Tip 1: Understand your questions
In Questions 1-6 of the Listening papers, you hear a series of short spoken items. The sentences are not connected. For each item, you answer one question as briefly as possible, often with just one or two words.
In Questions 7-10, you hear continuous, connected speech, and the questions may require you to complete a table of information, or complete some notes, or answer individual questions with short responses.
Tip 2: Read the questions and find keyword(s)
In the exam, you will be given time to read the questions before you hear the cassette/CD. Make sure you use this time well. Read all the questions and underline the keyword(s) in each one.
Decide what type of information each question requires; for example, a number, a place, a street name.
Tip 3: Notice the stress
Some time, you’ll hear how some words are changing with the stress on different part of the words. For example: notice how the word interviewer changes to interviewee.
When spoken, the stress on these two words is different: interviewer, interviewee.
Other examples are employer and employee.
There are a small number of other ‘person’ nouns in English which end in -ee.
Tip 4: Write clearly and precisely
The last question in the Listening papers usually requires you to answer questions based on a talk or an interview. The questions may ask you to identify people’s feelings and attitudes, as well as testing you on general comprehension.
Note: make sure that you write clearly and that you include all the necessary information.
Tip 5: Practice, practice, practice
Listening papers contribute 30% (15% for private candidates) on your overall scores for your English as Second Language certificate. Don’t make the assumption that Listening paper is not important thus not making any attempt to learn the tactics and skills.
In fact, Listening papers could determine either you score A* or not in your IGCSE E2L paper.
The average preparation needed for Listening skills is one year. Best is two years, from getting acquaintance to mastering.
The Cambridge English as a Second Language Coursebook 1&2 with Audio CDs (Cambridge International Examinations) provide very good preparation courses and all the necessary skills to score in Listening papers.