The strategies below refer to skills that are important when you are listening during the IELTS test.


1.1 Strategy 1:Listen actively.

One of the majors challenges that you, as an IELTS candidate, have to face is doing several things while listening. You must recognise more than just names, places and times. You must also connect ideas, organise information, generalise and infer.

Here are ‘active listening’ strategies that you can use for all Listening module question types.


•Read the instructions to know how many words you are allowed or required to write. The word limit includes all words, including articles and prepositions. Do not go above the word limits or your answer will be marked incorrect.
•Read through the questions and notes on the question paper and decide what the topic. For example, to get the right information from a conversation or monologue, it helps if you ask yourself the right questions before you begin listening, such as:

•Who is talking?
•What are they talking about!
•How do they feel about it?

•Analyse the questions and prompts, and decide what type of information is required.This may include information such as a price, name or time.
•Consider the options in relation question. In some cases, an option may be true, but does not answer the question.
•Eliminate opines by putting a cross beside them when you are sure they are wrong.
•Underline the key words‘in the rubric, questions and options before you listen. Underlining or highlighting the key words around each gap in completion tasks—or in questions in other tasks—can help you listen more effectively.For example, a speaker might use vocabulary that helps you identify how the talk is organised. Say a professor is giving a lecture on Newton’s laws of physics. the might discuss each law using ‘first’, ‘next’, ‘then’, ‘finally’, etc. as follows:

•Body paragraph 1: ‘Isaac Newton first thought that. . .. He tested this theory by.. .. His observations showed. . ..’
•Body paragraph 2: ‘Next, Newton had always believed. . .. He conducted an experiment that. . .. Then he saw how. . ..’
•Body paragraph 3: ‘Finally, Newton theorized that. … However, when he learned that. …’

•Mouth the options in the box quietly to yourself that is, form the words with your mouth, but do not speak them out loud. This may help you recognise them in the recording.
•Try to re-phrase the notes rind questions in your one work. This could help you identify the moment when the speaker is about to give the correct answer.
•Try to re-phrase the possible answers in your own non because the speakers might give the correct answer using parallel expressions.


•Listen for any clue that the speakers are about to answer the questions. They will probably use different words from the question.
•Always choose only the required number of options for each question.
•Do not write more than the maximum number of words that you are asked for,Write only the words that you hear,without changing them.
•If you miss an answer,do not —keep listening. Otherwise, you will miss the next question,too.


•Make sure you answer Query question because you will not lose marks for wrong answers.
•As you copy your answers,check that the words you have written make sense in the context, are grammatically correct and are correctly spell.

•Do not copy anything printed on the question paper when transferring your answers to the answer sheet.You should copy what you have written yourself.


When you listen for specific information, you are listening for key, factual information. In many completion tasks in the IELTS listening test, you have ro listen for numbers. You should be familiar with the following conventions:

1.1.5 Telephone Numbers

These are usually spoken as individual numbers. For example, 273458 would be spoken as ‘two seven three four five eight’. With seven-digit numbers, speakers often divide them into one group of three and one group of four, with a short pause between the groups. For example, 634-4398 would be spoken as ‘six three four… four three nine eight’.

Sometimes a few numbers are grouped into a larger number, especially when this involves consecutive zeros. for example, the number 975600 would be spoken as ‘nine seven five six hundred’.
Often, ‘0’ in telephone numbers is spoken as the letter ‘o’, as in ‘go’. In British and Australian English, sometimes the words ‘double’ and ‘triple’ are used. For example, the phone number 334-677/ would be spoken as ‘double three four … six triple seven’.

1.1.6 Decimal Numbers

Decimal numbers are introduced with the word ‘point’ and then each decimal number is spoken individually. For example, the number 16./8 would be spoken as ‘sixteen point seven eight’.

1.1.7 Prices

When talking about prices, the word ‘point’ is not usually used. The decimal numbers arc usually combined and introduced with ‘and’. For example, $15.75 would be spoken as ‘fifteen dollars and seventy-five cents’-Ave cents’. Sometimes, the currency is also left out. For example, $15.75 would be spoken as ‘fifteen seventy-five’.

1.1.8 Fractions

With the exception of ‘a half’, ‘a quarter’, and ‘a third’, fractions are expressed with ‘th’ at the end. For example, the fraction 7/8 would be spoken as ‘seven-eighths’ and 9/10 would be spoken as ‘nine-tenths’.

1.1.9 Thousands

It is also possible to express thousands as the equivalent number of hundreds. For example, 1,700 would be spoken as ‘seventeen hundred’; 2,700 would be spoken as ‘twenty-seven hundred’; and 1,123 would be spoken as ‘eleven hundred and twenty-three’.

1.1.10 Dates

There are several possible ways to write dates. In British English, the day comes before the month, and periods are often used to separate elements. For exmple, the date May 16, 1976 would be written 16.05.76 or 16.5. 1976. In American English, the month comes first, and slashes are often used to separate elements. For example, May 16, 1976 would be written 05/16/76 or 5/16/1976.
For the IELTS listening test, you should adhere to the following format:

•5 July
•5 July 2004 (when it is necessary to include the year)


1.2 Strategy 2:Anticipate key points based on the main Idea

Anticipating means thinking about what might or will come next. Anticipation makes listening easier. Knowing the topic helps you predict and anticipate certain details. For exmple, a student who wants to talk about his term paper might have problems with the topic, organisation, due date, length, bibliography or a partner. Similarly, a pto[essot who gives a lecture on bees might discuss their appearance, abilities, evolution, migration, reproduction, diet, reasons for studying them, and so on. Knowing the possibilities makes it easier to hear what the speaker says.

1.3 Strategy 3:Do not try to record everything in notes

If you decide to take notes during the exam, you need to make sure they are effective and efficient. That means you need to determine the topic of the talk, study the questions, decide what type of information and what types of words are missing. Based on your observations, focus on noting down only those words. While making notes, less important words could either be omitted or recorded using symbols and abbreviations.

For example, say an essential topic of the talk is a project that started in 1996. The key words to remember would be ‘project’, ‘started’ and ‘1996’. It is very unlikely that in the IELTS exam you will be asked to complete a gap with ‘started’ or ‘the’. Therefore, you could matte the following notes: ‘project: -* 1996’

When you are given 30 seconds at the end of each section to check your answers, look at your notes and circle the parts that you think answer the questions.



The following strategies refer to strategies that are particularly important when you listen to a conversation, lecture or talk during the IELTS listening examination.

2.1 Strategy 1: Create one column for each speaker in your notes to avoid ” confusion when you read them.

Should you decide to make notes, it is important to keep them organised. To do this, create one column for each speaker in the conversation. Although names are useful, you will never be asked to name any of the speakers. So depending on the type of conversation, identify each speaker as Professor and Student, Man and Woman, or Student 1 and Student 2.

2.2 Strategy 2: Be prepared for the’unique elements of’spoken English.

The speakers in the listening test will not sound as if they are reading an essay. Instead, their speech will be natural and resemble everyday spoken English, which can include interruptions and self- correction.


An interruption occurs when a listener in a conversation or lecture says something before the speaker has finished making a point or observation. A speEet could be interrupted by a question or comment, and the speaker will have to resolve the interruption before returning to the original topic. You will have to remember what was said before the interruption to understand fully what is said after. Some common vocabulary for interruptions includes:
•‘Excuse me, but. . .’
•‘I’m sorry but. . .’
•‘I don’t want to be rude, but. . .’
•‘Hold on. . .’
•‘Hang on. . .’
•‘Can I interrupt?’
•‘Can I just say that. . .’


Anyone, even a lecturer, can misspeak (speak incorrectly), often by using the wrong word. When people misspeak, they interrupt themselves and then restate their idea correctly. Self-correction could involve some of the following key words or expressions:
•Actually. . .’
•‘Hang on. . .’
•‘Hold on. . .’
•‘That’s not exactly right.’
•’That’s not really true.’
•’Let me rephrase that.’
•’Let me start again/start over.’

Such mistakes are usually used in the listening examination as distracters. That is, you hear the incorrect information and think it is the correct answer. Once they note it down, they start listening for the answer to the next question, thus losing a point. It is important to be aware of this sort of distracted and be prepared to change your answers accordingly.

2.3 Strategy 3:Be prepared to infer

Even though it is possible, a speaker will probably not state how his or her talk is organised directly. Therefore, do not rely on an explicit, obvious statement such as ‘Let’s organise our discussion by types of energy sources’ or ‘I want to begin with the best solution and then continue to the least suitable.’ You will probably have to recognise how the passage is organised on your own.

Leave a Reply

Close Menu