,
they worked hard for every penny they spend on books. With the information
and recommendation you provide, they would be more likely to take action right
away. We really look forward to reading your review.
Thanks again for your support and good luck!
If you enjoy my book, please write a POSITIVE REVIEW on Amazon.
-- Rachel Mitchell --
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