This week Jospeh talks you throught the process of successfully taking notes for your IELTS exam.
“As you might guess this is mostly for the listening section of the exam. During the listening section you have to listen to the recording and you can only listen once. Whilst you’re listening you also have to read the questions and you have to write your answers or notes to help you answer the questions. So it really is something that you need to practice. Practice listening, reading, taking notes and writing while someone is speaking. Writing whilst you’re watching a tv program, writing in a lecture at school, anything where you can practice taking notes whilst you’re listening to something.
Find your own form of shorthand that you can use, the notes that you make are only for you, the examiner will not read them, so it doesn’t matter how you write. You could shorten certain words, you could have symbols for certain words, anything that you understand what you mean when you are transcribing your answers onto the answer sheet at the end of the exam. Remember as you’re listening though you also need to check the grammar if you have a gap. For example does the word that you’re putting in the space match the grammar of the sentence similarly does the meaning of the word match the meaning of the vocabulary in the sentence?
At the end of the exam you have 10 minutes in which you transfer your answers onto the answer sheet. Now this is not a lot of time so don’t rely too much on this time. However this is the time when you really need to focus on the spelling. As I said before the notes you wrote are not checked by the examiner so the spelling on them is not important, but on the answer sheet the spelling is very important. If the spelling is not correct your answer will not be correct.”