For most educational institutions, a mere 6.5/9 will suffice; however, for other major universities, the standard of scores could vary from a 7 band upward. Since the reliability of the IELTS as a test is far higher and widely accepted, a good step 1 is to ensure that the candidate must approach the IELTS not as a mandatory requirement but as a good first step in building one’s personality and developing it consistently. Listening to the English language being used will allow you to gain a better understanding of its natural usage. A key method of improving your English skills through active listening is by listening to a range of conversation points from a variety of sources. This will subsequently introduce you to unfamiliar vocabulary and a broader range of accents. Listening actively can help improve your spelling, grammar and vocabulary – all of which are crucial in passing the IELTS Listening exam.
Familiarize yourself with the format of the test by reviewing the content of the test, as well as the question and task types for each section. It’s also important to read through the IELTS rules and regulations. These are laid out in the Notice to Candidates and Declaration which are included in the application form.
Completing and correcting practice papers is a very important and difficult process. However, it is important that you don’t simply complete paper after paper because listening is a skill that needs improving. When marking your completed papers, you should pay extra attention to your spelling. Be harsh and be honest – the whole point of completing practice papers is to give you a representation of your exam skills.
Don’t get confused by all the different voices you are going to hear. The recording uses different voices – of younger and older people, men and women. You may also hear different accents – Australian, British, American, Japanese, etc. The background noises also vary. It can be from an airport, a coffee-shop, a street, a university lecture hall, you name it. Be ready for it and don’t let it distract you – because that is exactly what they want. Ignore the noises and listen for the answers. When you deal with multiple-choice questions, elimination is a good strategy. Usually only one answer is correct, unless the instructions say something else. Look at the words around the gap to understand what’s missing, a noun, an adjective or a verb. If the answer you give is grammatically incorrect – it cannot be the right one. Checking the grammar of your answers will give you an idea whether your answer is correct or not. During the test, you have a little time between Listening sections. Use it to check and complete your answers. After the 30 minutes or so of the Listening test, there are 10 additional minutes. During the test you have written all of the answers in the Listening test booklet. These 10 minutes are given you to copy your answers onto the Answer Sheet, and you should use them smartly.
Multitasking is key for the listening section of the exam. You need to be able to listen while answering questions and making notes. This is why it would be helpful to practice your multitasking skills before your exam. You can practice this skill by listening to podcasts and taking notes of what is happening, or watching the news in English while summarizing the discussion as you watch.
Reflecting on your mistakes is more important than reflecting on your strengths because you can learn much more from them.