In the links below, you’ll find the best IELTS Listening resources, materials, websites and apps to help you improve your Listening score.
The best way to prepare for the IELTS Listening test is to use Cambridge Practice Tests, starting from the most recent Book 17, and working backwards to Book 9.
Make sure that you use the tapescripts in the back of the book to check your answer, and don’t be afraid to listen to the same test 3 or 4 times until it starts getting easier.
In your free time, try to get as much Listening practice as possible – make the most of the free podcasts and websites that I list below.
Finally, don’t forget to work on your pronunciation – I’ve listed some apps below that will help you recognise and produce sounds more effectively so that you can understand fast, fluent speech.
Get a PDF with all the clickable links here.
Best IELTS podcasts for Listening
Podcasts are ideal if you’re busy – you can listen to them while you’re travelling, exercising, walking, or cooking supper. Even better – they’re mostly FREE, and you can ‘binge listen’ (listen to them one after another).
There are quite a few IELTS-specific podcasts, and they all have different approaches, so find one or two that you like and follow the shows so that you get notifications of new episodes.
- IELTS Made Easier – my podcast, where 50% of the episodes are focused on IELTS Listening texts.
- IELTS Podcast (Ben Worthington)
- IELTS English Energy 7+ (All Ears English)
- My IELTS Classroom
General English Podcasts for IELTS Listening
- Luke’s English Podcast (UK accent)
- Aussie English (Australian accent)
- Coffee Break Languages (US accent)
- All Ears English (US accent)
General News Podcasts for IELTS Listening
These podcasts are not specifically designed for English language learners, so you’ll get exposure to fast but clear fluent speakers.
- ScientificAmerican.com/podcasts A useful podcast with 1-minute IELTS-style articles
- The Daily (New York Times)
- BBC Sounds podcasts
Best websites for IELTS Listening
The websites below are designed for English learners, so they come with extra resources such as tapescripts and exercises.
- BritishCouncil.org (The Word on the Street, Learn English Audio Zone and Learn English Video Zone)
- BBC 6-minute English – many IELTS-related topics and questions
- ExamEnglish.com – lots of Listening test practice for IELTS
- Elllo.org – a free graded Listening Library
- BreakingNewsEnglish.com – get the news graded for your level
- Newsinlevels.com – listen to the news in different levels
- ESL-lab.com – graded listening with follow-up exercises (American accent)
- Learningenglish.voanews.com – this site has lots of IELTS-related Listenings at different levels with follow-up activities.
- HighLevelListening.com – Advanced, American English with tapescripts on everyday topics
Best apps for IELTS Listening
Improving your understanding of pronunciation and the features of fast, connected speech will have a remarkable impact on your ability to understand different accents and fluent speech.
That is why I have TWO pronunciation courses in the Members Academy, which are specifically designed to help you with Listening.
Here are some other places you can work on your comprehension of accents and fast speech:
- Youglish.com Use YouTube to hear specific words in their natural context so that you develop a ‘listening ear’ and get used to fast speech
- Forvo lets you hear people with different accents pronouncing a word of your choice
- Ororo.tv lets you watch TV with subtitles AND a translator as you watch
- TubeQuizard.com – exercises based on well-chosen YouTube videos.
- AccentRosie – an app that sends you messages
- Playpost.app – an app that reads blogs out for you
- ReadAloud – a chrome extension that reads out the webpage
Need more help with Listening and Pronunciation?
My 28-Day Listening Course includes:
- 28 video lessons
- 28 tests with transcripts and explanations
- Real tests
- Pause/slow down/speed up controls
- Practice with each question type
- Distractor practice
- Extra practice for each section
- Downloadable PDFs and booklets
Pronunciation courses in the Academy:
- 28-day Speaking and Pronunciation Course
- The 101 most mispronounced words
These two courses help you understand what happens in fast speech, with a daily focus on different pronunciation features (individual sound problems, spelling-sound problems, weak sounds, accents, vulnerable vowels, words stress, sentences stress and intonation).
Do you need motivation, high-quality materials, a roadmap, feedback, guidance and an IELTS specialist teacher?
Join the Members Academy today.
Get instant access to all courses, challenges, boot camps, live classes, interactive and engaging classes, 1:1 support, and a friendly tight-knit community of like-minded learners to get you to Band 7+.