This article will cover a comprehensive overview of the IELTS listening exam under the General training test and the proactive steps that you need to take to achieve a minimum band score of 8. A lot of my clients have harnessed this vital information.
Before we go into details, it is pertinent to provide a brief overview of the IELTS exam. Over the years, institutions, organizations, and immigration bodies in English speaking countries have used IELTS as proof to confirm an individual’s fluency in the use of the English language.
The International English Language Testing System works with a maximum band score between 0 to 9. There are two categories (Academic & General); however, since we are using it for either Australia, New Zealand, or Canadian immigration in Qatar, we shall focus on the General Training test.
The exam tests your fluency in four areas of the English language. Writing, Speaking, Listening, and Reading. Listening and speaking have the same format, while reading and writing differs in the Academic and General Training test. Generally, your IELTS result is valid for two years.
Now let us jump to the guide that will provide the necessary information to getting the minimum band score ‘’8’’ in your IELTS listening test.
The IELTS listening exam tests your ability to extract, decipher, and correlate information from a social and academic point of view. It achieves by providing a recorded transcript and requesting you to answer some questions based on the information contained in the audio.
You will use the paper format for this text because you will provide the answers in a booklet. They will provide four recorded version. Each record has its characteristics, as shown in the table below:
A table showing the four types of recoded texts in a typical IELTS listening exam.
You will answer ten questions for each recording that you listen to and the total time provided for this section is 40 minutes. Thirty minutes to answer forty questions on a piece of paper, and an extra 10 minutes to carefully transfer it to the IELTS standard answer booklet.
It is also pertinent to note that each question carries one mark, and there are no negative markings. So, do not hesitate to guess answers that seem difficult.
According to statistics from IELTS; In 2017, among individuals who took the General Training test for immigration purposes, 87% of candidates scored between band 5.5 – 8.0, while 78% scored between band 5.5 – 7.5. Below is a breakdown of the performance for immigration IELTS test-takers in 2017.
Also, in terms of gender, the 2017 statistics for the listening test showed an average band performance of 6.66 from female students, and 6.62 as the mean performance for male students, respectively.
The IELTS Listening questions can come in about six different formats. I shall explain these formats and provide relevant resources below the page that will help you to practice lots of tests and their corresponding answers.
Moreover, the whole question in a recording can be based on one single format or a mix of them.
1: Multiple Choice questions
Here, you will have a variety of possible answers and asked to choose the right option(s). Sometimes, you can be asked to eliminate the inappropriate response, or in some cases, required to select multiple correct answers from the list.
Whatever your situation may be, all you need to do is to listen attentively to the audio and figure out the right choice.
2: Sentence Completion
The question appears as a “fill in the gap.” Looks quite simple right? Yes, but that is if you’re able to discover vital information in a conversation. You have to know what caused a situation and its corresponding effect. Most importantly, you have to read the instructions carefully.
A question that appears in this type requires you to match several items in a list to the options provided in the question paper. It is a test of your ability to focus on details and how you can correlate these details with each other. The list can be different types of schools, bars, or hotels.
4: Short Answer Questions
Here, you have to provide concise answers based on what you have heard in the audio file. You have to be very cautious here as the examiners will give a word limit for the answers. If the solution requires ‘’no more than three words,’’ please do not write above that.
Moreover, a hyphenated word such as “test-taker” is counted as one word. Also, the examiner might request you to provide a list to the answers, but it must not exceed the total number of words stated in the instructions.
The main task with such a question relies on getting information about places or data within the recorded text.
5: Tables and Flow Charts
Here, you’ll be requested to focus on some information regarding the recorded text and either summarize them in a table, form or flow charts. All these will relate to the recorded version.
Also, ensure that you meticulously follow the instructions regarding the number of words in the instructions.
6: Diagrams and Maps
In some cases, your questions can come in the form of a map where you’ll be required to complete traces or fill in some information on the chart. E.g., a building, city, ornaments, or instruments.
The possible answers will be provided in the question booklet; your duty is to assess the information in the audio and relate them with the options provided.
So, your primary task is to be able to find a relationship between links and directions through the provided information.
Note: Ensure you put down the correct spelling of words when transferring your answers to the booklet. Every misspelled word signify a wrong answer. There is no assumption in IELTS exams.
Qualified and reliable examiners grade the examination with a high level of efficacy and integrity. Aside from that, the examiners also have to send the graded sheets to Cambridge Assessment English (CAE) for further review before it can be approved.
For the listening section, the total correct score is divided by 40 and multiplied by nine. Total correct score/Total obtainable score (40) * 9
|I.e.,||the total correct score||X||9||=||Overall listening band score|
For example, a candidate that scores 35 correct answers out of the 40 questions will get a band score of 7.875 (approximated as Band – 8). 35/40 * 9.
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