Which Practice Exercises Should I Use To Prepare For My IELTS Listening Exam?      

Taking practice IELTS listening exercises are a vital part of any students IELTS preparation. Not only do they help you to find out about the areas on which you need to focus and improve on, but they also help to reduce your test day anxiety. You will become more and more accustomed about what expect when you actually take the test, the more you practice. This article aims to inform you about the types of practice exercises to take if you are preparing for the IELTS Listening test.  It is especially useful for students from Singapore.

When To Start Using IELTS Listening Test Exercises

The are many steps in your IELTS Listening Preparation journey. The first involves understanding the test format and structure. The IELTS  Listening test tests your listening comprehension skills. It comprises of 40 questions divided into 4 parts and lasts for a total of 30 minutes. Candidates are given 10 minutes at the end of the exam to transfer their answers neatly to their answer sheet. This time can also be used to check your answers.

Next, you must familiarize yourself with the general skills and strategies needed to solve the different types of questions within the IELTS listening test. As mentioned in a previous article these include

  • Question Analysis and Answer Prediction
  • Keyword Identification
  • Listen for Detail

The Methods To Practice

Once you have understood how to correctly apply these strategies, it’s important to start reinforcing whatever you have learnt by completing IELTS Listening exercises for different types of questions. Start by answering one type of question only. For example, you can start by practising

Multiple Choice questions. This will help you to practice the steps needed for answering MCQs. Once you feel comfortable using the techniques needed to solve this type of question, you can move on to the next question type.

Try to use IELTS practice exercises that also include an audio script. You can read along with the script as you listen to the recording. This will help you to get used to searching for keywords and understanding the pronunciation and accents of different native speakers. This is also a good way to recognise how keywords are usually emphasised during the recording as well

There are also specific grammar topics that are crucial for getting a good Listening test band score Students have to be familiar with the use of plural and singular nouns. The use of articles in front of a blank space often gives a clue as to whether a singular or plural noun is needed. Prepositions of time and place also signal whether the missing blank might be a day, a time, or the name of a specific place. These are all areas of grammar in which candidates need to demonstrate a suitable level of proficiency. For this reason, much practice is needed with these grammar topics.

Familiarizing yourself with the listening test instruction is also crucial to your success. IELTS Listening test questions require answers in the form of letters, numbers or words. Certain questions require a specific word limit, you might be asked to answer questions using no more than one or two words. Unfortunately, many test-takers lose valuable marks due to their inability to carefully follow the instructions regarding word limits.

Use Authentic IELTS Materials

Make sure that you always practice with official IELTS Practice materials, from trusted sources. Using exercises and questions that are sourced from reliable institutes like Cambridge, the IDP or British Council, is important because there are far too many fake tests and practice materials which can give an incorrect impression of your actual level of preparedness for the IELTS test. Make sure that the questions you use to practice have the same structure and level of difficulty, as the actual IELTS test.

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.