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How to Improve IELTS Listening Section 3 and 4?
How to Improve IELTS Listening Section 3 and 4?

How to Improve IELTS Listening Section 3 and 4?

IELTS Listening module consists of 4 sections:Section 1, Section 2, Section 3 and Section 4. Out of all these sections, Section 3 is an audio conversation of up to 4 people and Section 4 will be a lecture on a complex topic. These perhaps are the most difficult sections. The reason is that, in IELTS Listening Section 3, you are very likely to get confused with the voices and the conversation going on and section 4 will have topics from Science or something very difficult to comprehend.

Listening Section 3:

In IELTS Listening Section 3, you can commonly find any of the questions such as table completion, MCQs (Multiple Choice Questions), matching headings, flow chart or diagram.

There are some unique tips to be kept in mind, while the basic things that you can concentrate on while attempting Section 3 in IELTS Listening test remain the same for all kinds of questions. Let us discuss the approach you can adopt for IELTS Listening test Section 3 by taking example of MCQs types of question:

  • Underline Keywords

Underlining important keywords in question is the most effective and efficient strategy for solving IELTS Listening Section 3. For this, you can utilize the time given to you prior to listening to the audio conversation. Let’s see how this works:

Simple MCQ

Sneha has been working in the School for

  1. Three years
  2. One year
  3. Four years

In the above question, the main keywords you can focus on are “Sneha”, “working” and “School”. Hence, you can highlight these keywords by underlining them. And when the audio starts, just keep these underlined keywords in your mind to get the gist of the question while having your eyes on the three options; “three”, “one” and “four” and just avoid the common word “years”.

So, you have to choose the answer out of those three numbers only and this is how you are able to solve this type of question easily.

Difficult MCQ

Sneha was successful because she

  1. She taught hundreds of students
  2. was a highly skilled professional
  3. could provide competent results

In the above type of question where it is comparatively difficult to concentrate, you can underline keywords as highlighted above. The problem is the audio might touch all these options to confuse us and then talk about the right choice indirectly.

Listening Section 4:

This section will have a recording usually of an academic talk about a certain subject such as biology and history, which makes this section even more difficult. Let’s take a look at the IELTS listening section 4 tips and practice to help you pass the test!

Tip 1: Allocate Time Wisely

It is an important step to wisely allocate your time in the listening section. At the beginning of the listening section, try your best to read all the questions. Getting familiar with the questions in advance helps you to concentrate on the recording!

Tip 2: Underline Key Words

When you are reading the questions, underline the key words. The key words refer to the most important information in the question. Some key words are easy to identify such as an academic term or a name; others are subtle. You need to listen carefully for the key words in the recording.

Example:

According to 2009 survey, Americans left their high paid jobs because

  1. A) they need to be in control of the way they work
  2. B) they play games instead of doing work
  3. C) they are not as intelligent as other people

The key words in the question is Americans left their high paid jobs and the key words in the choices are need to be in control, play games and intelligent as other people,

Tip 3: Guess the answer

Sometimes, you can predict the answer based on the given information, especially in table/form/sentence completion questions.

Tip 4: Practice

To get prepared for this section, you can do practice tests as well as listen to academic talks from various websites.

Essential Tips for IELTS Listening:

  • Listen to the introduction and audio properly to be able to recognize different voices well.
  • While focusing on the underlined keywords in the question, it is also important to understand the question because some of the keywords in the options or the complete option itself may be paraphrased in the audio.
  • Using 1 minute to get an overview of the section would help you to familiarize yourself with the questions.
  • Remember that while listening to the audio, you have to be quick enough to move your eyes over all the questions as well as options so that you are aligned with the audio and there is no chance of skipping a question.
  • Lastly, do remember that information in the audio always flows in the same order as the order of question. So, you have to be continuously going on by immediately moving to the next question instead of looking back for any skipped question or unsure marked answer.

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