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IELTS Strategic Analysis: Listening

IELTS Strategic Analysis: Listening


Hello readers, I hope things are going well in your realm than that of mine, because mine blows!!!

Anyhow, let’s get down to the real thing. Today I am going to discuss some major strategies regarding the listening part of IELTS. Listening part of IELTS can either be a blessing fir many candidate or simply a curse for them. The reason being, it’s a test or a game of concentration. The more you are able to concentrate, the better your scores are going to be in this section. However, the more important thing here than keeping focus may be the understanding of the native speakers, specially understanding their speech and how they deliver them. Because in the recordings, which are going to be played in the tape are definitely going to be speeches from the native speakers. I have seen scoring 9.00 to a lot of people in this part or score so low as 4.00 due to lack of understanding. So, if I cannot even understand the first thing that they speak of, the whole exam goes to hell, in more ways than one. So from the above, we can see that, to do  better in the Listening part of IELTS, we need to have two things:

  • Focus to listen and answer questions accordingly for about 30 minutes;
  • At a least bit of understanding of native speakers;

Listening question pattern:

The question pattern of the Listening part of IELTS are as follows:

  1. The total time for Listening: 30 minutes
  2. There will be four recordings of native English speakers and then write your answers to a series of questions.
  • Recording 1 – a conversation between two people set in an everyday social context.
  • Recording 2 – a monologue set in an everyday social context, e.g. a speech about local facilities.
  • Recording 3 – a conversation between up to four people set in an educational or training context, e.g. a university tutor and a student discussing an assignment.
  • Recording 4 – a monologue on an academic subject, e.g. a university lecture.

In this part, a candidate will have to face total 40 questions from four recordings, 10 questions from each. In thirty minutes, 40 question is are actually quite optimum, if our focus and understands are in the right place.

While facing these questions, we may see six types of questions in the test center such as:

  • Task type 1 – Multiple choice; ( Multiple choice questions are used to test a wide range of skills. The test taker may be required to have a detailed understanding of specific points or an overall understanding of the main points of the listening text.)
  • Task type 2 – Matching; ( focus Matching assesses the skill of listening for detail and whether a test taker can understand information given in a conversation on an everyday topic, such as the different types of hotel or guest house accommodation. It also assesses the ability to follow a conversation between two people. It may also be used to assess test takers’ ability to recognise relationships and connections between facts in the listening text.)
  • Task type 3 – Plan, map, diagram labeling; ( This type of task assesses the ability to understand, for example, a description of a place, and to relate this to a visual representation. This may include being able to follow language expressing spatial relationships and directions (e.g. straight on/through the far door).)
  • Task type 4 – Form, note, table, flow-chart, summary completion; (This focuses on the main points which a listener would naturally record in this type of situation.)
  • Task type 5 – Sentence completion; (Sentence completion focuses on the ability to identify the key information in a listening text. Test takers have to understand functional relationships such as cause and effect.)
  • Task type 6 – Short-answer questions; (Sentence completion focuses on the ability to listen for concrete facts, such as places, prices or times, within the listening text.)



In this article, I am going to take an effort to strategically increase the listening section skill of IELTS. As we discussed earlier that there are two things that we have to emphasis, one is Focus and another is Understanding. Increasing focus is not a child’s play, not it can be done in a short range of times. There are a lot of ways by which focus can be increased. We hear a lot of  techniques online like Brain-wave, Meditation and all. Those things may be effective in some ways, however, they should be analyzed before using. Because a lot of them may not be as they advertise. Moreover different person may require different techniques to grow focus. To me the best way to increase focus is to stay relaxed and thing deep about what I am going to focus on.


This part is quite easy. There are a lot of English movies and TV series online which may increase the understanding on native speaker at a significant rate. however, there is a catch. When in the test center, we face the questions, only understanding the native speakers would not suffice. A  candidate should also learn how to extract information from those. Watching movies for entertainment may not serve that purpose. In that case, watching news online from BBC and extracting information from them at a first go (without repeating the video) can be a great source of practice.

That’s it for today. In my next article, I am going to dive deeper into analyzing the contents. Till then, happy reading!!!


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