How to improve listening in IELTS

How to improve listening in IELTS

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • Format of the listening test
  • Common Challenges in the IELTS Listening Test
  • Strategies for Improving Listening Skills
  • Specific Techniques for IELTS Listening Success
  • Tips for Preparation before the test
  • Conclusion


The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is one of the most commonly recognised standards in English Language Proficiency tests. Out of its four segments, it is the one about listening that gives many candidates sleepless nights. Nonetheless, you can actually enhance your aural capabilities for IELTS if you use correct methods. In this article, we will look at certain techniques on how to improve listening in IELTS.

Format of the listening test

Before describing the strategies on how to improve listening in IELTS, you need to know the structure of the IELTS listening test. The test consists of four sections, with a different question format for each section. These sections get harder as they progress, testing how well candidates can understand spoken English on academic or general subjects in different contexts and accents.

  • Part 1: Normally, the first part of the book is a conversation between two speakers talking informally in a social situation.
  • Part  2: The second part entails a monologue commonly given at a workplace training program or a university lecture hall.
  • Part  3: The third section contains a sort of conversation involving up to four speakers at a time, more likely scholars. It is a sort of discussion among students and their professors.
  • Part  4: It contains a soliloquy on some scholarly topic (like a scientific thesis).

Common Challenges in the IELTS Listening Test

Despite the fact that it is uncomplicated in form, the IELTS listening test has many difficulties. It is usual not to be able to see clearly through a forest of spoken words the main things that should be heard. These are general and detailed listening, as well as listening for specific details when in such a situation. This will need a lot of concentration and good note-taking skills. Some ways to deal with such issues include:

  • When there are a lot of spoken words, one must try and catch key information.
  • Time should be properly managed for every section.
  • One has to deal with different rates at which people speak and their accents.
  • Throughout the test, keep on concentrating and also focus.
  • One should be able to know the topic sentence, main idea and minor details all together.
  • Essential information should be captured while taking notes.
  • Do not let distractions take away your attention during the audio session.
  • Get rid of nervousness or anxiety that usually goes along with poor performance.
  • It is important to pay attention when listening so that you can correctly answer questions posed orally.
  • Previewing responses and rechecking them is unrealistic in the short time given.

Strategies for Improving Listening Skills

In order to enhance your abilities at listening when tackling ielts you need to be more involved which involves being active when exercising good listening exercises as well as concentrate mainly on what has been said to get the general idea while keeping other details at the back of our minds.

It is essential for one who is willing to learn how to improve their listening skills for the IELTS exam to take part in verbal tests where they will be required to identify the major points across different topics as well as keep some essential information mentally.

  • To enhance our skills, we need to keep on practicing often so that we get exposed in different ways such as accents and questions patterns which test our ability to listen well when people speak slowly or rapidly.
  • Immersing oneself in numerous forms of spoken English such as podcasts, news broadcasts, and audio lectures can help one get used to different ways of speaking in terms of accentuation or intonation patterns, rhythmicality, tone quality etc.
  • It is essential to listen to authentic IELTS listening passages for one to become familiar with how the test is usually conducted and some question types that are usually asked.

Specific Techniques on How to improve listening in IELTS

In order to perform well on the IELTS listening exam, you must utilize certain techniques that are appropriate for it. Prior to listening, one should take into account some pre-listening strategies which include scanning through questions among others letting him/her to gain an edge over others.

  • Before the tape starts, you should scan through questions quickly so as to comprehend them at once. This makes you ready for what is coming up in terms of theme or main ideas contained in it.
  • Note-taking methods that work well should be used during exams.Treat yourself to a short form that enables you to put down significant words and phrases fast, bypassing the necessity of complete sentences.Write down only important details such as dates, names, places and all other relevant things.
  • Concentrating from the beginning of the test is important too. Do not allow your mind to be distracted and continue following the audio. In case you fail to catch some facts while being told, just forget about them; re-focus your mind and carry-on until you get other responses.
  • After you listen, make sure to review your answers, see where you went wrong, and you will be able to improve your performance in general. For instance, compare what you wrote down with what the speaker said in the audio file. Such a way of thinking will make it easy for you in future tests because past experiences will help you adjust while learning how to listen better across their later tests. To improve skills join IELTS Coaching In Chandigarh


Someone who is studious can achieve a lot by effectively preparing and trying hard. Boost your IELTS score by understanding the test format, identifying common issues, and focusing on improving the speaking section.

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