Tips for a good listening test

In previous posts we have talked about different parts of an official exam, and we have given you some tips on how to perform well. This week we are continuing with this topic focusing on the listening part. While some students find other component of a test more difficult, for others this section can be very challenging. It is rather complicated to follow the recording for some people and this pushes them to the limit, forcing some candidates to give up in the middle of the test. This is why we are going to help you controlling your panic and do it right.

1. Maintain your brain connected.

First of all it is essential to be here and now. It seems a very simple concept, but trust us when we say that it is rather simple to lose concentration when we don’t understand the 100% of what we are listening. Unconsciously, we activate the “autopilot”, we disconnect from everything that is happening around us. Furthermore, some people start having irrelevant thoughts, like “I need to get some milk when I finish the exam”, or “I don’t think my car is well parked”. Don’t go down that road. Even if you can’t get all the words, try to follow the conversation.

2. Don’t translate.

Another thing we tend to do is translating. Our brain is quite fast, especially if we exercise constantly, but it is not a magician. Try to be realistic and realize we can’t listen in a language, process what we heard, translate it into our native tongue and follow the recording at the same time. It is very complicated. So when we are translating word number twenty the recording will probably be further ahead. Our mind will be lost by then. Focus on the language you are learning, translating is not the solution.

3. Your pencil and your patience are your best partners.

It is certainly understandable that you want to answer fast because you want to finish, but don’t act like your pencil is on fire. Don’t be impatient and think before you answer. Avoid waiting for the words you have in your paper, because if they come, they will mean something completely different. Finally, read all the questions very carefully and draw a little mark next to the answer you think it is. When the recording is played again check your answer.

Always remember what we always repeat, trust yourself, breath deeply and enjoy the experience.