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Listening strategies

Listening strategies

Girl listening with headphones on

Top tips for preparing for a listening assessment

Listening is a challenge for many students and a common reason why some students don’t pass at the end of their course. Even though you may be surrounded by people you can listen to in Melbourne and have access to countless listening files on your phone, when preparing for a listening assessment it makes sense to have a strategy in place. So how can you improve your listening skills in preparation for assessments? Here are some ideas to inspire you to become an active and confident listener:

Review the course topics

Spend some time thinking of things you already know about a topic. This helps your mind build connections between what you know and new information you will hear.

  • L3 = Choosing gifts, shopping, going on holiday, being successful & staying healthy
  • L4 = Education, designing buildings, news, technology, sport & the environment
  • L5 = Education, tourism, the environment, gender, The E-Age & global competition
  • L6 = Education, communication, innovation, social media & globalisation
  • L7 = Global English, social responsibility, health & education challenges 
  • FS ENG A = Digital communication, education, technology & workplace skills 
  • FS ENG B = Innovation, enterprise, globalisation, resources & education culture

Make time for some extra reading

Familiarise yourself with various types of questions

Different question types require different strategies. Your teacher can indicate which types to expect. Practice these question types to improve your skills and confidence. Possible question types include:

  •  Multiple choice questions (MCQs)
  •  True or false questions
  •  Gap fill / sentence completion
  •  Note taking on lecture slides
  •  Short answer questions (max 8 words)
  •  Ranking / ordering questions
  •  Match the speaker to the opinion or a picture to a description
  •  Complete the missing data in a table/graph (this means listening to numbers!)
  •  Write a summary paragraph of the lecture

Plan your available time

How long is the test? How many recordings are there? How many questions? Find out as much as you can by simply asking your teacher. You don’t want to be surprised by any aspect of your exam. Also, you know that you will hear each section twice, so think about how you can use this to your advantage.

By following these simple study tips, you will give yourself a better chance of success in your assessment, knowing you have covered all bases. And don’t forget to practice listening to your teacher and other native English speakers as often as you can in the weeks leading up to your assessment.