Mastering the IELTS Listening Test: Tips and Tricks

    IELTS Listening test is the most scorable module because it depends on the pre-listening skills, which can easily be learnt by investing some time in it. Pre-listening skills refer to activities or strategies that a learner can use prior to listening to help them better understand the content. These skills can include predicting the content of the text, activating prior knowledge related to the topic, summarising and paraphrasing, focusing on key words, and identifying the purpose of the listening activity. 

    Pre-listening activities help learners become more engaged in the task and improve overall listening comprehension. These pre-listening activities can be watching English movies, listening to podcasts/audio books or taking free listening tests for IELTS, online.

    Learners can find free IELTS listening practice tests easily online. All coaching centres that offer IELTS training online offer practice tests on their website. 

    However, despite easy access to free listening tests for IELTS online, how do you judge whether they are created following the right format. An obvious answer is that learners should only choose study materials and practice tests offered by the best IELTS online coaching centers. In this article, you will find some free resources for improving your listening skills, and scoring better in the final IELTS exam. 

    List of free listening test for IELTS online preparation, alongside other free resources

    Free IELTS Listening practice tests:

    There are several free IELTS Listening practice tests available to help you prepare for the actual test. These mock or practice tests can provide you with a better understanding of the format of the test, the types of questions you will be asked, and the kind of language used in the recordings shared in the exam. Some of these practice tests also include answer explanations and sample answers, which can help you understand what kind of answers the examiners are looking for. Some of the most popular free IELTS study material and practice tests are offered by well reputed IELTS training online company, Yuno Learning.

    How should you practice free listening test for IELTS online preparation

    You should start working on short test modules to practice. After taking each test you should get it analysed by a proctor or an assignment writer for improved grades who can tell you what you did right and what you did wrong. Doing practice without any help can be pretty detrimental, because if you will not improve then you will start to get demotivated. It is important that you get good feedback on your performance. You can easily find IELTS training online for comprehensive courses or only module vise help. 

    Other free IELTS listening practice test resources: 

    To prepare for the IELTS Listening test, it is important to become familiar with a wide range of accents. This includes British English, American English, Australian English, as well as other various English accents from around the world. It is also important to be familiar with a variety of regional, social, and cultural accents. Additionally, you should be familiar with a range of different speech styles, such as formal, informal, and colloquial.

    Here are some popular English programs that can help improve listening skills:

    • “Friends” – a classic American sitcom that’s widely considered to have a high-quality, natural English audio.
    • “The Office” – another popular American sitcom that features a conversational English style.
    • “Breaking Bad” – a critically acclaimed American crime drama that features a wide range of English accents and dialogue.
    • “The Crown” – a historical drama about the reign of Queen Elizabeth II, with high-quality audio and well-spoken English dialogue.
    • “House of Cards” – a political drama with a strong narrative, clear English audio, and well-written dialogue.
    • “Planet Earth” – a nature documentary series with clear English narration and descriptions.

    Here are some English Podcasts for free IELTS listening practice for the test: 

    • “Masterclass” – a series of online classes taught by experts in their fields, featuring clear English audio and explanations.
    • “Ted Radio Hour” – features TED Talks on a variety of topics, with clear English audio and informative discussions.
    • “How I Built This” – a podcast about entrepreneurs, innovators, and idealists, and the stories behind the movements they built.
    • “The English We Speak” – a podcast from the British Council that focuses on British English slang and informal expressions.
    • “The Joe Rogan Experience” – a long-form conversation with a variety of guests, featuring clear English audio and natural dialogue.
    • “Stuff You Should Know” – a podcast that covers a wide range of topics, with clear English audio and informative explanations.
    • “The Allusionist” – a podcast that explores language and the ways we use it, with clear English audio and entertaining explanations.
    • “Grammar Girl Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing” – a podcast that provides tips on improving English writing, with clear English audio and concise explanations.

    Importance of grammar as a free IELTS listening practice resource for the test: 

    Grammar is important in the IELTS listening test as it helps test takers to understand the structure and meaning of the language used in the listening passages. Good knowledge of grammar can help test takers to quickly identify key words and phrases in the listening passages, and to understand the relationships between them. This, in turn, can improve their overall comprehension of the material and increase their chances of accurately answering the questions. Additionally, many of the questions in the IELTS listening test require test takers to understand complex grammar structures and to be able to use these structures to answer the questions. Therefore, a good understanding of grammar is essential for success in the IELTS listening test.

    Test takers should be familiar with the different verb tenses, including the present simple, present continuous, past simple, and past continuous, as well as the passive voice. Knowledge of modal verbs such as “can,” “could,” “may,” “might,” etc., and their uses are important. Test takers should understand conditional sentences, such as first and second conditionals, as these can appear in the listening passages.

    Test takers should have a good understanding of prepositions and their uses, as they can appear in the questions and answers.Understanding grammar also involves having a broad vocabulary, including common idioms and expressions, as this can improve test takers’ comprehension of the listening passages.

    In summary, test takers should focus on mastering the most common grammar structures and vocabulary that are used in everyday conversation and have a significant impact on comprehension and understanding. Learners must inculcate grammar practice while taking a free listening test for IELTS online. A good coaching centre will offer grammar ebook and notes along with the free IELTS listening practice test.

    How to best use these free IELTS listening resources

    An important point when using free listening tests for IELTS online preparation is that you must understand the format of the listening test and the types of questions that are asked. 

    The listening test lasts for approximately 30 minutes and consists of four sections, with each section becoming gradually more difficult.

    1. Part 1 – conversation between 2 people based on a social context (10 questions)
    2. Part 2 – monologue based on social context (10 questions)
    3. Part 3 – conversation between 2 to 4 people on an educational context (10 questions)
    4. Part 4 – monologue based on an educational context (10 questions)

    Each part has ten questions and you will receive one mark for each correct answer. The listening test is recorded on audio and you will hear each section only once. You should take notes while listening to help you answer the questions. The test is designed to assess your ability to understand spoken English, so it is important to understand the words and ideas, rather than just memorizing information.

    In this section we will understand each type of question with an example and then list down things one must do while listening to the recordings. 

    What are the different types of questions asked in the IELTS listening test?

    In the IELTS Listening test, there are six different types of questions: multiple choice, matching, form/note/table completion, plan/map/diagram labelling, summary completion, and sentence completion. Each type of question requires different skills and strategies, so it is important to familiarize yourself with each type. Nonetheless, there are some common instructions that are applicable to all types of questions like check spelling, use correct grammar and double check your answers before submitting them.

    The section below explains how you can answer each type of question:

    Multiple choice questions: You will hear a recording and choose the correct answer from a list of options.

    • Listen to the audio attentively.
    • Understand what is being said in the audio recording.
    • Read carefully and quickly to identify the correct answer from the list of options given
    • Understand the context of the question to identify the correct answer.

    Matching questions: You will hear a recording and match information to a list of options.

    • Carefully read the instructions and the questions. 
    • Identify any key words or phrases that will help you match the answers with the questions while listening to the audio.
    • Remember the order of the questions and the answers, as the answers will usually be in the same order as the questions.

    Form/note/table completion: You will hear a recording and fill in a form or a table with the information you hear.

    • Listen carefully to the audio and identify the missing words. 
    • Read instructions carefully, as they will specify the word limit for each gap. 
    • Use the exact words that you hear in the audio so that you stay within the word limit given. 

    Plan/map/diagram labelling: You will hear a recording and label a diagram or a map based on the information you hear.

    You should read the labels given in the question and then select the correct answer from the provided options. For example, you might be given a map of a town and asked to label certain landmarks, or given a diagram of a machine and asked to identify the different parts. You will need to read the question carefully and make sure that you have identified all the labels correctly before selecting your answer. Additionally, it’s important to transfer your answers accurately at the end of the test.

    Summary completion:

    Answering summary completion questions in the IELTS listening test requires careful listening and note taking. When listening, try to identify the main points of the recording, and take notes on the key words and phrases that you hear. As the recording progresses, begin to fill in the summary with the words and phrases that you have noted down. When answering the summary, pay attention to the word limit and make sure that the written summary accurately reflects the content of the recording 

    Sentence completion: You will hear a recording and fill in missing words in a sentence.

    To answer sentence completion questions in the IELTS Listening test, you should pay close attention to the question before the audio begins, as it will give you an idea of what to listen for in the audio. Make sure to listen for the exact words given in the question and try to remember them. When the audio is finished, choose the answer that most accurately reflects the words you heard in the audio. If you are unsure of the answer, you can also eliminate answers that you know are incorrect, as this can help you narrow down your choices.

    Here are the things you should do when using free IELTS Listening practice tests and resources:

    • Practice taking notes while listening to improve your ability to identify important information.
    • Get used to the accent and speed of English speakers by listening to native speakers.
    • Focus on key words and phrases in the questions and listen for them in the recording.
    • Manage your time effectively by allocating time for each section and question type.
    • Practice under test conditions, by timing yourself and taking practice tests to simulate the real test environment.
    • Review your answers after each practice test to see what you did well and what you need to improve.
    • Pay attention to common pronunciation mistakes and work to improve your pronunciation.
    • Get plenty of rest and stay relaxed on the day of the test, to help you perform at your best.

    Learners can enroll in IELTS training online and get structured help to improve their scores. Such programs are helpful for working professionals and students. A better path is to take IELTS practice tests, judge your level and then enrol in a course.

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