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    Few beginning steps for IELTS Listening

    Sayantani Barman Sayantani Barman
    Study Abroad Expert

    IELTS is an English language proficiency test that measures linguistic skills of the test taker. With respect to other sections of IELTS, examiners measure how well the test taker listens to the audio clip and decipher information given in that clip. It is also noticed that the audio clip in the IELTS Listening section is played only once. IELTS listening section assesses how well the test taker understands information along with the main concept behind the audio clip. In this IELTS Listening audio clip, one has to recognize the attitudes of the speaker. The main job in this section is to decode the argument developed in the clip. 

    IELTS Listening Exam Pattern

    Test takers comparatively score well in this section of IELTS as compared to other sections. This section has been one of the easiest scoring sections. Listening section is same for IELTS Academic as well as IELTS General Training. In this section, test takers have to listen to four audio clips (either conversation or monologue) and answer 10 questions for each recording. The total time allotted for IELTS Listening section is 40 minutes. It is advisable to always note down important points told in the audio clip. 

    IELTS Listening Score Calculation

    In IELTS, linguistic skills of the test takers are measured. Examiners assess how well the test takers decode information given in the audio clip. For each correct answer, 1 raw point will be added. There will be no deduction for an incorrect answer. Once the score has been scaled out of 40, then total IELTS score will be converted on bandwidth on a score of 4 to 9. 

    How to Improve IELTS Listening Skills

    In this exam, one needs to exhibit comprehension skills along with the listening skills. IELTS wants the test takers to extract the hidden meaning lies in the audio clip. There are candidates who fail to concentrate on both the question types along with the audio clip. It is a skill in how the test taker immediately visualizes the word as heard in the audio clip. So in IELTS listening, it is a multi-tasking approach to excel in the section. With constant focus, one will understand what will be the next word to be heard in the audio clip. 

    IELTS Listening-Native English

    As the test takers belong to non-English speaking nations, therefore it comes under practice work to listen to all these native speakers. It is a challenge to listen to all these audio clips to understand the complex pronunciation used across the world. When the conversation or monologue is used in the audio clip, then it also becomes difficult for the test takers to cope up with the speed of the speech. 

    Few things to remember for IELTS Listening

    • Learn all those similar sound words with different meanings. These words are called homonyms. 
    • Train the listening skill to distinguish between words important in a particular sense. 
    • Find out online practice sessions for Homonyms 

    Few things native speakers do in the audio clip

    As a beginner, it will be difficult for you to understand the words spoken in IELTS listening audio clips. With the passage of time, one understands the speech quality of the native speakers as well. The speech pattern will sound different at first to the beginners. It will be definitely different from the pronunciation as used in written English. Few patterns to remember to understand the speech style of the native speakers are as following 

    1. In most cases, native speakers use contractions like I’m in a place of I am or doesn’t in a place of does not 
    2. Usually, native speakers use “weak form” pronunciation for structural words as used in sentences
    3. The usage of vowels in between the sentence is also quite difficult to understand. If a word starts with a vowel will always get attached with the previous word that makes it quite difficult to understand 

    IELTS Listening Preparation Tips

    To score well in exam, one needs constructive preparation tips for IELTS. This exam tests how well the test taker understands the language. Firstly, one has to know that this exam will have no penalty for any kind of incorrect answer. Never waste time on a single question, it is about guessing and moving on. 

    1. First, read out all the questions given for recording 1 
    2. Then listen to the audio clip 
    3. If a question is asked in singular number and it is given in the audio clip in plural, if the test taker replies in plural it will be considered wrong 
    4. In the recording of the conversation, two people are seeing making a plan to meet somewhere, never focus on a potential answer. There must be a loophole so always listen to the audio till the end 
    5. While transferring the answer, never make any kind of silly mistakes 
    6. In sentence completion, if a question is asked to answer with two words, it is necessary to write down the correct answer 

    How to Improve IELTS Listening skills

    Firstly one needs to distinguish between Passive and Active Listening. When someone listens to a piece of music, or news, or movies it is called passive listening, whereas if someone spends an hour listening to English news only just to learn vocabulary is called Active listening. For effective learning, active listening has always been considered as the best. In an Active listening session, an individual has to think simultaneously to decipher the meaning hidden in the speech. Few important things in active listening to focus on are 

    1. Grammar 
    2. Vocabulary 
    3. Pronunciation 
    4. Structure 

    Many test takers write English with correct grammatical structure while speaking such structure gets disturbed. One has to be equally good in all the four sections of IELTS. Suppose while actively listening to news or radio, one has to focus on all these four above mentioned elements. These are the basic elements for English learning which are equally important in all four sections. 

    Understanding the tone of the speaker in the audio clip is also very important. Sometimes with that slip tonality, one will easily decode what is the conversation is all about. Idea development as mentioned is also another important element to look at in this IELTS listening section. This section may sound easy due to its approach, but one can score the most for this section. 

    Online Preparatory Materials for IELTS Listening

    It is the section that requires constant practice. There are few online sources from where one can find out things for IELTS listening. Those sources are as following 

    1. English Test Store by ETS with a number of listening comprehension exercises to practice
    2. Audible is an online informative platform whereon will find out high-quality audiobooks that are interested to listen to 
    3. Lyrics gaps are like a gaming approach to learning where the listeners have to fill up the missing lyrics for listening exercises
    4. VOA Learning English is another online platform for English learning where one will find out vocabulary with an easy approach 

    Apart from all these above-mentioned preparation tips and advice, one has to practice these audio scripts regularly. Consider the IELTS listening section is equally important as compared to others. While listening to those audio clips, read aloud the words heard in the clips for a clear understanding of the content. In another way, the test takers also practice for the speaking section along with the listening section.

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