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5 Best Tips for your IELTS Listening and Reading Tests

Preparing to sit for your IELTS tests? We’ve prepared some tips to help you ace the Listening and Reading sections.

For those who are taking IELTS for the first time, it could be a nervous experience if you’re unsure of what the format looks like and how to properly prepare.

In fact, IELTS is a high-stakes test that enables test 

takers to pursue not only study abroad dreams, but also provide migration and work opportunities. It is designed to assess the language ability of people who need to study or work where English is the language of communication. 

For a start, there are different IELTS test types available and each conforms to the highest international standards of language assessment. The test covers four sections: Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking.

If you’re wondering why it’s so important, IELTS is recognised by more than 10,000 universities and employers in countries like Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK, Ireland and the United States.

Below, we’ve curated a list of tips to help you prepare for the Listening and Reading sections.  Also, you might want to check out our tips for Writing and Speaking tests.

Listening test tips

  • Most important: check if your headphones are working, if not, raise your hand
  • Utilise the time allotted to check out the questions. Read through them before the recording starts  
  • Listen to the recording attentively and focus more on answers than understanding everything. Remember that the recording is played only once
  • Take notes on your question paper when listening to the recording
  • Write within the given word limit for each question
  • Revise and proofread for spelling and grammar errors before submission
  • Try to use all capital letters for your answers

Reading Test tips

  • Examine every detail of the figures, graphs or images in the question paper to be precise while answering
  • If you can’t understand a question, don’t waste time on it. Rather move onto the next, you can always come back later to finish this
  • Don’t waste time writing on question paper. There is a time limit and you will get no extra time to transfer answers later on
  • Understand the questions carefully and focus on finding answers from the passage
  • Be precise, grammatically-correct and to-the-point. Proofread before submission
  • Try to use all capital letters for your answers

The Academic and General Training Reading tests are usually graded to the same level. However, the texts mentioned in the Academic Reading test can be more challenging as compared to those mentioned in the IELTS General Training test.

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