How to Improve Comprehension Skills for the IELTS Listening and Reading Tests

The skills of reading and listening are one of the four skills people use every single day. These are also skills needed to be polished for the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) examination. A lot of Filipinos are having quite a hard time developing their comprehension skills on both reading and listening skills. This could be a problem; thus, here are points one can do to improve their comprehension skills on both reading and listening tests in the IELTS.

1. Recordings for the IELTS listening test usually have three accents: American English, British English and Australian English. Studying the manner on how words are pronounced in these three accents is a very big help.
2. Improve your vocabulary. It is difficult to understand a passage if you are not familiar with words.
3. Learn how to use context clues. Dictionaries are not allowed in the exam so this skill is very essential.
4. Watch English speakers deliver their lines. There are certain vocabulary words you will learn and even word expressions that are commonly used in conversations.
5. Practice dictation. Get a news clip from the web. Listen to it. Write its transcript and check. This is very effective in practicing note taking.
6. Note taking is a skill you need for the listening. Get a recording and write its main ideas and its details. This kind of exercise is similar to what you are going to do in the real test.
7. Talk with English speakers. Listen to them well.
8. Learn how words are spelled. In the test, though you understood the passage well, but you failed to write the detail correctly, it will still be marked wrong.
9. Listen to English songs. It is learning English in a fun way.
10. There are listening comprehension exercises found online. Start from basic listening skills. The important thing is building a strong foundation of your comprehension skills. In addition, do practice listening tests to be familiar with the types of questions in the listening test.

1. Strong vocabulary means easier understanding of passages. This will include knowledge on some jargons and word expressions.
2. Find a reading material. You can start from choosing children’s books or some blogs on the internet. There are a lot of reading materials to choose from. Be more comfortable by reading easy materials until you improve and read more complicated ones like journals and even the newspaper.
3. To understand a reading, you need to be able to read in a very quiet place. Find a spot where you can read comfortably – away from noises or any distractions. Refrain from using your phone while practicing. You will realize you are spending more time using your phone than reading.
4. Find the best time to read. There are people who are more comfortable reading in the morning or at night. Choose one the best fits your personality. Productivity relies here.
5. Practice the skill of scanning. Read through the passage looking for keywords and phrases that are also found on the questions.
6. Skimming is needed too. You have to learn how to get the main ideas and expect the questions that are to be asked related to the passage.
7. Like in the listening test, learn how to use context clues. Dictionaries are not available so find clues in the sentence or the paragraph to understand a certain unfamiliar vocabulary.
8. Always find time to read. While on the bus or on breaks, need pieces of news or articles to increase the interest for reading.
9. Keep notes while reading. Write down words you do not know. After reading, write a summary of what you read.
10. Do practice tests. You will be more familiar on the style of the test when you know how the test goes.

Simple and effective – these are the secrets in improving your comprehension skills for both reading and listening tests in the IELTS.

If you are planning to take IELTS go here


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