How to pass IELTS Listening - Tips, Strategies, Advice

How to pass IELTS Listening - Tips, Strategies, Advice

1. Spelling

Pay attention to spelling! Wrong spelling - incorrect answer!

In order to get 1 point you need:

a. Hear the right word(s)
b. Spell it correctly

For example, you wrote "acommodation" - This answer will be marked wrong because of misspelling.

The only correct answer in this case would be "aCCoMModation" (double C, double M)

At the beginning and at the end of each part you will have about 30 seconds to go through the questions and check your answers, use this time to check spelling as well!

2. Pay attention to the question

Carefully read the question and point out the Key Words. They will help you to focus on the correct part of the text and skip the irrelevant parts.

We write the words exactly as we hear them! - If you write a related word or synonym it would be a mistake!

For instance:

Record: very cold You write: really cold
Record: big You write: large

We do not change the words!

3. Paraphrase

The words in the assignments and the ones you hear on the record are not the same words! Everything is rephrased, synonyms and related expressions and constructions are used all the time.

For example,

You hear: "Less than a quarter of students passed the exam."

You choose: "Only 23% of students did well."

You hear: "poor results"

You choose: "the students performed poorly."

4. Number of words

There can be different numbers of words you have to write in your answer, it is specified in the task:



If the task says "ONE WORD AND/OR A NUMBER", and you wrote TWO words and ONE number it is a mistake.

Words with hyphens are considered as 1 word. For example, "check-in" (1 word)

5. Guess

If you don't know the answer try to guess.

Before you write your answer, try to figure out which part of speech could be the right answer: a noun, a verb, an adjective or maybe a name?

For example:

The restaurant offers a ........ breakfast.
- Which part of speech is skipped?
- An adjective.
- What breakfast could it be?
- English, continental, full, etc.

Attention! There is an article ''a'', so the first letter is a consonant. - You also want to write the answer which is grammaticaly relevant

Pay attention to the articles and plurals. You may not hear "s": student or students. It is important to mind question grammar.
If the question has the article "a" in it, then "students" is deffinitely a wrong one. Correct answer: a student.

Sometimes, an article is already written in the question, you do not have to duplicate it in your answer.

6. Intonation and Voice

Sometimes, it could be necessary to notice feelings and emotions which are expressed by the speaker: surprise, delight, disappointment, etc.

Changes in intonation might give you a hint: if the speaker raises his voice or emphasizes some words, this may mean that something important is being discussed.

For instance:
Alex: Let’s go to IKEA.
Laura: There’s an IKEA here?

Laura emphasizes the word IKEA, thereby expressing surprise; she did not expect that there is such a store.

And if the task says: "How did Laura feel?"

You easily choose: "surprised".

7. Hidden answers

You may come across with the case where the speaker does not answer the question directly.

And you have to be ready for this and read between the lines using context.

For instance:

Alex: Are you ready for the exam?
Laura: I revised only half of the material yesterday and just woke up. I should be at university in an hour!

And now we answer the question: "Is Laura prepared for her exam?"
The answer is NO.

You listen, read, hear and write. Practice doing it all at the same time

How to master IELTS Writing: Task 1 & Task 2

Full IELTS Writing (Ac) Course
14 lessons / 7+ hours of video content
  • How to write an answer to ANY type of Essay task
  • How to write an answer to ANY type of Graph task
  • How to structure your answer
  • What to write in each paragraph
  • What grammar to use
  • How to link your ideas
  • What vocabulary to use
  • What you should write to get a high score

Bonus: IELTS Punctuation PDF Guide
Everything you want to know to have correct punctuation in your IELTS Writing for 7.0-9.0 Score
(31 pages, .PDF)