There are some very easy tweaks that can help you make a big difference in your IELTS Listening and Speaking test scores.

Let us first know the listening section format. A listening section carries 40 questions in all which are to be attempted in 40 minutes. Out of which, first 30 minutes the audio piece will be played and rest 10 minutes you will have to write the answers on the answer sheet. Now, in order to score big in this section, there are very minute things which you have to take care of and those are as follows:

  1. The primary concern in the listening section is that you will get to hear many different types of accents like an American accent, Canadian accent, British accent, and an Australian accent. Each accent differs in speech and the way the words are pronounced and also the vocabulary used by each region is different. Like in American English a truck is called truck whereas in British English its called a Lorry. So, the basic thumb rule is Listen to a lot of accents on a daily basis so you get the hang of the accent and the different forms of glossary that is being used. Also, while listening to the accents just notice the way the words are joined together and it emits a different sound eg. Let’s go would sound like ‘Sko’. Until you practice you will not be able to make out the word. A vast majority of the candidates appearing for the exam find this as a challenge as they sometimes are unable to understand the word being said. Try to observe the intonation and the expression being used by the native speaker especially the British English is very rhythmic. Britisher’s put stress on the different words in a sentence.
  2. Listen to different radio’s to get the real feel of the accent, it will give you a lot of practice. Tune into Australia Radio, British radio, US and Canadian radio channels to have an understanding of the different speech as per the region.
  3. Another important aspect of the Listening test is spellings. You have to be sure of the spellings when you transfer your answers and also make sure if the word you heard was singular or plural. If you write a singular answer as plural, your answer will be marked as incorrect and you will not get any score for it.
  4. Always go through your questions beforehand so that you can predict the possible answers when you hear the audio. Try to mark the keywords in the question so that you can locate the answers easily based on those keywords. But be very careful that you do not always get the same keywords in the answer, they can use the synonym of the keyword.
  5. Do not leave your answer sheet blank, answer every question. Even if you do not know the answer, try to write the most probable answer by using the keyword method as there is no negative marking for the wrong answer.
  6. Do not stress yourself while listening to the conversation or the audio, try to stay calm, composed and attentive. Concentration is everything.
  7. Practice micro-listening. Micro-listening means to observe how two individual words get connected and they give different sound when spoken. This is the most important point to be taken into account as if you are unable to understand, you might miss the answer.
  8. Always follow the instructions very carefully. Make sure you know what is being asked from you. If you skip the instructions you might answer incorrectly eg. if you are asked to write the answer in just two words instead you write three words, then your answer will be marked incorrect and you lose marks.

Furthermore, let us understand the format of the Speaking section of the IELTS exam. The speaking section of IELTS takes about 11 to 14 minutes in all in which you are asked to introduce yourself, to speak extempore on some topic and then a question-answer round.

It is said, “Always small things make big outcomes”. To basket a big goal in the Speaking section of the IELTS test, follow some of the tips given below:

  1. The foremost thing in the Speaking section is to maintain your calm and be pleasant. Stay focussed with a good erect posture while sitting.
  2. Next priority is to listen to the question very carefully which is being asked by the examiner.
  3. Before answering any question, always think of a good and logical response without rushing. Think a while and then answer appropriately.
  4. Sometimes you may come across unusual questions which are not a part of everyday life, in that case, no need to panic, just buy some time from the examiner by using some suitable phrases like “Well, I haven’t come across such question earlier, please give me a moment to think about it”. It always gives you a clarity of what you need to answer.
  5. Also, use a vast variety of vocabulary and apt grammar.
  6. Make sure you do not use heavy accent to make an impression rather it may look fake and may put off the examiner. Put more stress on the intonation and correct pronunciation. A flat tone will not look very pleasing instead use more variation in your tone as it will make your speech more impactful and pleasing.
  7. While answering the question, do mention some examples from your real life or relevant ones and keep your answers very crisp, simple, effective and to the point. Just link up all your sentences so that it can show cohesion in your speech. There is no point dragging an answer unnecessarily.
  8. Avoid creating an answer based on your imagination, as it may lead you to lose clarity.

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