One of the major challenges that you, as an IELTS candidate, have to face is doing several things while listening. You must recognise more than just names, places and times. You must also connect ideas, organise information, generalise and infer.

Here are ‘active listening’ strategies that you can use for all Listening module question types.


• Read the instructions to know how many words you are allowed or required to write. Do not go above the word limits or your answer will be marked incorrect.
• Read through the questions and notes on the question paper and decide what the topic is. For example, to get the right information from a conversation or monologue, it helps if you ask yourself the right questions before you begin listening, such as:
– Who is talking?
– What are they talking about?
– How do they feel about it?
– Analyse the questions and prompts, and decide what type of information is required.This may include
information such as a price, name or time.
• Mouth the options in the box quietly to yourself, that is, form the words with your mouth, but do not
speak them out loud. This may help you recognise them in the recording.
• Try to re-phrase the notes and questions in your own words. This could help you identify the moment when the speaker is about to give the correct answer.


• Listen for any clue that the speakers are about to answer the questions. They will probably use different words from the question.
• Always choose only the required number of options for each question.
• If you miss an answer, do not worry—keep listening. Otherwise, you will miss the next question, too.


• Make sure you answer every question. Don’t leave any answer blank. Give your best guess for it.
• As you copy your answers, check that the words you have written make sense in the context, and do the grammar and spelling checking to make sure that they are already correct.

Those are several things you need to do to tackle the listening tasks in IELTS. Expose yourelf with a variety of listening exercises before the test day so that you will be more familiar with other factors such as pronunciation and accents. Good luck!