How Can I Use Mock Tests To Prepare For The IELTS Listening Exam?

Taking a full-length listening practice test is one of the best ways to reinforce the skills you’ve learnt during your IELTS Listening test preparation journey. The listening test is exactly the same for both the Academic and General Training versions of the IELTS test. However, there are a few minor differences between the paper-based and the computer-delivered listening tests that are currently being offered in Singapore. Whether you are taking the paper-based or computer-based  IELTS, taking an IELTS Listening Mock test will help you to identify your mistakes so that you won’t make the same errors when you’re sitting for the real IELTS test. Though, before you start practising, there are few things which you need to take into consideration.

Why Is It Important To Take A IELTS Listening Mock Test?

There are a few reasons as to why taking an IELTS practice listening test is a great idea.

Firstly, if you are new to the IELTS Listening test then taking a practice test can give you an approximate idea about your current level of proficiency for that particular skill. Once you gain a better idea about your listening comprehension strengths and weaknesses, it will be easier to decide on the best way to move forward with your preparation. However, it’s important to note that simply taking practice tests will not help you improve in any way. This is merely the first step in determining the correct direction to move forward in regarding your IELTS preparation.

Once you have mastered the necessary skills needed to perform well in the IELTS Listening test, you can use mock tests can help you to check whether your preparation has been effective or not. This can also give you an estimate of what your final Listening score might be.

Time management is also a critical issue for the IELTS test. Taking regular practice tests will help you to learn how to answer questions on time, without making mistakes.

Finally, you should keep in mind that on the exam day you will not just be practising a few questions at a time, but rather four entire sections, with one straight after the other! This can be quite overwhelming for the first few times. You can use mock tests under exam condition to help improve your endurance when taking tests.

Obviously, you also have to keep in mind that the content of the listening test and your anxiety levels will be different on the actual test day. Regular practise under exam conditions can help you overcome these particular issues so that you can complete your IELTS listening test with ease.

Why Is It important To Use Official IELTS Practice Materials?

Make sure that you always practice with official IELTS Practice tests, from trusted sources. Using practice tests from reliable sources like the Cambridge Practice Tests or the IDP and British Council websites 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 mock test you use has the same structure, the same difficulty, the same marking, and the same timing as the IELTS test.

Where Can You Find A Good IELTS Practice Listening Test?

It’s important to make sure that you use a practice test which has the correct level of difficulty and structure as the actual IELTS. Your IELTS mock test should mimic the exact same format as the real test, i.e. it should be 30 minutes long, having a total of 4 parts/sections and 40 questions in total. Use a test that provides a good analysis of your answers at the end of the test. Check your answers at the end of the test to determine your current level of proficiency.

Overall, a good IELTS mock test is a cost-effective way to ensure that you are well- prepared for the IELTS English exam before the actual test day. Keep in mind that the IELTS Exam costs around $250 dollars, and you have to pay separately each time you take the test. It can get quite costly if you do not get your required band scores and have to retake the exam multiple times.

It’s also important to find a free practice test which is based on actual Cambridge IELTS Tests. Use full-length exams in which you’ll find questions that reflect what you’ll see on the test day and that gives you all the necessary help and information needed to guide you through the test before you start. You can use these practice tests to get a better idea of what the IELTS listening test is actually like.

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.