How can I Best Manage my Time During the IELTS Listening test

In this series of articles, we’ve been learning all about the IELTS exam, especially with regard to the IELTS Exam in Singapore. Time management is an essential skill to master the IELTS Exam. Applicants often forget that they have to maintain a certain their speed in order to be able to complete all the given tasks properly. In this article, we will highlight some main strategies and tips that will help you to effectively use each second of the IELTS Listening Test time.

Timings Of  The IELTS Listening Test

The listening test is the same for both the Academic IELTS and the General Training IELTS tests. The Listening test format is as follows: The listening section of the IELTS exam lasts for 40 minutes. You will have 30 minutes to listen to the recording and answer in rough on your question booklet. An additional 10 minutes is provided at the end of the test to neatly transfer your answers to the answer sheet. The test consists of 40 questions, worth one mark each. There are 4 parts, consisting of 10 questions. Each part represents a different type of situation and the difficulty of questions increases progressively with every part.

Part 1: A conversation between two speakers in a social or semi-social situation set in an everyday context. For example, a conversation about inquiring about accommodation or a job application.

Part 2: A talk by a single speaker in a non-academic situation. For example, someone could be giving a talk about the features of a tourist spot.

Part 3: A conversation with up to 4 speakers based on academic topics or course-related situations. For example, this could a conversation between students discussing a group assignment

Part 4: A university-style lecture or talk. This part of the test usually focuses on academic topics that you would usually hear about in a university lecture.

How To Make The Most Of Each Second Of The Listening Test

At the beginning of the test, you will be given an answer booklet and at the same time, you will hear a person over the audio describing the situation you are about to hear. You should listen to this description carefully. It might seem tempting to immediately have a look at the questions, but you should use this time wisely to get an understanding about the situation and the speakers you are about to hear.

You will be given a few seconds to take a look at some of the questions for that particular part. During this short space of time, try to get an idea about the type of question. Try to predict the type of answer that you might need and underline keywords which can guide you through the recording. Take care in particular about unique names and numbers as these will not be paraphrased in any way during the recording.

Once the recording is played you need to keep in mind your predicted answer types and keywords. Listen out for these keywords. Remember that the questions are answered in the order of the dialogue or monologue. Write your answers in rough on the question sheet.

You will be given 10 minutes at the end of the test to neatly transfer your answers to the answer sheet. You can also use this time to double-check your spelling and see if all your completion type answers fit in a grammatically correct way. If you have missed an answer you can also try to make an educated guess about the correct answer. Remember that you do not lose marks for incorrect answers, so it’s important to make sure that you have not left any question blank.

How Being Well-Prepared Can Help Improve Your Time Management Skills

One thing is for sure, the better prepared you are for the test, the more you will improve the time it takes for you to complete the test.

Once you have mastered the necessary skills needed to perform well in the IELTS Listening Exam, taking regular practice tests will also help you to learn how to be fast enough to answer all the questions on time, without making mistakes.

The most efficient and convenient way to pass specified exam is to take counsel of expert online IELTS tutorials and practice using authentic IELTS Mock tests.

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.