IELTS Listening Strategy # 5 Look for Clues Like a Police Detective

When take the IELTS listening test, you need to be like a police detective. In other words, you need to search for clues. You need all the clues you can get when you listen if you want to score highly.

What do we mean by clues? Quite simply, clues are any pieces of information that tell you the following:

  • Who is speaking?
  • Who is the person speaking to?
  • How many people are speaking?
  • What are they speaking about?
  • Where are they speaking?
  • Why are they speaking?
  • What are they trying to achieve?

The good news is that clues are everywhere. The whole test is full of clues that you need to pick up quickly.

Clues can be found in the following places:

  • The questions on the question sheet
  • The introduction to each section
  • Background sound at the start of each part (eg. phone ringing, restaurant sounds)
  • The tone and emotion of the voices

In the following strategy sections, always consider how you can get clues that will help you find out more about the listening.