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IELTS Listening Test: manage your time effectively

At the end of the IELTS listening test, the examiners will tell you that you have an additional 10 minutes in which to transfer your answers to the official answer sheet.

Use this extra transfer time to check that you have used the right number of words and/or numbers for each answer, that your spelling is correct and also that you have not missed any answers. If you get lost during the recordings or don’t know an answer, the transfer time gives you an ideal opportunity to make a guess, especially if it’s a multiple choice question. You will not lose points for a wrong answer so never ever leave an answer blank.

At the same time, do not just blindly transfer the answers without checking that each one corresponds with the correct question number. Re-read the questions and instructions if necessary, particularly if there were any that you were not absolutely sure about. Remember that you can save time by writing numbers (dates / times) as figures rather than words: 5 / 3 instead of ‘fifth of March’; 9:15 instead of nine fifteen. Even with the multiple-choice questions you don’t have to write out the answers in full. For example you can simply write NG / T / F instead of ‘not given / true / false’ or Y / N instead of ‘yes / no’.

In some English language listening tests, you hear each recording twice. However, in the IELTS listening test you will only hear the recordings once. This is quite challenging and can be quite stressful if you miss something, but the idea is that it tests ‘real world’ listening skills. After all, you cannot ask a university professor to repeat his lecture because you missed some information. To make sure you can fully concentrate while you are listening, read the questions carefully before the recording starts (you have extra time to do this) so that you know exactly what kind of information you have to listen for. Remember you do not have to understand every word to answer the questions correctly! If you’re not immediately sure of your answer, write down as many possible answers as you can while you’re listening and then you can eliminate the less likely answers when the recording ends or make an educated guess at the end of the test during the additional transfer time.

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By Jenny Bedwell on 2016 03 18

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Inês - Portugal

Inês - Portugal

​IELTS is somewhat of a big nightmare for almost everyone who needs to get a specific score, and I was no exception.

Regardless the several years of english classes, including an English summer course in England, getting a 7 in all components of IELTS turned out to be an apparently impossible task. Passing IELTS is as much a matter of mastering English as it is being familiar with the structure of the exam.

iPass was crucial for me, especially in the writing component. If it wasn’t for all the tips, corrections and advice that I got on the IELTS 7 course, I wouldn’t have got the band 7 scores I needed.

Jenny was an amazing help throughout all the process, mainly in the speaking sessions we had together. If you commit and never give up you also can get the grades you need.

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