Is It Possible To Score A Band Nine In The IELTS Listening Exam?

The IELTS exam is a language proficiency exam that assesses a candidates ability to perform well in four different areas, i.e. listening, reading, writing (task 1 and 2) and speaking. Scoring a perfect band 9 in the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) listening test is achievable. You may already be familiar with the basic content and structure of the listening test. we will take a look at a few unique tips and strategies that can boost your IELTS band score all the way to a band nine.

Acclimatise Yourself To Different Accents

A great way to aid in your IELTS preparation is to familiarize yourself with how native English speakers speak. There are many ways in which you can do this. You could watch English TV programmes or News channels, listen to podcasts about topics that interest you or find content that is somehow IELTS related. This will also help acclimatize you to the sounds and unique pronunciations used by speakers with different accents.

Signal Words

The speakers usually offer clues, in the form of signal words, to help test takers understand that different types of information are about to be mentioned. For example, the speaker could introduce an example by saying something like “for instance” or they could signal the end of their talk by saying “to sum up” Understanding what these words mean or ‘signal’ will help you to anticipate what the speaker might talk about next.

Improve Your Topic Vocabulary

Familiarise yourself with the common types of situations that routinely appear in the listening test. for example, Part one is usually a straightforward everyday type of conversation about making reservations, a doctor’s appointment or a telephonic conversation between people where important information needs to be noted down. Part 2 is usually a single speaker giving a talk/description of a tourist area. part three often has a group of students discussing some sort of university assignment or project. Part 4 usually consists of lectures of an academic nature. When you become accustomed to listening to these sorts of recordings you get a clearer idea about the signal words that you need to listen out for as well as other types of common vocabulary used in these situations.

Focused Listening

The IELTS listening test recordings are only played once and there is no option to replay the audio under any circumstances. Even a second of distraction can cause you to lose your place in the recordings and miss out on important answers and information. Before you actually sit for the exam, make sure that you develop the ability to listen attentively for long periods of time without losing focus or being distracted. This is especially important for part four of the test, as the recording for this part will not include any breaks in between. You can do so by using authentic IELTS listening practice materials and timed practice tests, such as those found in the Cambridge IELTS series. Start off with shorter bits of audio and then work your way up to the longer recordings. Taking practice tests before your actual exam can also help you overcome test day anxiety as you become more and more familiar with what to expect during the IELTS listening test.

Reduce Test Day Anxiety

Many test takers often wonder why their practice listening test band scores are so different from their ielts score on their actual test day. This is most often because of test day jitters. Most students unnecessarily panic when they miss out on an answer. While this is unfortunate, if it happens, do not let this distract you from listening out for the next answer. You can also use the ten minutes at the end of the test to make an educated guess about the answer could be.

Jonathan has been teaching students to prepare for the IELTS and PTE Exams for more than 10+ years. He's taught English to students in various countries in the world including Singapore, China, Australia, Canada and Colombia.