Taking the English proficiency test is mandatory when applying for schools or PR in Canada. To meet the language requirements for Canadian universities, an overall score of over 6.5 for IELTS is recommended. There is no difference between IELTS Academic and General training in terms of listening. Before taking the IELTS test, here are five essential tips – whether you are an international student or a Permanent Resident applicant.
1: Be familiar with the British accent
If you are familiar with the British accent, you already have a huge advantage in the listening section. Even though the accents spoken in IELTS are diverse, British English is the most common accent in IELTS listening. Listening to podcasts and Youtube videos such as BBC News and TED talks from different countries and speakers will give you an edge in accent habits. This will help you get accustomed to different accents and prepare you for the actual test.
2: Focus on Sections 1 and 2
Whichever you choose, academic or general training, IELTS listening consists of 4 sections and 40 questions. To achieve a score of over 6.5, you need to answer at least 29 questions correctly, leaving room for only 11 mistakes. Sections 1 and 2 are normally the easiest, so aim to get all answers correct and pay attention to instructions like limiting the number of words. Be sure to read the questions carefully to avoid making mistakes.
3: Maintain a calm and healthy mind
Listening is the first section of the IELTS test, so it is important to keep calm and stay focused.
Even if you are not confident after the listening section, do not focus on the past and calmly move on to the next part. Taking a mock test can help prepare you for the real exam and improve your confidence. In addition, getting enough sleep and eating a healthy breakfast before the exam can also help you feel more relaxed and prepared.
4: Guess Noun, Adjective, Adverb, or Verb?
Before the speaker starts talking, test takers will have a short amount of time to check the questions and answers. Take advantage of this time to predict the type of question and mark your paper as best as possible. Taking a memo during the listening section is accepted in both paper-based and computer-based IELTS tests. Unfortunately, the speaker may not use the exact words from the answer choice, so don’t forget to improve your synonyms and vocabulary, as this can help you better understand the context of the questions and increase your chances of getting the correct answers.
5: Use a 10-minute bonus
If your listening is your weakest section, consider taking the paper-based test. It is difficult to determine which is better between computer-based or paper-based. However, for the listening section, the paper-based one has a huge benefit. The paper test allows you an additional 10 minutes to transfer your answers to the answer sheet after the listening section. This means you can focus on listening during the actual test. Even though 10 minutes may seem like a short amount of time, it is significant during the IELTS test. If you finish transferring your answer early, please double-check that all answers are correct on the answers sheet with the remaining time you have.
Do you want to know more tips for the IELTS test?
Check our IELTS Speaking Test Practices Task 1 section and other IELTS articles!