نکاتی در مورد امتحان LISTENING آیلتس
3.1 GENERAL INFORMATION
– The test is around 30 minutes
– You will have extra 10 minutes at the end of the test to transfer your answers to the answer sheet (the best time to check your answers again, specifically your spellings)
– Overall 40 questions (each question is worth 1 mark, 40 marks all together)
– There are 4 sections of 10 questions (started from easier to more difficult questions)
– Answers are always in order
– There are only 3 main types of question (mostly gap-fill, multiple choice, matching)
– You should be prepared for various English accents (British, Australian, New Zealand, American, and Canadian)
– You ONLY hear the recordings ONCE!
Tips: Using the breaks to read ahead. These breaks are before, in the middle (except in section 4), and at the end of each section. In other words, these breaks are the reading time to prepare for upcoming questions. DO NOT check back because it is wasting time, always read ahead.
- READ AHEAD (only check back at the end)
- UNDERLINE keywords during the break time
- LISTEN for the keywords OR synonyms
- SPELLING (spelling mistake leads the answer to be marked wrong)
- MOVE FORWARD (Do not get stuck on a difficult question)
3.1.1 Section 1
– Always hear two speakers having ‘everyday’ conversation like ‘going on holiday’ or ‘hotel reservation’. There is no academic conversation and all conversations in this section are simple. One speaker gives basic information. For example: a patient explains his symptoms for the doctor.
– The candidate needs to filling in missing details in the gap (gap-filling questions). The missing details are very easy information like names, dates, addresses, numbers, times, etc.
– You have to be careful about the spelling
– This section is the easiest one and you can easily get a high score (9 or 10 correct marks). You should practice this section a lot in order to be very good at it.
3.1.2 Section 2
The candidate should use all of the break time at the end of section 1 to read either all or half of the questions in section 2. In this section, there is only one speaker who gives a short speech about non-academic topic such as: local facilities, park, tourism, etc.
– The question types can be gap-filling, multiple choices, or matching about what the speaker says.
– There is a break in the middle of the section that gives you time to read the remaining questions.
– This section is also quite easy that enables the candidate to aim for a high score.
3.1.3 Section 3
The candidate should use the break at the end of section 2 to read either all or half of the questions in this section and underline keywords that thinks might hear in the recording.
– There are two main or three speakers like: a tutor and a student, or a tutor and two students. This section is a bit more academic and supposes to talk about conversation related to training or education.
– The question types can be gap-filling or multiple choices, which can be quite difficult.
– In case the question types are multiple choices, the candidate should use the break time to read all questions and choices and underline keywords in them.
– During the recording is playing, the candidate should listen to keywords OR synonyms, which means the same keyword may not play in the recording and instead similar keyword may be heard. For instance, the question may contain the word ‘lesson’, but in the recording it may be heard ‘tutorial’ or ‘seminar’. This tip is very important and common in both sections 3 and 4.
– This section is a bit difficult and the candidate can aim for 6 to 8 correct answers.
3.1.4 Section 4
There is no break time in this section, therefore, the candidate should use the break time at the end of section 3 to read and underline keywords as much as he can.
– There is only one speaker who talks about an academic topic.
– The question type is mainly gap-filling and sometimes multiple-choices
– The candidate should listen for keywords OR synonyms.
– This section is the most difficult one because the speech is fast, more content are provided, and there will be extra information that does not necessarily contain any of the answers. For instance, you may hear 30 seconds of the speech, or even more, without any answers being given by the speaker.
3.2 COMMON PROBLEMS
The main difference of the Listening section with other sections is that candidates will hear the recording only once, which means they cannot refer back to the questions and text as many times as they like. Therefore, they can feel nervous and easily get confused that can lead to make mistakes and affect their score.
There are six main common problems that IELTS candidates often face in the Listening section, which are explained in further details below. Reviewing these issues will give the candidate to feel calmer and more confidence during the Listening section.
3.2.1 Following Instructions and Understanding the Questions
The candidate will have some time before each one of the four sections in the Listening test to read the instructions and questions to prepare themselves. Concentrating on making sense of what you hear, reading and understanding the questions, and finding out what you need to do at the same time is difficult. Therefore, it is suggested to read the tasks for each section, before the recording is played, and make sure you understand and know what sort of answer is required. For example, answers are an option from a box, a letter, a number, words, etc. Meanwhile, the candidate should underline keywords both in the instructions and in the questions, which will help them to make sense of the question.
3.2.2 Understanding Specific Information
It may be difficult for candidates to identify exactly which information is required for answering the question. For instance, form-filling question type, the candidate should listen and look for specific information such as a time, a name, a number, a date, or other details. As mentioned earlier, it is worth to use the time before each section starts to read the instructions, questions, and texts because this will provide specific information such as the maximum number of words to use and help candidates to determine what type of words are missing. In addition, candidates are expected to recognise paraphrases in the Listening section. This means words that have similar meaning to those used in the question may be played in the recording.
3.2.3 Following Descriptions
Section 2 of the Listening test is mostly about labelling a plan, map, or diagram. This means that candidates need to determine how something works, what it is made of, or where they are located. In this regard, it can be difficult to follow the recording as it talks about buildings, places, stages or names of parts in a process. However, the listening text includes specific information and keywords that can guide candidates. These may be things like:
- Expressions of place and position (next to, behind, in front of, etc.)
- Compass points (North, South, East, West)
- Verbs and adjectives (quality, size, shape, etc.)
- Left and right
3.2.4 Understanding Conversations
In Section 3 of the Listening test, there is a discussion, in two parts, with three or four speakers talking about an academic topic. During the break time provided after Section 2 of the Listening test, candidates should look at questions and information provided in order to figure out the relationship of speakers, why they are speaking, and underline keywords. The language they use will depend on this relationship and situation, therefore, knowing this will help candidates to anticipate what the speakers are going to talk about. Once the recording is played, they should listen for important and specific information such as: opinions, reasons, views, facts, or ideas.
3.2.5 Following a Talk/Lecture
Section 4 is the most challenging one in the Listening test because there is no break in the recording and speakers talk about an academic subject, mostly a university lecture. Signpost words, mostly used by lecturers, are important in this section as they indicate the stages of the discussion and direct the listening. These words suggest more information is coming and what kind of information this might be. Furthermore, candidates should consider the intonation and stress that are used by speakers in order to highlight important information.
Candidates will lose score if they misspelled answers. Therefore, all answers must be spelled correctly in order to get correct mark. However, some words have different spelling and will be marked correctly if either of their versions, British or American, is written correctly. For example, ‘colour’ or ‘color’ are both correct. Once the Section 4 is finished, candidates will have ten minutes to transfer their answers to the answer sheet. During this time, candidates must be careful about spelling and putting the right answers in the right place in the answer sheet.
3.3 COMMON VOCABULARY
Candidates should consider two main factors in order to get a good mark in the Listening section of the IELTS test. These factors are: knowing a wide range of vocabulary, and spelling them correctly. Common vocabularies that are mostly used in sections of the Listening test are broken down as follows:
3.3.1 Section 1
This section mostly includes basic vocabulary related to transportation, date, verbs, colours, shapes, adjectives, months.
- Transportation: tractor, aircraft, automobile, train, truck
- Days of the week: Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday ( Wednesday is commonly misspelled)
- Verbs: borrow, discuss, believe, suggest, review, develop, concentrate, crash (Sometimes verbs are conjugated for gender, tense, etc. The difference could give you an incorrect answer)
- Colours: orange, blue, black, red, green, white, yellow, purple, brown (Colour spelled with a ‘u’ is the Canadian/British spelling. In the US, it is spelled ‘color’ without a ‘u’. Both are correct and a matter of preference)
- Shapes: rectangle, circle, triangle, square, cylinder
- Adjectives: fantastic, wonderful, permanent, times, necessary, convenient, temporary, various numbers, beautiful, comfortable, terrible, knowledgeable, currencies
- Months: January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December (The first ‘r’ in February is often forgotten)
Recording the corresponding number or symbol is suggested because this will help eliminate the possibility of spelling the word incorrectly. For instance, 2 thousand and 2,000, five o’clock or 5:00, twenty pound and £20, are all correct. Writing the number or symbol allows you to feel confident in your answer.
3.3.2 Section 2
Variety of question types is used in this section. For instance, questions involve labelling a plan, map, or diagram. In this regard, vocabularies that might be useful to know are:
- Directions or Compass points: North, South, East, West, straight, between, across from, diagonal, corner, between, right, left, up, down
- Place markers: avenue, court, lane, street, drive, road.
- Rooms in building: living room, library, classroom, kitchen, dining room, cafeteria, bathroom, den, waiting room, bedroom, gymnasium
3.3.3 Section 3
As section 3 and 4 in the Listening test are more related to academic topic, it is suggested to be familiar with academic vocabularies that are commonly used in University and School.
- Subjects in University: Psychology, Sociology, History, Law, Commerce, Engineering, Physics, Geography, Philosophy, Biology, Marketing, Chemistry, Architecture, Economics
- Subjects in School: English, Music, Physical education, Mathematics, Art, Science, Chemistry
- School terms: teamwork, outline, reference, tutor, knowledge, schedule, questionnaire, laboratory, project, organisation, experiment, assessment, specialist, bachelor’s, leadership, percentage, presentation, pairs, proofreading, lecture, attendance, faculty, management, statistic. (The pronunciation of ‘laboratory’ is different in North America and British English speakers. North Americans: lab-bra-tory / British English: lab-or-a-tory)
3.3.4 Section 4
This section is the most difficult one, however, the vocabulary that are used are still common knowledge. Different academic topic might be discussed in this section such as: Continents and Countries, General, Health, Environment, Animals and their habitat, Government.
- Continents and Countries: Asia, Europe, Oceania, Canada, Germany, North America, South America, Antarctica, England, United Kingdom, Switzerland, Africa, Australia, Canada, Germany, China, Mexico
- General: Employment, Occupation, Decade, Creativity, Opportunity, Calendar, Cooperation, Exhibition, Century, Individual, Satellite, Frequently, Appointment, Government, Aluminium, Millennium, Guarantee, License, Different (‘Government’ and ‘Different’ are common words that misspelled in the IELTS test)
- Health: Disease, Carbohydrates, Vegetarian, Vitamin, Exercise, Leisure, Protein, Treatment
- Environment: Earthquake, Hurricane, Drought, Disaster, Blizzard, Temperature, Global warming, Tornado, Pollution
- Animals and their habitat: Primates, Mountain, Island, Stream, Reptile, Prey, Forest, River, Mammals, Predators, Jungle, Pond
- Government: Laws, President, Senator, Regulations, Society, Mayor, Senate, Politics (‘Society’ is the most common word that misspelled in the IELTS test)