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Dictation listening exercise for IELTS

Sometimes, it is good listening practice to listen to someone speaking and try to write down exactly what is said. You have to focus on both meaning and the individual words:if you don’t write down all of the words correctly, then you haven’t understood everything. (more…)

Count the words – the answers

Make sure that you have listened to the recorded sentences here. Did you manage to count the words? Was it easy? Perhaps you found it difficult? Remember that this exercise is extremely good for your listening skills practice. If you can identify all of the words, it shows that you are on your way to being able to fully understand what is being said. This is very important in the IELTS listening exam and in the IELTS speaking exam. Have you tried repeating the sentences aloud? What about recording yourself saying the sentences and listening to yourself? How good is your pronunciation? (more…)

Listen and count the words

Listening can be really difficult. In the IELTS listening exam, you are expected to listen, understand and answer questions. In the IELTS speaking exam, you have to listen to the examiner carefully and answer the questions you are asked.

Many IELTS students say that they find listening difficult because they haven’t had enough practice. Let’s face it, it can be really difficult to improve your listening skills if all you are doing is listening to recordings and answering questions. It’s important that all IELTS students try to identify their listening weaknesses and to improve their listening skills. (more…)

Don’t leave any blanks

It’s important not to leave any blanks in the IELTS listening exam. If you leave an answer blank, it’s impossible to get a mark for it. Sometimes you won’t be certain about an answer to a question but you must remember to put something. You never know, your “guess” might be right.

Pronunciation is important

IELTS candidates should be aware that 99% of English language learners need to work on their pronunciation. This pronunciation practice is not something that should be done just before the IELTS exam – it should be started months before!! Poor pronunciation in the IELTS speaking exam might ruin your chances of getting the highest IELTS band score you can.
When you learn a new item of vocabulary, you should learn more than its meaning. You should also try to learn how to say it. This is not difficult, even if you don’t have “access” to a native speaker. Many students ignore the phonetic transcription of words in dictionaries. They read the definition and then move on. A good dictionary will explain how to pronounce a word by using a phonetic transcription e.g. /ˈɪŋglɪʃ/. Students need to understand this system of transcription to understand the pronunciation of a word but good dictionaries provide a key to help. It is well-worth the effort becoming familiar with this system. When you learn a word, you can easily learn how to pronounce it right from the beginning. A simple chart to help you can be found here.

Many students find it useful to hear a new word pronounced and the Internet provides many resources for this. A great site for pronunciation help is You can type in a word and hear it said. This provides a great opportunity to repeat the word. You can even translate the word into your language so you can be sure of the meaning.

It’s important to remember that in the IELTS speaking exam, you aren’t penalised for having an accent. We all have an accent when speaking English. IELTS candidates should try to avoid pronunciation errors that might stop easy understanding of what you are saying. These errors are usually mispronounced words and words that most people from your country pronounce incorrectly when speaking English. This is why learning the pronunciation of new words is so important.

Read about using Google to help your IELTS studies.