Achieving a fundamental improvement in Listening takes time, work, and patience, there’s no doubt about that. But I find that people often overlook some quick steps they can take to significantly raise their IELTS score. And for some test takers, that increase in score is all they need! So, by all means, work on your Listening skills, but do these steps first and see your score go up:
1. Watch your spelling!
Even if you heard the correct answer but misspelt it, you won’t get a mark for that answer. The easiest marks you can ever get in Listening is by watching your spelling. A ‘Commonly misspelled words’ list can help you learn the words you are most likely to misspell (you can find it here in free trial of ‘IELTS Success Formula’ book)
2. Learn to write while listening
Writing while listening is a skill that needs developing. If you have trouble with it, writing your answers at the same time as listening to the recording will feel a lot harder. Find out early whether or not you can write while listening, and develop/improve that ability by listening to any kind of lecture or talk, and making notes at the same time.
3. Read questions and try to predict answers
When you are given time at the beginning of every Listening section, go over the questions in that section, but don’t just read them – try to predict what kind of answer they require. It makes a big difference to your listening when you know you are listening for a date, or a time, or a dish on the menu and so on.