As the fourth instalment of our IELTS beginners series, this blog post will direct you towards all of the proven strategies you will need to improve your IELTS Reading and Listening scores.
You can read the first three parts of IELTS Beginners here:
Both reading and listening are receptive skills, known as the ability to receive and understand information. This makes them very different to speaking and writing which are productive skills, as they don’t require the production of language.
There is one massive advantage to 50% of your score relying on receptive skills: the answers are either right or wrong — so you don’t need an expert’s feedback to identify your mistakes.
However, each section of IELTS Listening and Reding tests a separate sub-skill. As such, you must first develop your ability to use these sub-skills in an IELTS setting before you attempt the real exam.
As I have mentioned before, the best way of improving IELTS skills is by learning a method that will guide your thought process when you need to take the test.
Below you will find reliable structures that every beginner can apply to any IELTS Reading and Listening question you will get on the day of your exam. If you’d prefer learning these strategies through a free online lesson series, sign up for our IELTS Fundamentals Course.
As I mentioned in my previous post, the Reading exam for IELTS General Training and Academic differ slightly.
For General Training, you will have to read and identify information from a combination of long and short texts of both a general and work-specific nature. For Academic students, you must interact with three long texts of an academic nature.
Both General Training and Academic pupils will take a Reading exam that is divided into three sections of increasing difficulty. You must answer 40 questions in 60 minutes.
What questions will I get?
There are a number of question types that could appear on the IELTS exam. As always, it is important to understand exactly how you must tackle each type of question. If you have a strategy, you know you can complete the question in the exam. If you don’t, you’re just hoping that you can.
For most of the question types you could encounter, you will be required to choose an answer from a list of sentences and record the correct letter on your answer sheet. Below you will find examples of each of these, as well as links to the strategies required to answer each question type effectively:
Other question types will ask you to record the correct number or word from a given passage. You will find reliable methods to help you strategically answer these questions below:
If you’d like a visual guide to accompany these strategies, feel free to watch our playlist of IELTS Reading lessons below:
General Training and Academic IELTS pupils take the same Listening exam. The recording will last 30 minutes, and you will be allowed an extra 10 minutes to record your answers on a separate sheet.
The Listening test will be divided into four sections which feature a range of English-speaking accents. You will have a small amount of time at the beginning of each section so that you can read the questions carefully — there will be ten questions in each of the four sections.
Each section will progress in difficulty and you will only hear each recording once.
What questions will I get?
Like IELTS Reading, there are only a certain number of question types that you might have to answer.
A number of questions require you to pick an option from a list and record the corresponding letter or number on your answer sheet. You can find reliable methods for each of these question types in the links below:
In comparison, other questions will ask you to write down the words or numbers that you hear. I’ll include links for the methods required for each of these question types below:
1. Form Filling
If you would like to gain a competitive score in IELTS listening, it is important that you have a wide-ranging vocabulary so that you can identify the correct answers from the recording. The video below will outline a number of ways you can achieve this from home:
I hope this article was able to guide you through the strategies needed to get the score you need in IELTS Reading and Listening. Remember: reading this article won’t get you a high band — but practice will.
Try to practice wisely as much as you can, marking your answers honestly. It is far more effective to practice effectively for ten minutes every day consistently than for five hours a day with only one week left before your test!
As always, feel free to post any questions in the comments or email us at <firstname.lastname@example.org>