Best IELTS Listening Test Preparation Methods

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 sheets.

If you are taking the IELTS test for the first time, then figuring out how to start your IELTS Listening preparation can be a confusing and overwhelming task. In this article, you will learn about the best methods of preparation for the IELTS listening exam. It is especially useful for would-be IELTS test takers from Singapore.

Overcoming A Big IELTS Preparation Myth

Many test-takers rely solely on using practice tests to prepare for the IELTS exam. While I do believe that taking practice tests do have its benefits, it cannot be the only method of preparation. This is because the IELTS Listening exam is a thorough check of your listening comprehension skills. In order to score well, you need to be able to listen out for specific information as well as understand and follow the nuances of conversations and monologues. To put it simply, you cannot practice using skills that you do not have. It’s vital that you first learn how to use these skills before you start practising, as practice alone will never help you to improve your score.

How Can I Prepare For The IELTS Listening Test?

  1. A great way to aid in your 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.
  2. During the Listening test, many of the words used by the speakers will be paraphrases of the words used in the questions. For this reason, it’s also important to widen your vocabulary range and improve your ability to identify paraphrases and synonyms. You need to change the way you learn new vocabulary. Each time you learn a new word, make sure that you note down the possible synonyms of this word as well.
  3. There are also a few strategies which are useful for solving IELTS Listening test questions. These include:
    • Question Analysis
    • Answer Prediction
    • Listening for Detail

The above strategies will help you to answer basically any type of IELTS Listening test question.

  1. Once you have gained a reasonable understanding of these strategies needed to tackle the different types of IELTS questions you can start completing IELTS Listening exercises for different types of questions. This will help you to practice the techniques needed for answering various types of Listening questions.
  2. Make sure that you use authentic IELTS materials and practice exercises, that includes 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 accents of different speakers. This is also a good way to recognize that keywords are usually emphasized during the recording.
  3. Lastly, once you have mastered the necessary skills needed to complete the IELTS Listening Test, you should try to complete an IELTS Listening practise test under exam conditions in order to gauge how effective your preparation has been.

Why Is It Important To Take An IELTS Preparation Course?

Taking a listening course that is designed to equip you with all the information, strategies and skills is important for you to ace the IELTS Listening test. Having an experienced teacher will significantly impact the time it takes for you to prepare. It’s the fastest way to identify the areas of your Listening skills that are holding you back from the result you need. The students that register for the IELTS exam are usually either full-time students or working professionals. It is also crucial to find a course that bests suits your needs in terms of scheduling and availability.

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.