The IELTS Listening test will feature a range of accents to reflect the international nature of English. Therefore, you should get used to listening to accents from a range of English-speaking countries.
Instead of just listening to the BBC, you could try smaller regional radio stations or actively watch TV shows from different English-speaking countries. A quick search on Google is all you need to find these.
Don’t lose your concentration.
It can be difficult to stay focused during your IELTS Listening test, but it’s also extremely important if you want to score a Band 7 or above.
To improve your concentration you need to practice active listening.
This involves setting yourself small tasks when you are practising and doing something when you are listening, just like you will be in your test.
Follow the instructions carefully.
This especially applies when it comes to the word limit. If the question states ‘No more than three words then you can’t write any more than this. If your answer is four words it will be incorrect.
Familiarise yourself with the different question types.
Doing so will mean you’ll know exactly what to expect on test day and how to react to the question types you’re given. To help you with this, you should use genuine practice IELTS past papers.
Practice listening to things only once.
Lots of teachers allow their students to listen to a recording 3 or 4 times. However, I would strongly recommend practising the exam under exam conditions and that means listening just once.
Essential Exam Information
To score a Band 7+ in IELTS listening, you need to have a solid understanding of what is expected from you. The information below will help you understand exactly what is required from you:
The IELTS Listening test lasts around 30 minutes.
There are 40 questions in total. Each question carries 1 mark.
The test is divided into 4 parts. The questions get progressively more difficult as the test goes on.
Timing is key. For each part, you will have time to look at the questions before the recording begins and you will have time to check your answers at the end.
You will be given 10 minutes to transfer your answers to the answer sheet provided at the end of the test.
Both General Training and Academic IELTS pupils take the same Listening exam.
Improving your Listening Skills
Students often ask, ‘How do we improve our reading and listening skills?’ The short answer is ‘Read and listen more.’ However, this is not a very good answer because you need to know HOW to practice and WHERE to get a good reading and listening material source. For example, watching podcasts offers you insight into what you can expect if you live in an English-speaking country. There are also so many of them, that you can pick the ones that suit your interests.