Secrets to improve your TOEFL or IELTS Listening score! Are TOEFL’s listening components dragging your time and confidence? Remember: every section has its skills to master. In this class, I will teach you notetaking skills to save time and increase comprehension. This will save you time on the TOEFL or IELTS, and will help you to get a higher score.
Hi. Welcome back to www.engvid.com. I’m Adam. Today’s lesson is going to be for those of you who are going to take the TOEFL or IELTS test. So just so you understand, I will be speaking at a more natural speed. It will be a little bit faster than some of you are used to. But listen anyway, and watch. It’s very good for listening practice, and it will be helpful regardless. So today’s lesson is specifically about note taking skills. I’m going to concentrate on the TOEFL, but it is also very useful for the people taking an IELTS test. Now, if you’ve seen my time management class for IELTS, you will realize that in the listening section, it’s very important to know how to take notes. You don’t want to waste time concentrating on spelling and writing full words while the recording is playing because you have time at the end to transfer your answers. That’s when you want to write correctly spelled answers and everything. You want to just make sure during the listening section that you write enough to know what the word is. We’re going to get into that a little bit later. What I want to concentrate on mostly, though, is the TOEFL test, okay? Because in the TOEFL test, it is crucial that you know how to take notes. Why? You have a listening section; you have a speaking section; you have a writing section, all of which have a listening component. Remember; this is an integrated test. You’re going to have to listen in each one of these sections. Okay?
In the listening section, what many people don’t realize who haven’t taken a test yet: You don’t see anything. Okay? You don’t see the questions as you’re listening to the lectures or whatever you’re listening to. So it’s very, very important that you take notes as you’re listening so that when the questions do come, you have the information in front of you, you know how to answer it, okay?
In the speaking section, you may be given a short conversation to listen to and then be given a question, and you have to speak your answer. But if you don’t remember what they spoke about, then, you can’t answer the question properly.
In the writing section, you have — in Task 1, you have to compare a reading section with a listening section. And then, you have to write an answer comparing the two. So if you don’t take notes during the listening component of Task 1, it’s very difficult to write your answer. Okay? So note taking skills — very important throughout the TOEFL test.
So first of all, before we look at how to do it, let’s look at what you need to concentrate on as you’re listening. Okay? Now, another thing to remember before I even start: This takes practice. This is a skill that you have to sharpen, that you have to practice with every day before you go out to take your test.
Okay. Now, the first mistake people make is they think — they try to write down every word they hear. Impossible. Okay? Unless you’re a stenographer — that’s a person who works in court and writes down every word that the people in the courtroom are saying, lawyers, judges, defendants, etc., witnesses — you cannot write every word. Don’t try. You don’t need to write every word. You need to concentrate on the details that are important, on the information that is important.
Now, what you need to focus on are the big, general ideas. You need to understand generally what is being spoken about, what is the topic, what is the subject. For example, is it science? Is it history? Is it arts? You need to understand the general ideas because they’re not going to ask you very, very specific questions, right? And if they do, they’re going to give you some information. They’re going to give you something to listen to again. Or they’re going to give you a very specific word.
So, details. Do you need to concentrate on every little detail? No. You’ll be writing all the time, not listening. Stick to the big ideas. But — okay, sorry. Having said that, technical words — if they give you some scientific word or some technological word, do you need to know it? No. They will give it to you in the question. You will see it in the question, and you’ll remember, “Oh, yeah. This is the technical word.” There will be technical words that even native speakers have no idea how to write or what they mean or what they are. You don’t need to either. What you need to listen to is the explanation of what the technical word refers to or means because the word itself, they will give you in the questions.
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