Today I’m answering a listener question about how to improve your listening skills for the IELTS exam. If you’d like me to cover more IELTS materials in future lessons, please feel free to let me know.
IELTS = International English Language Testing System
IELTS is a popular English exam taken all over the world. It’s useful for immigration purposes, universities, getting jobs, or even just testing your level.
The listening exam is a 30-minute exam with 4 recordings.
Recording 1 – everyday conversation
Recording 2 – everyday monologue
Recording 3 – academic conversation
Recording 4 – academic monologue
There are 6 types of questions and you will get some of these randomly. You can practice them online on your own or with a tutor.
IELTS uses different accents (British, Canadian, Australian, Kiwi, American)
Here’s a video comparing different English-speaking accents
1. Listen Every Day
Listen every day – it doesn’t have to be just for IELTS. Any listening you can do is an achievement.
If you’re listening to this podcast – you’re already doing great! (try avoiding subtitles unless you really can’t understand a particular word)
2. Try Practice Tests
Numbers come up a lot in the exam, so practice the difference between difficult numbers.
16 / 60
$117 / $170
Answers to the numbers I said:
1613 (sixteen thirteen – as a date)
Practice listening to numbers here: English Numbers
Also, make sure you are confident at listening to spellings
Answers to my questions
Carlos – the correct spelling (“Karlos” is wrong)
More practice with spellings: IELTS Liz
5. Listen actively
Listen actively, not passively. This means really pay attention to what you’re listening to and don’t just put on some audio in the background.
6. Word Forms & Synonyms
Practice word forms and synonyms
I mentioned the difference between “Produce” and “Production” (verb → noun).
But also the difference in pronunciation between “EXport” and “exPORT” (noun → verb)
For more practice, here’s a place to change the forms of the words: English Grammar Online
Practise the stress in words here: Word Stress
Links and Resources
Examples of online tests:
Book IELTS Training with me: https://ewmichael.com/lessons
Video to practice IELTS Accents: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wj8GMQ7WR48
Practice listening to numbers: http://www.englishnumber.com/
Practice spelling words: https://ieltsliz.com/spelling-practice-city-names/
English Word Stress: http://www.wordstress.info/exercise/
British and American English differences: https://www.ewmichael.com/britishaccent/