The IELTS listening test takes about 30 minutes – 20 minutes to listen to a tape and 10 minutes to transfer your answers to the Answer sheet. Here are a few tips to improve your score in the listening test.
Listen carefully to what the invigilator says. It is important that you follow the instructions. Failure to do so might even get you disqualified. For example, you are not supposed to open the question booklet before you are told to do.
Before the listening test begins candidates will be given the question papers and answer sheets. Then the recording will be tested. Listen carefully and if you have difficulty hearing the listening tape properly, bring it to the attention of the invigilator. Don’t wait until the test has started because, once started, the recorded tape will not be paused.
The listening tape is played only once. That means you have to listen carefully. All the necessary instructions are in the listening tape itself. Stay alert.
The listening test has 4 sections. Before each section begins you will get time to read the questions. Read the instructions as well as the questions. Failure to follow the instructions could result in an incorrect answer. For example, a question that needs to be answered with three words must be answered with three words. If you answer it with four or two words your answer will be marked wrong.
You have to write your answers as you listen to the tape. After each section in the listening module, you will get time to check your answers. You are not supposed to transfer your answers to the Answer sheet during this time. Just check the answers and use the remaining time to read questions for the next section.
Transferring you answers
At the end of the last section in the listening module, you will get 10 minutes to transfer your answers to the answer sheet. During this time you will continue to receive recorded instructions. The final instruction will tell you to stop writing. Stop immediately otherwise you could risk disqualification.
While transferring your answers to the Answer Sheet, make sure that you have got the question numbers correct. Also pay careful attention to your spelling. Incorrectly spelled answers will be marked wrong. Write your answers legibly. If the examiner can’t read your answers you won’t get any marks.
All questions in the listening test carry the same mark. There is no negative marking, so guessing is recommended. Guessing is particularly helpful in the case of questions with limited answer choices.