One of many worst possibilities that we have in IELTS listening is the fact that sometimes we have to deal with difficult and unfamiliar topics. The topic could be the one that discuss something abstract (it is hard to understand) or the one that is closely related to certain field of study (since it usually contains several technical terms, like when the conversation is about environmental issues, issues related to psychology, etc.). This kind of listening is usually that of the last part (mostly part 3 and 4).

If you have tried reading Cambridge IELTS, you may still remember that some of the listening part 4 are about "The Future of Management", or "The Spirit Bear", "Self-Regulatory Focus Theory and Leadership"or even "Nanotechnology". This kind of listening is tough since it may challenge you with several fancy words like gene, demand, etc. whose meanings are difficult to understand unless you have profound (or at least, a little) basic knowledge.

This post aims to help you take some precautions and prepare yourself for a listening with such level of difficulty. First, let's have a short review on how we should do listening part 4 by referring to this link

or simply read several points presented below
a. The Use of Sub-chapters

The conversation will be very long and thus, it will be divided into sub-chapter. Sub-chapters are usually printed in bold
You see that in the sample questions, the sub-chapters are divided into:
  • Music and Its Impact on Humans
  • Music and Science
  • Music and Human Brain
  • Music and Brain Disorders

This will give you a clue whether the part of the audios you are currently listening matches with the questions you are trying to answer

b. Keywording and Grammatical Predictions

You can find the keyword and make a grammatical prediction. For example, question number one ends with the word various before it is cut by the blank space, since the word various belongs to Adjective, than the possibilities of the answer are
-Noun Phrase
-Noun Clause
but you see that the instruction says you should write down maximum one word, then Noun is the most plausible answer for question number 1. By having such prediction, you can now focus only on the Noun and find the answer that you need. So, it will probably look like this:
1. People feel the enjoyment of various (Adj) _______Noun_______ when listening to certain music 

c. Find the Keywords and Find the Paraphrased Words
In this part, you will need at least two keywords from the question and thus, two paraphrased keywords in the audio. Say, the keywords in question number one are enjoyment and certain music. Therefore, you should find the paraphrase of those two keywords in the audio. At first, it may be difficult to adapt yourself to this strategy, but practice makes perfect. So, the prediction will probably look like this:
1. People feel the enjoyment [keyword 1] of various ______________ when listening to certain music [keyword 2]

and the paraphrasing will probably look like this:

1. People feel the [paraphrase 1] of various ______________ when listening to [paraphrase 2]

d. The Use of Bullets

Bullet is another clue. You usually find the points of the lecture to be listed in bullets, and this can be as good as an effective clue. Say, you have a list of points as follows:

Environmental issues are mainly caused by humans' activities such as

-  _____________________

-  Tourism
Since the second bullet is represented by a Noun, then the answer for question above is also a Noun. But we do not have example of bullet in the exercise, so you can skip this.

e. Contextual Predictions

Last but not least, you can also use the contextual prediction to support the grammatical prediction. Say, question number 1 basically says:
What kind of enjoyment that people feel when they listen to certain music?
So, the answer is a Noun, the Noun has something to do with feeling (the feeling of enjoyment, to be precise), and the feeling is that of people.
Now you can try to find the answer that meet the criteria of the predictions. Okay, enough for the material. Now, try to do this exercise and write down the answers on the comment section. Let's see if the method can actually work with you.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> audio<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

Answer the questions below (maximum ONE WORD)

Music and Its Impact on Humans

1. People feel the enjoyment of various ______________ when listening to certain music 
2. Music has an ability to create ________________ imagery of humans’ past 
3. Listening to music can even lead to ______________ as well as happiness

Music and Science

4. There is a little scientific research devoted to analyze the relationship between music and the complexity of human 
5. Researchers from different ______________ had initiated a study on music and its biological foundation

Music and Human Brain

6. Humans’ capacity in responding to musical stimulation is hardwired to the ____________ system
7. No particular _____________ are responsible for perceiving musical stimulation

Music and Brain Disorders

8. Stimuli given to certain _____________ can trigger memories related to music
9. In the case of autistic people, a more challenging ____________ appears in music study of music and human brain
10. People with brain deficiency are believed to have outstanding _____________ in music

Click the link below for complete strategies on Listening

Strategies for IELTS Listening

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