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IELTS Listening: All the basics, from the British Council

The problem

It’s easy to do badly in IELTS Listening if you don’t have a thorough understanding of what to expect. For example, are you confident you can answer these questions:

  1. Is it important to use capital letters accurately?
  2. Is a point subtracted if you get an answer wrong?
  3. How much time do you have to study the question paper before the audio starts?

More importantly, what should you do with the time you have between looking at the question paper and listening to the recording? Knowing this can easily make the difference between one band score and another.
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IELTS Listening: Three things that can go wrong

Most people find the Listening test more stressful than the Reading test. That’s because when you are reading, you have the texts in front of you and you can refer to them more than once. When you are listening, if you miss an answer, it’s gone — and because you only hear the recording once, you can never get it back. So you need to work out some strategies in advance.
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IELTS Listening: Help! I don’t understand the accent!

The problem

IELTS is an international test, so you might hear a range of different accents, including Australian, British, New Zealand and North American. Remember that you only hear the audio once in the Listening test so you need to be absolutely confident that you can pick out every detail first time. An unfamiliar accent can get in the way of that. While there will not be any extreme accents, you should at least be familiar with a range of ‘standard’ accents.
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