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CONTENTS

TRANSCRIBING ....................................................................................................................................... 3
IELTS LISTENING ................................................................................................................................... 6
Basic Information ................................................................................................................................... 6
Test overview .......................................................................................................................................... 6
Advice from Simon ................................................................................................................................. 7
3 useful websites for IELTS listening practice ....................................................................................... 8
Are you doing these things? .................................................................................................................. 8
4 techniques when practising IELTS listening tests from the Cambridge books: .................................... 9
How to use practice tests ....................................................................................................................... 9
No special techniques for the listening test .......................................................................................... 10
Mastering part 1.................................................................................................................................. 10
Advice for section 4 ............................................................................................................................ 10
Section 4............................................................................................................................................. 11
How to use the breaks ......................................................................................................................... 11
Tips to improve your spelling ............................................................................................................. 12
Spelling .............................................................................................................................................. 12
Spelling and capital letters .................................................................................................................. 13
Spelling (noticing and learning) .......................................................................................................... 13
'clubhouse' or 'club house'? ................................................................................................................. 14
One word or two? "bookshop" or "book shop" .................................................................................... 14
Capital letters and plurals .................................................................................................................... 14
How to do multiple choice questions ................................................................................................... 15
IELTS listening toolkit from Dcielts .................................................................................................... 16
Numbers and addresses and dates listening ......................................................................................... 16
How to listen for key words ................................................................................................................ 18
Ielts listening and spelling ................................................................................................................... 19
IELTS listening and taking notes ........................................................................................................ 20
Multiple choice listening Avoiding distractors.................................................................................. 21
Listening to directions on a map Compass points ............................................................................. 23
IELTS part 4 listening signposts words ............................................................................................ 26

GII THIU
Mi ngi ang cm trn tay cun "Tng hp k nng lm bi IELTS Listening" do mnh tng hp. Thc ra,
y l k nng m mnh ngh l mo lm bi s khng gip c g nhiu, nhng cng c gng tng hp cc
tips hi trc mnh p dng mi ngi tham kho. Ni dung gm 2 phn: phn 1 l luyn ln trnh nghe
bng phng php nghe chp chnh t (phng php luyn nghe mnh thy hiu qu nht) + phn 2 l TIPS
lm bi t Simon (tt c bi post trong 5 nm) v Dominic Cole
Cch hc ca mi ngi l:
+ Bc 1: Cha luyn nghe IELTS. Luyn ln trnh nghe ting Anh ni chung bng phng php nghe
chp chnh t
+ Bc 2: c ht cc mo, phng php p dng cho k thi IELTS
+ Bc 3: Lm nghe cc ngun sau. Lu ch lm y l . Lm xong th lm li (Xem hng dn
cch hc li phn advice from Simon)
1) B huyn thoi Cambridge 1-9 (phin bn scan cht lng cao)
Torrent: http://www.torrents.net/down/5413621.torrent
http://www.mediafire.com/download/yqyspew3m5bhl0e/IELTS+1 -9.rar
Pass: http://bbc.edu.vn/
hoc: http://bbc.edu.vn (khng c gch cui)
2) The Official Cambridge Guide to IELTS [FULL] DVD & PDF bn p
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B_SZnHS0AHuxT3d2eUF1ZUpUYW8/edit?usp=sharing
3) B actual reading ( thi tht)
http://www.mediafire.com/download/az1l72jozmyhk4q/ielts-reading-2007-2011.rar
pass giai nen: mycheapestsource
4) B actual reading quyn 2 (hin ch c bn ting trung)
https://www.mediafire.com/?bkxtexn1j47d5vt
+ Bc 4: Trn y t tin i thi IELTS -> nh quay li mes mnh thng bo kt qu :))
Ti liu ny c son ra vi mc ch chnh l gip cho cc bn ang hc lp IELTS Writing ca mnh t
n tp 3 k nng cn li d dng hn, v c chia s min ph. Mi ngi lu KHNG s dng cho
mc ch khc, kinh doanh hay bn chc g c nh.
y ch l bn tng hp u tin, mnh tng kt c phn hi vi do nhiu bn nhn cn sm n thi. Mt
s mo v phng php ca bn thn mnh th vn ang tng kt v cha c y. Cc phin bn hon
thin, y hn mi ngi c th join group "Hi hc IELTS Writing_Ngoc Bach" update khi c
version mi nht:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/900994436637886/
Chc mi ngi hc tt !

H Ni, ngy 14 thng 03 nm 2015


-Ngc Bch-

TRANSCRIBING
Phng php luyn nghe hiu qu nht (c bit vi lm bi nghe trong k thi IELTS) m mnh
c bit v p dng hiu qu l NGHE V CHP CHNH T. Bn nghe v chp chnh t
li 100% nhng g bn nghe c. Bn nn kt hp luyn nghe v luyn pronounciation lun
(luyn nghe vi ni bao gi cng nn luyn song song). C th phng php ny nh sau:
+ Bc 1: tm mt ngun pht ting Anh chun (ni v ch m bn thy hng th) v phi
c ph (nht thit phi c)
Di y l mt s ngun mnh nghe. Bn no bit ngun nghe khc (lu l c transcript) th
comment vo y share cho mi ngi cng luyn tp nh.
- Ngun nghe cho bn mi bt u
http://learningenglish.voanews.com/ ( anh m) -> chn level mi bt u nh
http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/learningenglish/general/sixminute/ (anh anh)
http://learnenglish.britishcouncil.org/en/elementary-podcasts (anh anh)
Spotlight radio: Website ny dnh cho nhng ngi mi hc tp luyn nghe ting Anh mi ngy.
Mi bi c thi lng khong 15', c c vi tc chm. Mi tun c 7 bi c nh th c
cp nht.
Truy cp: http://spotlightenglish.com/listen/

- Ngun nghe Nng cao:


http://www.cdlponline.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=homepage (anh m. phn theo ch )
http://learningenglish.voanews.com/ ( anh m)
https://learnenglish.britishcouncil.org/en/magazine (anh anh)
Phin bn trn android: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.gate.android.bcenglish
British Council Podcasts.rar. B khng 1.58 gb (anh anh) do Kili Manjaro upload
Link
download: https://mega.co.nz/#!MUpRBTrZ!MSVFl1DY57qD_tLtqd17yTrlUR_w5kldzc5iG4ap9
R0
http://www.britishcouncil.org/professionals-podcast-english-listening-downloads-archive.htm(anh
anh)
http://breakingnewsenglish.com/ (anh anh)

http://www.cnn.com/studentnews/ (anh m)
http://www.ted.com/ (tng hp)
http://www.listen-and-write.com/ (tng hp)
Lu :Nu bn mun luyn thi IELTS l chnh th nn chn ngun ni ging Anh Anh
nghe. ang nghe quen ging Anh-M i thi IELTS ton ging Anh-Anh cng kh mt y v mt
s t ngi Anh pht m rt c trng v rt khc vi ting Anh M.
+ Bc 2 (giai on au kh nht ): Listen and transcribe it
Bn nghe v chp li tt c nhng g bn nghe c. Bn nghe 1 cu hoc nu khng kp th nghe
na cu, pause, ri chp li. C th nghe i nghe li 3 ln ri chuyn cu khc. Nghe c
6,7 cu th gi transcript ra so snh.ng nhin l vic ny s rt kh, bn s mc phi rt nhiu
li sai v khng nghe c nhiu t (c th l t mi bn cha bit, hoc t bn bit nhng bn
li pht m sai -> nghe sai). Hi u th transcribe CNN student news, mnh sai toe tot. Khng
sao, kinh nghim y ca mnh l: c nghe, c vit ra tt c nhng g bn nghe c (on c)
ri so snh vi transcript v rt kinh nghim dn dn. Bn s tin b nhanh hn bn ngh rt nhiu.
Sau ny, bn s thy do phi chp chnh t 100%, nhng t lc nghe hay st nh and the, t c
s nhiu hay khngbn nghe s rt r. V n khi quay li lm listening IELTS th -> Easy as
eating pancakes.
Lu :
Phn mm nghe mnh khuyn cc bn nn s dng luyn bc 2 ny l GOM player thay v
trnh chi nhc mc nh window media player. Phn mm ny bn c th nghe t on A n B,
tua i hoc tua li trong bao nhiu giy bng phm ttv rt nhiu tnh nng hu ch khc. Phn
mm No.1 luyn nghe t.a m mnh vote. Down ti y:
http://www.download.com.vn/timkiem/GOM+Player/index.aspx
+ Bc 3: Tp c li theo transcript v thu m li so snh
bc ny, bn hy nghe tht k pht thanh vin c, nhn nh, ni m, ln xung u. Bn bt
chic ging ht th ri c. Sau nghe li phn thu m ging c ca mnh, xem ch no cha
ging th c li. Sa n khi nghe li thy ng th thi.
Cng vic ny cng kh l nn nhng y l cch luyn Pronunciation cc k hiu qu. Bn thn
mnh duy tr tp ni theo cch ny lin tip trong 2,5 thng. Kt qu rt tuyt vi khi ni chuyn
vi mt bc Ty, bc khen mnh pht m hay v hi nc ngoi ah lm mnh sng rn.
Lu :

+ Bn hy mua mt tai nghe c mic. Loi no cng ok ty ti tin ca bn (Nn luyn nghe bng tai
nghe cho ging vi khi thi v tp trung hn). i thi tht th bn c nghe tai ko dy xn (mnh thi
IDP nn ko bit thi BC th th no) nghe sng hn tai nghe nh nhiu.
+ Dng phn mm Audacity thu. y l phn mm kh nh gn v tin thu m. (bn thu m
luyn speaking ch ko phi ht hay rap nn ko cn soft kiu Cool edit pro hay Adobe audition
lm g cho nng my :D ).Link download:
http://download.com.vn/audio+video/video+editor+studio/5346_audacity.aspx
LU :
Nghe chp chnh t cc phn trong b Cambridge cng l mt cch luyn tp tt (dnh cho
cc bn trnh kh tr ln)

IELTS LISTENING
Basic Information
The Listening Test is the first thing you have to do when you take an IELTS exam. If your exam is
at the Manchester test centre, you should arrive at 9.15am. You will be taken to an exam room and
your ID documents will be checked. The Listening Test starts at 10.00am.
The Listening Test has 4 sections. Each section contains 10 questions, so there are 40 questions in
total. The test lasts about 30 minutes, then you have an extra 10 minutes to write your answers on
an answer sheet.
Here are some of the problems students have with IELTS Listening:
You only have ONE chance to listen to the recording.
Correct spelling is important.
Different English accents are used.
Some of the questions are designed to trick you.

To solve these problems, we need to do a lot of listening and spelling practice. There are also some
exam tips and techniques that I can give you. However, listening practice will help you much more
than exam techniques.
If you want to have "a good ear", you need to listen to as much English as possible. We'll start in
next week's lesson.

Test overview
TEST OVERVIEW
Section

Context

Number of Speakers

Social Needs

Conversation between two


speakers

Social Needs

Speech by one speaker

Educational or
Training

Conversation between up to
four speakers

Academic Subject Speech by one speaker

Section One
In the first section there is a conversation between two speakers. For example - a conversation
about travel arrangements, booking accommodation, or decisions on a night out.
Section Two
The second section is a monologue (a speech by one person). It will be set in an everyday social
context. For example - a speech about student services on a University campus or arrangements for
meals during a conference.
Section Three
Section three is a conversation between up to four people. For example - a conversation between a
tutor and a student about an assignment or between three students planning a research project.
Section Four
The final part is another monologue. It is a lecture or talk of general academic interest such as a
university lecture.

Advice from Simon

List of advice and techniques for IELTS listening


Here is my list of advice and techniques for IELTS listening:
1. Concentrate - it's really easy to miss the answers if you lose concentration, even for a
moment.
2. Read ahead - it's more important to be ready for the next section than to check the
questions you have already done (check them at the end when you have 10 minutes to
transfer your answers).
3. Highlight key words - when reading ahead, it's a good idea to underline words that you
think you will need to listen for.
4. Have the next question in mind - when you're listening for the answer to a question, be
ready for the next question as well. It's easy to miss several answers if all of your focus is
on one question.
5. Expect 'tricks' - the speaker may try to confuse you - click here for an example.

6. Spelling - as well as testing your understanding and vocabulary, IELTS Listening is also a
spelling test. You must work on your spelling if this is a weakness.
7. Difficult questions - don't worry if some questions seem really difficult. The exam needs to
have questions that separate band 8 from band 9. If you are worrying too much, you might
miss the easier questions that could get you a band 7.

3 useful websites for IELTS listening practice


Here are 3 useful websites for IELTS listening practice. Click on the titles.
Spelling Practice (http://www.ugru.uaeu.ac.ae/Spelling/IELTS/IELTS.htm)

- If you have a problem with spelling, try this website. Choose a topic and take a spelling
test. Part 3 of each test is probably the best (parts 1 and 2 might be too easy).
Listening and Reading (http://www.cdlponline.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=homepage)

- This is not an IELTS website, but it's full of short texts that you can read and listen to at
the same time. This could be a good way to work on your pronunciation (American
English) and to extend your vocabulary.
IELTS Tests (http://www.canadavisa.com/ielts/mod/quiz/attempt.php?id=22)

- A website for test practice (click login as a guest to do the free tests).

Are you doing these things?


Are you doing the following things in order to prepare and practise for the IELTS listening test?
1. working through as many of the tests in the official Cambridge IELTS books as possible there are 36 full tests if you have all 9 books
2. doing the listening test samples on the official IELTS website here
3. analysing any mistakes that you make when doing the above tests
4. listening to difficult parts of each test several times, until you hear and understand all of the
correct answers
5. checking the written transcripts (at the back of the Cambridge books) carefully for any
questions that you found difficult
6. noting new words and any spellings that you got wrong
7. listening to as much English as possible to improve your ear (not just IELTS tests, but
news reports, documentaries, talks, presentations, interviews, films, TV programmes etc.
that you find on the Internet)

If you're doing all of these things, keep going! You might not notice it, but your listening will be
improving gradually.
4 techniques when practising IELTS listening tests from the Cambridge books:

Here are 4 techniques that you could experiment with when practising IELTS listening tests from
the Cambridge books:
1. Work on specific sections rather than doing full tests. For example, you could focus on
section 1 this week, then do lots of examples of section 2 next week.
2. Do a full test, but allow yourself to listen two or three times. See how many extra answers
you get the second or third time you listen to the recording.
3. Do a full test, but give yourself as much time as you want during the breaks (by stopping
the recording). This takes away the problem of not having time to read the questions
properly, and allows you to focus more on your listening skills.
4. Change the listening test into a reading test. Instead of listening to the recording, use the
transcript at the back of the book. Did you get a higher score than usual? If you did, your
listening skills need more work. If you didn't, maybe your problem is related to
vocabulary.
The suggestions above might help you to find where your weaknesses are. They might also make
exam practice a bit more interesting!

How to use practice tests


It's a good idea to do practice tests (e.g. using the Cambridge IELTS books) in preparation for the
listening exam. Here's some advice to help you benefit from doing practice tests:
1. Your score is not the most important thing
The important thing is what you have learnt by doing the test. Were there any new words or phrases
that you can learn? What did you find difficult? Did any of the questions trick you? In other words,
what do you need to do to improve your score?
2. Check how accurate your answers are
Be strict with yourself; every grammar or spelling mistake is important. For example, if the speaker
says "The library has a collection of newspapers", you must not write "collection of newspaper".
3. Get into the habit of moving on
If you missed something, forget about it and move on. Always prepare for the next question rather

than worrying about a previous question. When you are given 30 seconds to check your answers,
use the time to look at the next section instead.

No special techniques for the listening test


Recently several people have asked me to help them improve their listening scores. I think they
were hoping that I would give them a new technique or some clever advice.
Unfortunately, there are no special techniques for the listening test, and my normal advice to
students is that they simply need to do lots of practice.
The people who do well in the listening test are those who have a "good ear" for English. In other
words, they are able to follow fast speech and distinguish individual words easily. How did they
develop a good ear? They listened to a lot of English.
If you're trying to improve your listening score, stop searching for techniques! Spend your time
listening to as much English as possible. Expose your ears to the language and they will gradually
become better at hearing it.

Mastering part 1
Part 1 is supposed to be the easy part of the listening test. It is almost always a simple gap-fill
exercise with basic information about some kind of booking or appointment.
But does this mean that you don't need to practise part 1? The answer is no.
I recommend doing lots of practice for part 1. You should be aiming for 10 out of 10 in this part of
the listening test because it is likely that you will lose points in parts 2, 3 and 4. In fact, a good idea
would be to focus exclusively on part 1 until you regularly get 10 out of 10. Get as many of the
official Cambridge books as you can, and do all of the part 1 questions. Don't move on to parts 2, 3
and 4 until you master part 1.

Advice for section 4


Most students find section 4 of the listening test difficult, and people often ask me for advice about
it.

The problem is that section 4 is supposed to be difficult: there is no break in the middle, the speaker
usually talks quite quickly, and a wide range of vocabulary is used.
So, it might seem like strange advice, but I tell my students not to worry too much about section 4.
Instead, we do more work on the other three sections. If you get high scores in sections 1 to 3, you
don't need many points from section 4.
Here are the scores I tell my students to aim for:
Section 1: 10 correct answers
Section 2: 8 correct answers
Section 3: 7 correct answers
Section 4: 5 correct answers

As you can see, the total is 30 (band 7), but we only need 5 correct answers for section 4.

Section 4
Section 4 is the most difficult part of the listening test for the following reasons:
There is no break in the middle of the 10 questions
You hear one speaker giving a fairly long talk or lecture
The speaker will speak quite quickly
A wider range of vocabulary is used, compared to the other sections

Here's my tip: Don't worry too much about this section. Try to get as many points from the other 3
sections as you can, and this will allow you to lose points in section 4. Remember that you can
make 10 mistakes and still get a band 7.

How to use the breaks


In the listening test it's important to use the breaks well. There are breaks between the four sections
of the test, and there are breaks in the middle ofsections 1, 2 and 3 (there is no break in the middle
of section 4). You will hear instructions like this:
1. First you have some time to read questions 1 to 5.
2. That is the end of section 1. You now have half a minute to check your answers.
1. 'Some time' means about 20 seconds, or up to 40 seconds before section 4. It's important to use
this time to read the questions, make sure you understand them, underline key words, and think
about what kind of answer is needed (e.g. number, name, noun, verb, singular, plural).

2. Ignore this instruction - don't check a section that you have just finished. It's much more
important to be ready for the next section. If you're not ready when the recording starts, you will
find it very difficult to read the questions and listen to the answers at the same time. So use this
time to read ahead.

Tips to improve your spelling


Many students get low scores in IELTS listening because they make spelling mistakes. Here are
some tips to improve your spelling:
1. Make a spelling list
Every time you make a spelling mistake, write the correct spelling of the word on a list. Hopefully
the list of words that you can spell correctly will grow and grow.
2. Learn by heart
The only way to make sure that your spelling improves is to learn words by heart. Learn the words
on your spelling list, and test yourself once a week.
3. Rules don't help very much
You could easily get lost in the labyrinth of English spelling rules. It's easier to remember the
spelling of individual words than it is to remember all the rules.
4. Get a dictionary 'app' for your phone
Do you look up words in a dictionary at least once a day? Having a dictionary application on your
phone makes it easy. The Merriam-Webster dictionary app for the iPhone is a good one (and it's
free).

Spelling
A good way to improve your spelling is by keeping a "mistakes and corrections" list. Here's an
example with some real mistakes that one of my students made:

Every time you make a spelling mistake, write the word on your list, and learn the correct spellings
by heart.

Spelling and capital letters


People often ask me about spelling and capital letters. Here's my advice:
1. Correct spelling is very important. I know students who have lost up to 10 points in their
IELTS listening tests because of spelling mistakes.
2. Capital letters, on the other hand, are not important. You can write all of your answers in
capitals or in lower case - it won't affect your score.
3. Plurals are very important. e.g. If the question asks you to fill the gap "There are many
______", the answer could be "reasons" but not "reason".
Note: I don't recommend learning spelling rules. It's better to keep a list of your mistakes, and learn
correct spellings by heart.

Spelling (noticing and learning)


Many people lose easy marks in the IELTS listening test because they make spelling mistakes. The
only way to improve your spelling is by noticing andlearning - you need to notice which words
cause you problems, and learn the correct spellings by heart.
If you want to do some spelling practice, try the tests on this website.
(http://homepage.ntlworld.com/vivian.c/TestsFrame.htm)

'clubhouse' or 'club house'?


A lot of people have asked me the same question recently: If the answer in the book is "clubhouse",
would "club house" be accepted?
The answer is yes. As long as the question instruction doesn't say that answers must be one word
only, the answer "club house" would be fine.
Click here to see a big list of compound words (but don't try to learn them all).
(http://www.enchantedlearning.com/grammar/compoundwords/)

One word or two? "bookshop" or "book shop"


People often ask me the following question:
Is it acceptable to write words like "bookshop" or "seafood" as two words (book shop, sea food)?
To answer this question, you need to look at the question instructions.
If the instruction says that you can use more than one word, "book shop" and "sea food"

would be accepted.
However, if the instruction tells you to use only one word, you must write "bookshop" or

"seafood". If you write two words, it's wrong!


Note: When doing practice tests, use a dictionary to find out whether we normally write one word
or two.

Capital letters and plurals


Here are two common questions about the IELTS listening test:
1. Is it acceptable to use lower case instead of upper case e.g. "central station" when the
answer is "Central Station"?
2. Will you lose marks if you miss the "s" when the answer should be plural?
Here are my answers:
1. Using lower case is fine, so "central station" would be correct. You can even write
everything in capital letters if you want.
2. Missing the "s" is sometimes acceptable and sometimes not. It's notacceptable when the
grammar requires a plural e.g. "the journey takes three hour" would be wrong. Some

answers can be singular or plural. Check the context of the question and the sentence
grammar carefully.

How to do multiple choice questions


Multiple choice questions are difficult because there is more to read, and the speaker often mentions
more than one of the choices (to trick you).
Here are a few tips:
1. Try to read the questions and choices before the listening starts.
2. Don't check your answers to the previous section; use the breaks to read ahead.
3. Underline key words in each choice. The key words are those that make the difference in
meaning between choices.
4. When listening, only look at the words you underlined. Don't read everything again.
5. Expect the trick! They often mention more than one choice, so be careful.
6. If you're not sure, make a good guess, then move on to the next question.
7. If you don't have time to read everything (tip 1), don't worry. Prepare as many questions as
you can, then do your best on the others.
Remember that the best tip is this: do lots of practice!

IELTS listening toolkit from Dcielts


Numbers and addresses and dates listening

The focus of this lesson is on avoiding silly mistakes in part 1 listening. If you require a band
score 7 or above, you should really aim to get 10 out of 10 here as the questions only get harder.
However, it can be surprisingly easy to make mistakes in this part if you are unprepared.
To help you out, I describe some of more problems and explain how to listen more effectively for
numbers, names, addresses and dates the questions everyone should get right. There is a full part
one listening practice at the end.

Telephone numbers

There are one or two points to consider when you are listening to a telephone number in English.
0 is pronounced oh and you are most unlikely to hear zero
if there is a double number, we say double 7
we dont say the numbers one by one, rather we read them in groups of 2 or 3. So 13554684616
would be said 13-double 5 468-46-16

Addresses
+ House numbers
When you are listening for an address, you should expect a number and a street name. Typically,
the number comes before the name of the street, for example
"13, Fairfax Street"
+ Types of different roads
If you have to write down the name of a road, the name will either be spelled out for you or be a
common English word that you should be able to spell, eg
"34, Bishop Street"
or
"48, Ormondroyd Street, thats O-R-M-O-N-D-R-O-Y-D"
You should also make certain that you can spell the different words that we use for roads, these are:

Road
Lane
Street
Avenue
You should also be prepared to write down letters and numbers for the postcode (what Americans
call ZIP code). In the British system, these come at the end of addresses and combine a series of
letters and numbers, eg
"14, Fairhill Road
York
YO1 7AH"

The spelling of names

If you see you need to write out a name, you can expect that the family name will be spelled out
letter by letter. This can sometimes cause problems for candidates (even high-level ones) who
cannot automatically recognise the names of the letters in English perhaps because they missed
out on learning English at the very elementary level and their sounds do not match their names. The
ones which most frequently cause trouble are:
a as in say
e as in teeth
i as in eye
x as in ex-wife
y as in why

Dates
There are a number of different ways in which say and write down dates. The most common system
is:
the 25th of October speaking
25 October/25th October writing
If you have to write down a date and there is a word limit of one word/two words, you should not
write down the and of. It does not matter if you put the month before the date.

A common trap

Quite often you will hear more than date/time/number and the one you need is not the first one you
hear. To make it harder, sometimes the speaker gives one piece of information and then goes back
and corrects it. In this case, make sure you write down the second correct version.

Predict the type of answer


Part of the skill in this exercise is predicting what type of answer you are listening for. In this
example, you should see that 3 requires a date, 5 the spelling of a name, 6 the spelling of an
address, 7 a telephone number and 10 a longer number for a credit card.
1. Type of van required _____________
2. Preferred make of van ______________
3. Date of collection ________________
4. Length of hire ________________
5. Name: Justin ________________
6. Address ________________ St, Toronto
7. Telephone number: _________________
8. Driving convictions: ________________
9. Identification to be provided: _____________
10. Card number: 10. ______________________

How to listen for key words

This lesson looks at how you can improve your listening score by thinking about how to listen for
key words. This is an area where many candidates make a basic mistake. To help you understand
this mistake, there is a short interactive listening practice.
Read before you listen
What do you do in the listening exam before you listen? You read the questions. Of course. And as
you read the questions you underline the key words. Of course. Well, actually maybe not.
I would like to make you think again about this common strategy. I suggest that it can cause
mistakes and needs to be thought about very carefully. Im not saying dont do it, just think
carefully first.
How can you identify key words?

One problem is how can you identify what the key words in the question are. It may seem obvious
what the key words in the question are. Lets take an example I have adapted from a book:
"For the speaker, what is the most impressive aspect of a solar eclipse?"
What words would you underline here? My guess would be most people would choose eclipse:
its an unusual word and its a noun and that might seem like a a good starting point. If you thought
that, however, you might be making a bad mistake.

Ielts listening and spelling


This lesson is an IELTS listening and spelling and note-taking practice exercise. You will find a
practise listening below, but my real aim is to help improve these key listening skills

spelling

note-taking

Practice may be good but it isnt enough. You want to work on your skills too. Listening is a skill in
exactly the same way writing is, so you need to practise it in the same way.
The top tip
For better listening skills and band scores you need to practise writing in two ways:

quickly as you listen forget spelling its about speed

slowly when you fill out the answer sheet remember spelling its about accuracy

IELTS listening and spelling

Point one is that any spelling mistake in listening means will lose you a mark. This may seem unfair
but that is the way the system works. It is vital that you learn to spell the most common words in
English.
Point two is to see that there are different types of question in IELTS listening. Two of the hardest
are:

short answer questions

sentence completion questions

These are difficult because you need to do three things at the same time.

read the question to see what you are listening for

listen and hear the answer

write the answer down

Other questions have their own problems, but they dont involve writing too. This means you meed
to think of special skills here.
Know the problem work on your spelling
One part of the solution is to know the problem. The words you need to write down are common
words the sort of words you should be able to spell. The problem is that English spelling can be
very tricky. You need to focus your energy on the common words that you need to be able to write.
Read, listen, then write
Another part of the solution is that you want to try and concentrate on one skill at a time in the test
doing 3 skills (reading/listening/writing) all at the same time is tough. Much better is this:

read the questions before

listen as you go

write down the answers afterwards

The problem with this is that you will forget the answers quite quickly. This means that you need to
develop the skill of taking notes. You need to write just enough as you listen so that you can
remember the answer.

IELTS listening and taking notes


Note-taking is quite a precise skill which I will write about another day. Here, for now, are some
quick tips:

make sure you can read your notes!

use abbreviations dont try to spell words out completely just enough that you can
recognise the words

use symbols if that helps you you can develop your own code

make sure you know which note belongs to which question

How do you learn this skill? Practice really. You need to find your way note taking tends to be
personal. Remember that you can practise taking notes on any type of listening. It doesnt have to
be an IELTS task.

Multiple choice listening Avoiding distractors

This lesson is about the skills you need for multiple choice listening questions in IELTS. While the
format of the listening is part 2, the same skills apply to the rest of the listening test too. There is a
multiple choice listening practice exercise at the end of the lesson.
Multiple Choice questions easy or difficult?
In some ways, the multiple choice listening questions look much easier than other types of question.
You do not need to write any words down and there is no problem with spelling all you need to
do is circle the correct letter/option and in parts one and two there are only 3 options. Easy peasy?
Not always.
The problem with these types of question is that very often there will be two answers that sound as
if they could be correct especially if you use a key word strategy where you concentrate on a
few words in the question. If you dont read, understand and concentrate on the whole question, it
can be easy to go wrong.
Understanding distractors
To get this type of question right, it may help to understand how the questions work. This means
thinking about distractors. Put simply, a distractor is the trick answer the one you think that
may be right if you dont read the whole question. Heres an example:
Question
"The Japanese army planted cherry trees:

A as a sign of goodwill between China and Japan


B to make Wuhan a special site
C to help their soldiers get better"
Text/listening
"These trees, well over a thousand of them by now, are by no means native to these parts. Wuhan
was occupied by the Japanese during the war and the university complex was used by the Japanese
army as a centre for convalescent soldiers. To make the wounded feel more at home, the army
planted several orchards of cherry trees to remind the soldiers of Japan. In more recent times, the
Japanese government gifted more cherry trees to China as a sign of friendship between the two the
nations and many of these trees were subsequently planted here in Wuhan."
Understanding the distractor
Answer A looks as it it might be right. It isnt. It is a distractor. Why?
The Japanese government gave the trees to China as a sign of friendship does not match The
Japanese army planted the trees as a sign of goodwill between China and Japan.
The two may look similar but there is a difference between an army and a government and giving
and planting.
Getting the skill right
To get this right, the first step is to know the distractor problem dont focus on single words like
goodwill. Know that you may hear things that are close, but not close enough. The next step is
simply to focus on the whole question all the words in the question. Until you listen, you cant tell
which the key words are!
A practical note
Another difficulty go these question is that there is quite a lot to read in the thirty seconds before
you listen. You have the stem of the question and all the options. My suggestion?

Before you listen, focus on the stem of the question (the The Japanese army planted cherry trees:
bit) this tells you where/when the answer is coming.
As you listen, focus on the options this is tough as it means reading and listening as you go (two
skills at once)
Leave your options open as you listen. What I mean by this si that you may hear something that is
close to true but you are not sure about. Just mark that option with ?, and keep listening. If yo hear a
better answer later, mark it with a tick. If you dont, go back to your first choice.

The problems with multiple choice question

1.
2.
3.
4.
5.

A little as in the reading, multiple choice can be surprisingly tricky. Here are a few pointers:
You are likely to hear language from all 3 variations: dont stop listening just because youve heard
language from one variation. There may be a better answer soon
Very frequently the answers come through listening for synonyms: so dont just listen for words,
listen for the meanings of words
Before you listen focus on the stem of the question, not the variations. If you look at the variations
too much, you can get confused.
Pay attention to discourse language like Well However etc. Words like this can show you
theres a change in meaning coming up.
Pay very close attention to the exact wording of the question. Its a not just a listening task, but a
listening AND reading task.

Listening to directions on a map Compass points

This is another practice lesson for listening to directions on a map. In it I briefly talk you through
problems when you get a map with a compass point and the directions you are given do not follow
a path. One suggestion is to identify landmarks and the other is to be ready to listen out for
directions such as to the North.
Reading the map looking for landmarks

This first time you see a map you should look for major landnarks as these will very likely be used
in the description of the map. In this case, the three landmarks are:

the lake

the river

the golf course


You may also look for other details that may help you find your way. Here you see

various labelled buildings

roads

some trees

Reading the map -seeing the compass


If you see a compass on the map, then you can reasonably expect that the listening will use points
of the compass (North, South, East and West) in the description. Forewarned is forearmed. You
should be ready for slightly more advanced compass point phrases such as:
to the north of
slightly west of
n the south west
It is also quite possible if you see a compass that the directions you are given will not be given in
the form of a tour where you need to trace a route rather the directions will move from one part
of the map to another.

IELTS listening for directions

This is another practice IELTS listening exercise to help you when you get a map or plan. Part of
the focus this time is thinking about directions when you hear the words left,right and in front
of you. There other training point is that all the answers are two words long that means you need
to work on your note taking skills.
Listening for directions starting from a fixed point
This is a simple point. The listening starts with the speaker saying that he is at the Porters Lodge.
He is speaking to people standing there with him and says things like to your right. What you
want to see that as you look at this page Wood Hall is to the right and the Cafeteria is to the left.

BUT in life for the speaker it is the opposite way round Wood Hall is to the left and the
Cafeteria to the right.
Understanding the question
This time I havent formatted the questions exactly as per IELTS the skills you need though are
exactly the same. What you need to do is write down the names of places you hear.
Some problems
1. Spelling: if you spell the word wrongly, you dont get the mark. Do not worry about this as you
listen unless it is a name spelled out for you. Rather you should spend the 10 minutes at the end to
think spelling.
2. Notes listening and writing: a tough part of the listening is that you need to listen and write
and read/look at the same time it is a multi-skills exercise. Getting this right may take practice.
The general idea is that you want to give yourself as much time to keep on listening as you can.
This means that when you write the answers, you may simply write notes as you listen and then
complete the notes in the 10 minutes at the end.
An example: one possible (but wrong) answer here is Recreation Centre. It would take a time to
write that down and as you write, you stop listening properly. So why not just write Rec Cent
instead. All you need to do is write enough so that you know what you meant.
3. Concentration: the answers to the questions may not come in even time. By this I mean that the
first answer may come after 15 seconds and you may need to wait for another 30 seconds before the
next answer.

IELTS part 4 listening signposts words

One of the problems of part 4 speaking is that it is much longer than the other parts of the listening
test. As a result it can be possible to lose track of what is being said. This lesson shows you one
way you can learn to keep pace with the listening by noting signpost words. First, I briefly talk
you through the skill, then I give you a part 4 listening to test your skills.
What are signpost words?
These are the words that the speaker uses to show where they are in their argument. If you note
these words then you should be able to understand where the speaker is. How does it work? In at
least two different ways. Look at these examples:
There are going to be three sections to my lecture
This tells you that what you hear is broken into three parts and is similar to the language we use
when we write. But sometimes you need to listen to pauses and how the words are said. For
example
So
can show a major break in the argument if it is said with emphasis and a pause.
Learn the skills its not just about key words
Prediction may not be a new skill for you. It is though often a skill that goes wrong particularly if
you only focus on key words. That is my point 1. below, but it is I believe also important to use that
skill with the other skills
1. Key words in listening
Part of the skill in this type of listening is knowing when the answer is about to come. This means
that you want to read the questions quite carefully before you listen (you have 30 seconds for this in
the exam) to identify the words that will show you when the answer is coming. Look at this
example:

1.Matt needs to ____________ next week on the theme of Professors Jones lecture
You should note it is the male voice Matt that you are listening for
It is next week, not this week, not last week.
When you hear Next week you should start really concentrating. You want to ignore the details
about last week.

2. Note the form of the word


Another skill is to make sure that you are listening for the right type of word: verb/noun etc. In our
example, we can tell we need a verb because of needs to_____.
3. Dont just focus on key words think synonyms think meaning
One way this can go wrong is that you do focus on the key word in the question, but you only listen
for that word. In part 3 of the test, it is not always that easy. The key word in the question may
not be used exactly in that way in the listening. You may, for example, decide that needs to is a
key word: the problem is that in the listening you hear have got to something that means the
same but sounds very different!