Jane Birkenhead, August 16 2022

Visualization: A Listening Strategy

The listening sections in TOEFL and IELTS test your ability to understand conversations and lectures on a variety of topics.

TOEFL Listening Format

In the TOEFL listening section, you'll listen to a variety of lectures and conversations. There will be: 

IELTS Listening Format

In IELTS, there are 4 listening sections and each section ranges from 5 to 8 minutes. 

Differences between the Exams

The 2 main difference between TOEFL listening and IELTS listening are:

Visualization: A Listening Strategy for both Exams

To do well in TOEFL or IELTS listening, you need to be able to focus and concentrate for several minutes at a time. This takes practice!

Long lectures on academic subjects that you don't know much about can be intimidating. As you worry about understanding, you may become distracted and lose focus. You can use visualization to help you.

Visualization is a strategy that can help you to stay focused as you listen to long (and sometimes boring!) lectures. 

As you listen to a long lecture, build a picture in your mind of what the professor is talking about. As the professor describes each item, and explains each point, imagine what they look like. Be as creative and imaginative as you like. Make connections with what you already know.

By listening actively and visualizing like this, you'll find you pay more attention in lectures. You won't lose focus as much and you'll be able to concentrate on gathering the information you need to successfully answer the questions.

Written by

Jane Birkenhead

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