IELTS Listening – How to solve IELTS listening section 2
IELTS Listening Section 2 usually consists of multiple choice questions. This type of question requires you to complete a sentence by choosing one of a number of options.
The problems most of the candidates face are listed below
1. There’s so much information to read. You might not have time to read all of the questions and choices before the recording starts.
2. It’s easy to get ‘lost’ as you listen to the recording and try to assess the different choices for each question. Your brain is doing too much multitasking!
3. Sometimes the choices are very similar, and you will probably hear at least one keyword from each choice. Unless you listen very
carefully, you might be ‘tricked’ into making the wrong choice.
4. The speaker may say something but then contradict it in the next sentence (another type of ‘trick’).
For instance, you have to answer the listening test questions below after while listening to the audio.
Solve Questions 11-13
11) Mr. James had problems because he
A hated smoking.
C couldn’t touch his toes.
D was very lazy.
12) Mr. James used to travel across London to
A get exercise.
B see London at night.
C get cigarettes.
D buy food.
13) What did Mr. James have difficulty with in the past?
B giving up smoking
C getting to sleep at night
D getting up early in the morning
How to solve these questions
1. When you read multiple-choice questions, you have to mark (by circling or underlining quickly) keywords in the question and all answers so that you can easily recognize the difference between answers.
2. You cannot choose the right answer just by listening for keywords. In fact, most keywords in all answers will be mentioned in the audio. You have to really understand what they say thoroughly. Reading answers before actually listening only helps you to reduce the workload for your brain so that when you listen, you don’t have to read the choices, and then when you understand what they say, you can pick the right answer quickly.
3. The only way helps you improve marks for this type of question is to really practice listening, listening to understand rather than for the question itself. While you are preparing or practicing (not in the exam condition), just notice the question (not focus too much on or even not read the choices), then listen to the audio carefully and find the answer by yourself.
4. Beware of the twists, sometimes you will find identical answers while listening to the audio. But, if you listen carefully with focus you will understand that there is only one answer. Also, do not hurry while answering the question until all the options are enlisted in the audio. Once you are confident about the answer, then only mark it.
5. If there is something you cannot hear or understand, you listen to it again and again. Then you can check script to see why you cannot hear something, whether it is a new vocabulary or because of connected speech or you pronounce it wrong. You learn from this mistake. Finally, when you can hear and understand everything, picking up the right answer is not a big deal.
6. The main reason why multiple choice questions challenge candidates has again to do with LISTENING and HEARING. A colossal mistake many candidates to make while answering this type of questions is that, while the recording is played out, they keep RE-READING the options. They feel they are listening to the recording, while, in reality, they are not; they are HEARING. Do NOT make the same mistake. Make sure you have already read, understood and underlined the key parts of each option. Wait until the speaker(s) is/are finished talking about a question and THEN decide which option fits better. A classic mistake is that candidates try to decide on the correct option, while the speaker(s) is still giving information about a question. Wait till he/she is done and then decide quickly.
7. The options which are in direct contradiction with the recording. In almost all cases, one or even two options out of three are REJECTED, so by being on the lookout for such options and eliminating them, you can maximize your chance of finding the correct answer.
Tips while attempting multiple choice questions
1. You have time to read the questions before you listen. Use this time wisely. Check the stems of the questions/statements. This will give you an idea of the topic of the talk.
2. Don’t select the answer based on what you know or in your opinion. Select your to answer based on what the speaker on the recording says.
3. After you have selected an answer, keep listening, the speaker may change their mind or correct themselves. This is often used as a way of tricking candidates in the test. Be Aware of this trick!
4. Don’t select an answer just because you hear a word or phrase from it. The meaning is more important than the vocabulary which is used. Using the same vocabulary as a wrong multiple choice option is another trick to be aware of during the listening test.
5. If you don’t hear an answer, at the end of the section delete the answer options which are logically incorrect and then guess from the options which are left.
Finally, If you follow my previous tips, you will be able to score 9 bands as I did three times in a row. Best of luck!
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