Both the Academic Module and the General Training Module of the IELTS has a similar Listening structure with four recordings and a 10 minute transfer time. The following tips will ease your ride to reach the 8.0 Band in the IELTS Listening section:

Befriend the test: The first and the foremost step towards successful navigation through a test is befriending the test and familiarizing oneself with the structure of the test.

IELTS Listening section has four sections or recordings with ten questions in each section. Each question carries a single raw point, and there is no penalty for a wrong answer. The test has been allotted 40 minutes- 30 minutes for the test plus another 10 minutes for transferring answers to an answer sheet.

The clips begin with an introduction of the recording for the benefit of the test-takers and are usually organized as:

Recording 1: Informal Conversation– An informal conversation, generally between two people about some social situations.

For example: a discussion between two friends about the place to visit.

Recording  2:  Informal Monologue– A person speaking in an informal setting.

For example: a speech by a tourist guide describing the historical place or the artifacts of the museum.

Recording 3: Academic Conversation– A conversation, usually between two people in a University setting.

For example: a discussion between a Professor and a student on assignments or classes.

Recording 4: Academic Lecture– A speech or lecture by the professor in a classroom on an academic subject.

Don’t beat around the bush: Instead of randomly jumping onto answering the questions, read and follow the instructions. Make a connection between the question and the expected answer, and explain only what is needed, with the required number of words, and within time-limit. The short introduction of 30 seconds that gives a glimpse of the recording should be used effectively to get into the right mindset.

Vocabulary: Vocabulary is the backbone of any language. You should know not only words but also their correct spellings, as a word wrongly spelled can take away points or for that matter, the essence of the answer. Avoid using abbreviated versions for months and numbers. For example, Write March and not MAR. Be sure to verify the spellings.

Intonation: Listen to the dialogues, notice the flow and the pattern of the voice, concentrate on the stress and intonation of the recording as it helps in processing the information put forth by the speakers, especially in the fourth recording where the speakers are the lecturers or the professors, and the content is academically focused. Answer is always in the content.

The IELTS Listening section is formulated to test your capabilities to decipher and understand the language. It does not require you to have a foreknowledge of the content. Hence, you must listen to recordings carefully and answer accordingly. Understand how the language is presented and used in both general setting as well as an academic setting. The answer is always in the content. You have to ‘fill-in-the-blanks’ by recalling the content. When answering a question relating to a particular recording, wrap your mind around that specific recording. Whether you are planning to study in a foreign university or are on your way to secure a new job, you follow these strategies and secure an 8.0 Band in IELTS and then, book your ticket and pack your bags to move to your desired destination.