IELTS Listening Test: 10 Ways to Improve Your Comprehension

ielts listening

IELTS is one of the most popular tests designed for people seeking educational or employment opportunities in any English-speaking country. What many people fail to understand is that IELTS does not have a pass or fail criteria. Instead, applicants get band scores between 0 and 9. IELTS has been designed by top authorities across the world to ensure a candidate qualifies and holds proficiency in all areas of the language. Irrespective of their understanding of the language, many candidates fail to attempt the test on the first try. While some fail in writing, some candidates fail to hear the language properly and fail in the listening test. It is not easy to recognise the terms, specifically if you are used to speaking one particular tone of the language. This may reflect highly on your IELTS listening band score. One thing to understand here is that you need to score well in all the sections to attain a good overall score.


ielts listening


Listening is one of the key areas of the IELTS exam. Think critically about how you will grasp what other people are saying if you move to another country. Here we have curated some key tips to help improve your comprehension in the IELTS listening test.

  • Identify your weaknesses

Improve your English skills efficiently by identifying and focusing on your weaknesses. Whether it’s grammar, vocabulary, or following conversations, pinpointing your biggest challenges is crucial. Analysing your practice test results can reveal recurring mistakes and guide your study efforts.

To aid in this process, the Cambridge English books and some online tests offer transcripts of the spoken recordings, allowing you to understand why you may have answered incorrectly. Don’t waste time on ineffective studying – target your weaknesses and see real progress in your English proficiency. The notable thing about IELTS is that you can take it multiple times. The IELTS test dates for 2023 are out. Stay Updated!


ielts listening


Ready to boost your IELTS listening skills? Join Ajinorah’s top-notch coaching! – Enrol now

  • Practise with Different Accents

The recordings you’ll hear in the exam may feature speakers from various linguistic or geographic regions. Although English is a widely used language, every country has a specific pattern of the language. For instance, there are huge differences in the way American English is pronounced compared to the popular British language. Consider practising with different accents to gain a better understanding of the proficiency of the language. 

  • Converse and practise

Even if you have enrolled yourself for the best IELTS coaching, you should not limit yourself to taking more steps to follow the unique approach. Try to speak to people with different linguistic patterns and note how each word carries a different perspective. You should try to complete the test in the given time frame during the practice sessions and only complete it in one go for better results. Make sure to practise for each section to even gain an understanding of the difficulty of the exam. 

  • You Only Listen Once (YOLO)

Similar to the instances of YOLO (You Only Live Once), you need to be mindful while listening as well. The test is for thirty minutes only, and none of the recordings will be played again. If you miss it once, you miss it forever. Therefore, you need to keep in mind that you will only get one chance to get it right. Try to get rid of all the distractions and focus completely while listening. Try to get used to this aspect during the practice sessions. You should even make a note of your strengths and weaknesses based on the results of the IELTS listening test. Make a note of all the terms that you did not understand during the practice session. You should even consider practising different types of listening sessions, such as lectures, speeches, debates, conversations, and more. 

  • Improve Your Vocabulary 

The recordings you will listen to will comprise speakers from different linguistic backgrounds. Again, countries may have specific patterns or usage of terms that are more common. If you reside in India, enrolling at one of the best IELTS coaching centres in India can be an advantage. Vocabulary is not only for the listening test but will help complete other sections as well. Make sure to take time and learn a few new words every day. You should always check how those words are used in the sentences for better clarity. Following this step will help you identify the right usage and how to use the specific terms in your test. Keep in mind to use different words or synonyms to leave a good impression in the mind of the reviewer.


ielts listening


Ace the IELTS listening test with Ajinorah’s expert guidance – Enrol now!

  • Practise with Audio Scripts

If you enrol in any institute, they will provide you with a detailed analysis of your performance. However, if you are searching for practice tests, you must consider looking for listening tests with scripts. There are multiple benefits to audio scripts. First of all, you can read it aloud to identify how similar it sounds to the speaker(s). Secondly, it will allow you to gain a better understanding of the accurate usage and pronunciation of the term. Scripts will make it easier to follow the test while you are attempting to listen to and complete it. 

  • Listen to Different Mediums

Improve your English comprehension skills by listening to a variety of resources that are easily accessible online. News broadcasts from BBC News are a great choice, as they provide a mix of reports and conversations. To get used to different accents, it’s recommended to listen to news from English-speaking countries such as the UK, Ireland, the US, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, and South Africa. Podcasts, TED Talks, and YouTube videos are also excellent resources to explore, covering a wide range of topics and durations. Online radio is another great source for conversations and interviews. Aim to listen to something for at least 10-15 minutes daily for gradual improvement. Follow these tips to enhance your IELTS listening skills today.

  • Check it Twice 

You need to be mindful of the plural, punctuation, and terms while listening. Any minor mistake can take a turn against you and reflect on your band score. You should be precise and check your answers twice. Follow all the instructions, even during practice sessions. Besides that, you will only have one hour to complete 40 questions. You should consider leaving difficult questions until the end and focusing on what you already know. It is better to attempt something rather than leave all the important questions unanswered. 

  • Follow the Instructions

Before beginning the listening test, carefully read the instructions for each section. Pay attention to how many words or numbers you need to write for each answer. Remember, the test measures not only your listening abilities but also your comprehension skills. When transferring your answers to the answer sheet, ensure that you have followed the instructions for each section and double-checked your work. Even if your answer is essentially correct, it will be marked wrong if it does not meet the word count specified in the instructions.

  • Keeping your focus is essential. 

Last but not least, the most important aspect is to stay focused. The speed of speech increases at an extremely fast pace, and you might forget what was said in ten seconds. Therefore, you should aim to be alert and aware of your surroundings during the entire test. Limit the number of distractions and focus entirely on what you are hearing. 

Ace your IELTS listening band score with ease! With the right preparation, you’ll master the art of listening and achieve a high IELTS score. Our expert tips cover everything you need to know, from improving your core skills to staying focused during the exam. You will become an expert listener and excel in your IELTS exam with consistent practice. At Ajinorah, our skilled trainers employ practical, engaging exercises to enhance your listening skills. We provide realistic exam simulations and targeted practice sessions to help you excel in comprehension, note-taking, and identifying key information. With Ajinorah’s personalised guidance and effective techniques, you’ll gain confidence and succeed in the IELTS listening section.