Free IELTS Listening tests for your exam preparation

Today I have more free Listening resources for you. I’ve had several requests this week to find and publish links to some Listening practice tests. This is the list I’ve compiled, feel free to let me know if you’ve found additional resources – every little bit helps.

1. Here you will find a short listening sample (mp3) with 5 questions, the correct answers are provided too. Click here to proceed to the test.

2. This test was prepared by the British Council, and I think it’s great. There are four Listening sections, just like in a real IELTS exam. You can take this test under real exam conditions (without breaks between sections) or in a practice mode – start and stop the audio as many times as you like while you’re working on your listening skills. Note: if you are going to do this under real exam conditions download and print all the question files and the blank answer sheet for your answers, and also save audio files for the four sections on your computer before beginning the test.

Click here to go to Section 1

Click here to go to Section 2

Click here to go to Section 3

Click here to go to Section 4

The question types you will see are Notes completion, Table completion, Information matching and Multiple choice, and the accent types are English and American.

On each Listening Section page you can download the questions in PDF format, or simply read them off the screen. The audio can also be downloaded from the same Section page, or you could listen to it online, if you’re on a fast internet connection.

Download a blank answer sheet here

Download the correct answers here

3. Another useful piece of software is the IELTS Listening Conqueror 2.0.

It’s a program that you need to download and install on your computer (some will see this as a downside). It allows you to run 4 full listening tests for free (there are many more in the full version but it costs some money), and the transcript is displayed as you listen, sentence by sentence.

You also have the option of typing as you listen (they call it the method of dictation). The speed is adjustable and you can set the software to repeat every phrase as many times as you like. I have tried it, the quality of the recordings is not bad and the software is pretty easy to use.

The file size is 7 Mbytes, not an issue for any broadband users, people with dial-up will have to take a coffee break while the file is downloading.

That’s all for today, enjoy!

IELTS Listening tips that Phuong used to get Band 7

Doan Hung Phuong, the winner of October results competition, shares his tips for success in the IELTS Listening test:

To succeed in the IELTS test, the key is practice. Never dream you will gain anything without any efforts. The fact is I had to do a great number of practice tests in a month before taking the real test. I did approximately one test a day, including reading and listening. Sometimes I practiced Writing and Speaking Tests at home.

Remember, you MUST do Listening, Reading and Writing Tests continually. In the real test, there will be no time for you to have a break. They officially say that you will have 5 minutes between each part, the fact this is not always so. Therefore, you must practice to cope with extremely high tension and pressure in the real test.

Practicing writing and speaking at home is not actually a good way. You need someone to check your writing and give advice how to improve your speaking. However, I myself don’t have that advantageous condition as well, so I just simply did the test at home. Regardless of disadvantages, practicing at home will certainly help you deal with the limited time and improve your organization in both writing and speaking in a short time. Moreover, it also helps you get familiar with difficult questions and be well prepared for the up-coming exam.

I spent 3 months preparing for the IELTS test, 2 months to gain back basic English knowledge in English centers and 1 month to constantly do practice tests. It is the best if you have a long-term plan for your exam , including improving vocabulary, revising grammar, learning and applying strategies for each type of questions in IELTS test as well as improving the 4 skills.

Now I will go into details about my way of studying and I think it will help your English improve:

Listening tips

This is considered to be the hardest skill to improve for most people. In reality, it is one of my weaknesses. To improve listening, you have no choice but to practice every day, practice as much as you can.

There are a lot of English channels where you can listen and try to understand what they are talking about. If you’ve got difficulty in understanding these universal channels, perhaps you need to learn more daily vocabulary and try to practice some easy listening books. The key here is just main idea. As long as you still understand what they are talking about, you will be fine. The purpose of this way is that you can familiarize with English and correct your pronunciation in basic words (the words you have known). Therefore, this is also an excellent way to prepare for speaking.

However, you MUST avoid BBC. There is absolutely nothing you can learn from BBC. If your level of English is good enough to understand BBC, you don’t need to come here and seek advice; just do practice tests, it will save your time.

When doing Listening Practice Tests, you also have to catch the main ideas as well. However, this time you must practice listening to details too. The main ideas will help to you determine what the key words are and focus on the important section. Stress and intonation are also helpful. Sometimes, a lot of unnecessary details make you confused and then you can’t catch the key words.

To sum up, the key for listening is Listen to English as much as you can.

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