IELTS Listening Test – Using the breaks well

IELTS Listening free exercise medical students

In the IELTS listening test a neat trick is to use the breaks well.

The test guidelines advise you:

“You will be given time to read through the questions before you listen. You will hear each recording of the Listening test only once. As you listen, write your answers on the question paper. At the end of the test, you will have 10 minutes to transfer your answers to the answer sheet in pencil.” Source IDP British Council 

Tip 1: Use extra time wisely.

When you are familiar with these instructions, you can use the additional time focusing on the the first exercise. 

Tip 2: Understand the main topic and make some guesses

With time given before each section, be sure to get the gist of what the speaker(s) will be talking about.  Here’s some steps you can take before each listening section begins:

  1. Scan and read information to understand the main topic
  2. Make guesses of what kind of answers are expected.  For example, ask yourself if you need to listen for a telephone number, a name of a person, title of a book, a price.
  3. Also determine what grammatical structure the missing information will be, ie. a verb, noun, pronoun, adjective, adverb or prepositional phrase
Tip 3:  If you have extra time at the end of the section, focus on the next section

Having extra time is great. Use it wisely by reading the next section before it starts.

Tip 4:  Be careful! You will only hear each section once.
  
The next skill that needs to be developed is an awareness of the basic rhythm or flow of topic questions and answers.  Sometimes, you might miss out on waiting for an answer when actually the speakers have already provided it and moved on.
 
So what should you do?  If you feel you may have been waiting too long for an answer, turn your eyes quickly to the next question. Has the speaker already started speaking about this next question topic? If so, be sure to “let go”. Stop being fixated on the one you missed. Transfer your concentration onto the next.  Otherwise, you could risk missing out not just on one point but two or three.  
 
Afterwards, when you have time to transfer your answers at the end of the test, the answer to the one you missed might pop in your mind after having heard the whole discussion. This problem is more likely to happen before a page turn. So be on your guard.
 

Tip 5: Check your answers and don’t forget spelling counts.

 You will have 10 minutes to transfer your answers to the answer sheet.  Be sure to use this time to make guesses for answers that you may have left blank.  And check grammar and spelling.
 
When transferring your answers to the answer key, pay attention. Make sure you put your answers in the right spot.  Not answering 1 question may lead you to filling in your answers in the wrong spot.  It’s best to put something in than nothing at all for this reason.  Again – trust your gut and make a guess.
 

Should you need to know more about the IELTS test please visit this page.

Should you wish to learn more about private IELTS preparation courses offered by The Boston School, please visit this page

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IELTS for university applicants

IELTS TEST Information The Boston School

IELTS for fulfilling university entry requirements is something many are not aware of as they dream about their future career as a doctor, international hotel manager or university professor.

Yet, the moment you decide you want to pursue a chigher education, you know you are expected to go through a lot of hard work, long hours of training and of course study.

In the end, you know all your effort will be rewarded because being a doctor is one of the most respected and rewarding professions in the world.

You do have to choose your medical school wisely and to know why IELTS is important as a tool to help you on your journey. Here is some information to help you to decide and to learn about the common entry requirements to medical universities in Europe.

Based on the Times Higher Education annual listing, the top universities for medical programs include many in the top 25 in the United Kingdom:

  • The University of Oxford
  • University of Cambridge
  • University College London (UCL)
  • Imperial College London
  • The University of Edinburgh

Some top universities outside of the United Kingdom include:

  • The Karolinska Institutet, located in Sweden.
  • The Erasmus University Rotterdam, located in the Netherlands
  • The University of Copenhagen in Denmark
  • LMU Munich, Germany
  • ETH Zurich, Switzerland

The minimum entry requirements to start your medical degree studies in Europe would include:

Bachelor’s degree in Europe

  • High school diploma (certificate) with high marks in Biology, Chemistry and Math
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Letter of motivation
  • Voluntary or work experience related to Health Care
  • Those candidates taking the International Baccalaureate Diploma (IB) must offer three subjects including Chemistry and Biology at the Higher Level, plus three subjects at Standard Level
  • Good English language test scores, a minimum IELTS score varies from school to school but normally ranges between 5.5 – 6.5, equivalent to the CEFR Level of a B2.

To look at the entry requirements and possible choices of where to study:

Master’s degree course requirements on student selection are a little tougher for medical students, the requirements will often include:

  • Bachelor degree diploma (Medicine or any degree related to Health Care)
  • Good English skills where your IELTS score would be 6.5 to 7.0 on average, for some choices you will need 7.5 or above
  • Pass an admission test, a review of your transcripts, recommendations, and other factors as the University makes their admissions decision.

A good overview is provided on the Imperial College London website of their courses and the qualification requirements you would need to study. To view a study portal list of 1200+ Master`s medical courses click here

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IELTS Listening – online videos are your unlimited listening resource

IELTS Listening free exercise medical students

In our opinion, online videos are your unlimited listening resource, they are fantastic for any student learning a language or preparing for a test.

They even help the teachers, many of which will admit to using a TED talk video or three in their lessons.

If you want to improve your listening and discover new vocabulary, there’s no end to the practice that you can do. 

The Boston School teachers usually suggest to students to think about:

Choice of video, try to avoid music or gaming tips when you make your choices

We know, we sound like your parents, sorry but we do.

The latest music or gaming video may help you learn a few new words, unfortunately a good number of them will not be part of any English listening test or formal examination yet.

There is nothing wrong with this approach, you do tune your ear to listen to English but it is an informal way of learning.

A better way would be to choose a topic you are interested in, Canadian ice hockey legends, yoga and wellness, the environment and micro plastics as an issue or another topic area that you find interesting.

It extends your vocabulary, you will start writing a few words down on the first videos and then by the 6th or 7th, you will note just the “new words.”

Short videos ( 3 – 5 minutes)

We often use short videos in our lessons, first to run through and then to replay and watch twice or three times.

You can quickly absorb the vocabulary and key learning phrases or words from it. If you want a challenge, try to find a video of less than 2 minutes long, try to watch it and then write the script whilst aiming to understand every word.

This is really good practice for the IELTS listening test, however there are a few you need to apply a quality filter on, like this one which we think would be near impossible.

Longer videos and even movies

A video of 5 to 30 minutes can be found very easily on YouTube and elsewhere, including movies for free.

The benefit of the longer videos or films is that you will not understand every word or phrase, especially if the actors speak with an accent similar to these English ones.

It is good practice in the same way as the short videos to note down only the most useful words or phrases that you hear.

Please take a few minutes to let us know your thoughts or film, or video suggestions, your comment can help other IELTS and English learners.

Why not read about when Rose met the Gabe Polsky, Film Director of Red Army ( it is not a movie we think you have seen)

 

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Know the difference between editing and proofreading

Boston School proofreading

A number of English students over the years have asked: What’s the difference between editing and proofreading? A few at a higher level will also ask what’s copy editing?

A quick Google search of “types of editing” shows confusion because blogs tend to overuse the word “editor” and a lot more!

Here are three terms you may come across.  Do you know the difference between them?

  1. Editing
  2. Copy editing
  3. Proofreading

Editing

When editing, an editor makes improvements to how the text reads.  This can include changes to the layout, sentence structure or paragraph order. Adding or deleting words or text to refine the story told will improve readability and clarify the message the writer wants to convey.  It is also not uncommon due to word count limits, copy editors can cut text out like a surgeon, making big cuts to your text.

Copy Editing

Copy editing may be required after editing has been completed to make sure the final copy is completely perfect.  Some proofreading including additional spelling or grammar error corrections may be made.  However, no large cuts should be expected in this step. 

Proofreading

Proofreading takes the nearly finished letter, assignment or homework and places it under a microscope. It is a step which removes jargon, ensures correct use of punctuation and confirms you have the correct structure and explanations of arguments in your document. Proofreading occurs nearly writing review step of the process: editing, copy editing and for a very last check before publishing any text.

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