In today’s blog, we’ve tried to combine some of our tried and tested tips and tricks to help you with your listening and reading skills. Some of these tips can be really helpful when attempting the exam, and will provide you with an extended advantage over the average scores for IELTS. Read more to find out.
1. Set a sensible objective for yourself and avoid pursuing short routes. Expecting to go from band 5 to Band 8 quickly is unrealistic. It takes a lot of time and work to become skilled in a language, just like with any other ability.
2. Establish a listening schedule and follow it:
(a) Alternate your listening each day. For instance, listen to a podcast on Monday, a 15-minute news segment on Tuesday, a song on Wednesday, and so on.
(b) Pay attention to something you find interesting!
(c) Pick several resources, such as elllo.org, or bbclearningenglish.com. You will comprehend spoken English from different parts of the world better if you are exposed to a diversity of accents and dialects.
(d) Pick listening options appropriate to your skill level. It is not for you if you can understand between 50% and 90% of the audio since it is either too easy or too challenging for you. The TED talks website (https://www.ted.com/talks) is a fantastic resource for academic listening practise.
(e) Do it when you are most productive during the day (e.g., early in the morning or late at night).
(f) Make a list of your listening tasks and check them off when you fulfil them.
(g) Repeatedly listen to anything while varying the speed.
3. Don’t get bogged down in the details; instead, concentrate on the main point.
4. Write down any expressions or hints that helped you understand the information while you were listening so you can review them afterwards.
5. Don’t stress excessively about words you don’t know; if you hear anything that appears repeatedly in multiple sources, check it up in the dictionary and learn it.
6. Call a buddy and speak to them in English for a predetermined amount of time (for example, 10 minutes).
7. Try speculating on unanswered questions. This is crucial for “yes,” “no,” or “don’t know” questions because there’s a good possibility, you’ll receive the correct response by accident.
8. You have time to read the questions before each segment. Use this time wisely and read the questions slowly enough to avoid the recording starting before you are done.
9. Make sure to use the right number of words in your response. Don’t utilise four or five words if the question just calls for two or three.
10. Use straightforward writing. You will not be graded if the examiner cannot read what you have written. Use capital letters if you believe your writing needs improvement.
11. Prior to beginning the transferring your answers from the question paper, double-check that all of the questions you’ve answered have been transmitted correctly and legibly. Return, review, and try to respond to the questions you haven’t already. Your goal should be to have an answer sheet with no blank spaces, so make an educated guess.
Most importantly, don’t focus only on gathering tips and tricks. For reaching a band 8 and above, you need to move beyond the tips and tricks and actually take action!
1. Pick a variety of texts and mix leisure reading with academic reading.
2. Read various materials for 20 to 30 minutes each day, including textbook tasks, blogs, newspaper articles, and books.
3. Expand your vocabulary by looking up words you frequently encounter in a dictionary.
4. Experiment with various reading strategies, such as swiftly scanning the material, answering questions in depth, and summarising the major points (s).
5. Pick topics that interest you, but also attempt to read books on a variety of topics, as IELTS selects topics from a wide range of disciplines.
6. Talk about some intriguing texts with your pals and have English-language discussions.
7. Read quickly. Try to read a text within the allotted time by setting a timer (e.g. 5 mins). Make sure you understand. As you get better and faster, shorten the time limit (e.g. from 5 mins to 4 mins to 3 mins).
8. Read aloud to yourself or to your friends. If you’d want, you could videotape yourself. Pay attention to your voice. Your pronunciation and fluency will benefit from this. Additionally, it will boost your self-assurance.
9. Become familiar with the exam’s format and the length of each section. For the reading exam, you must learn how to respond to each type of question. Any of the following could be used as a form of a question:
- Multiple choice
- Short answer questions
- Sentence completion questions
- Notes/ table/ form/ summary/ flow chart/diagram completion questions
- Yes, no, not given or True, false, not given
- Classification questions
- Choosing headings
- Scanning & identifying location of information
- Labelling a diagram which has numbered parts.
Pay close attention to IELTS listening and reading because that’s what fetches you the most points in your exam. Meanwhile, also check out some of our other blogs on Listening, professional Communication and more!