What is the best way to improve your IELTS listening score? You often see it written that the best thing to do is to practise, practise, practise. I beg to differ. Listening is a skill and skills are improved by practice – but so long as you are doing the right kind of practice. For me it is obvious that you need to practise in a way in that you actually reduce the number of mistakes you make. In this video I identify one very common cause of avoidable mistakes. Before you listen to it, however, may I make another related suggestion:
Use the transcript
My suggestion is to use the transcript of the listening. There are different ways you could do this:
- while you are still learning about the exam, for your first few attempts read and listen at the same time: for me this isn’t bad practice at all as it helps you learn about the types of question you find in IELTS without the pressure of looking for an answer.
- when you are getting close to the exam, you should spend plenty of time going through the transcript to identify why you got the answer wrong and how you could have got the right answer. Don’t just mark your mistakes, find out why they were wrong in the first place. This way you can improve your score because while each listening is different, the questions are always set in the same way.
Before you watch this video, here are some questions for you to consider:
Do you underline key words in the question?
What are distractors?
Are you from China?
A Chinese friendly version of this video is available on Youdu here.
Now that you have listened, which words in the question should you focus on? My answer is added as a comment