The listening section comes right after the reading section, so it is the second task in the exam. This section tests the candidate’s ability to understand spoken english that is especially spoken in an academic setting. A good score on this section shows that the candidate, if awarded a seat in the university, would be able to listen to the classes clearly and understand the lessons. In this section, the candidate is tested for
1. Listening - basic comprehension.
2. Listening - pragmatic understanding.
3. To connect and combine ideas presented through multiple information sources.
There will be about 6 tasks in the listening section, of which two will be long conversations and four will be lectures. All tasks require listening to a tape and answering questions that follow. Candidates are allowed to take notes during this section. Each conversation or lecture will be about 3-5 minutes long. The tape will be played only once and cannot be repeated again. There is a 10 minute time for answering questions of each task in this section.
Practice Listening as Much as Possible
Listen to many sources to improve your English-listening ability. Watch English movies and channels, preferably without subtitles. If you have no other choice, then sit you’re your back to the television and listen to the dialogues. Try to listen to every word that is uttered. Doing this exercise for at least 10 minutes everyday for a month will imporve your listening skills. Channels that you could watch are National Geography, Discovery and Discovery Turbo. These have content that could be academic too, as those will be the kind of tasks asked during the exam. The more you practice, the better your listening skills will become.
Listen for the main idea
You can figure out the main idea during the beginning of the conversation itself. The speaker first gives an introduction and then discusses the details. Understanding the main idea will give you a heads up into what you may encounter in the rest of the conversation or lecture.
Build your vocabulary
While listening, try to guess the meanings of unfamiliar words from the context. This exercise is very important as the situation may appear while writing the actual test. That time you can try to guess the meaning of the words. Try making a habit of writing down unfamiliar words with their meanings and include these in your wordlist.
Candidates can take notes during all sections of the examination and this skill is especially useful in the listening section. It is impossible to remember facts and important points that were said just once. So, writing them down as the tape plays will help in scoring higher. Also remember that the tape plays only once, so it is very essential to employ note taking strategies in this section of the TOEFL iBT.