IELTS Listening Tips and Tricks: Prediction and Singular/Plural Nouns

Well, you can find some beneficial tricks based on your experiences. The tricks below may be not always successful in few cases.

  • Prediction

Please take a look your questions before answer them all. It is not only look at glance but please predict the word class of them.

Example Section 1:

Breaks: one hour for lunch and …….. for coffee breaks.

Your best suggestion must be a time to fulfill the blank, you can find the clue by ‘and‘ that always join two similar clauses. Hence, while listening the recording please pay more attention to any kind of ‘time‘.


– serve customers

– check for shoplifter

– ……………

– check the stock

If you guess it is consisted of two different word classes, then you right. By other ‘duties‘ given in your question sheet, you can conclude that the blank must fill in by ‘Verb 1‘ and ‘Noun‘.

Listening Section 1 is the easiest part of Listening, because you will write exactly what you’ve heard. Anyway, it can be your bad day if you don’t heard at all about what they said 😀

The worst case is happened when the speakers were not so unclear in pronunciation and their accent is unique/rarely heard before. Even though you already give your best shot to predict, if you can’t catch the word, it is just so damn dramatic T.T

Example Section 2/3/4:

……. becomes easier.

It is the tough one to forecast, what becomes easier? it is ‘noun’, but the perfect one is ‘gerund‘, as it is placed on the subject of a sentence. So you must find a verb in progressive (-ing) form.

A first draft of the dissertation should be completed by the end of …

Yap, it is the name of months.

Lung efficiency increased by up to …

Emm, it could be either a number or fraction/percentage.

Risk of heart attack falls to same as someone who ……

My first guess was Verb, any kind of Verb, but please be prepared of the bigger thing, such as clause that may be occur to the end of that sentence. Well, IELTS is the most tricky monkeys you ever found, you should not get trapped by these monkeys, sounds silly but it frequently happened to us :p


  • Be prepare of singular/plural nouns

IELTS doesn’t have a heart for sure, even when you just miss one important letter to show whether it is singular or plural, especially in listening tasks. It considered to be wrong answer if you didn’t put the ‘s’ at the end of your answer. Please do not ask how irritated our feeling towards these monkeys >.<

Example Section 1

Weekly club ….(meeting)….. on Thursday evenings.

Even we heard only ‘meeting’ without ‘s’ in recording, but we should fit them to the monkey question context. It required a plural verb because of the word ‘weekly’ at the beginning. Same condition happened to this case:

Special ….(certificate)…. for active participation.

It should be written as ‘certificates’, without that ‘s’ letter your answer will be marked as wrong answer.

A regular ….(newsletter)…. packed with useful information.

Naah, if you find ‘a/an’ before the required noun, you can happily write it as a singular form 🙂


P.S. These tips and tricks are dedicated to whoever that get annoyed by IELTS Listening Tasks :p

2 thoughts on “IELTS Listening Tips and Tricks: Prediction and Singular/Plural Nouns

    • Thank you Minh,
      Same with me, the only prediction with plural just see the previous word before noun. Usually ‘the’ word will be followed by singular, but if there is no quantifiers (a/an/the) it might have two possibilities 😀

      Keep training Minh, I wish you the best result 🙂

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