1. Before you listen, you have time to read the heading and the sentences and think aboutwhat you’re going to hear.
2. Think about the type of information that’s missing in each sentence. For example, are you listening for a name. a number, a specific term or something else?
3. Look for clues in the sentence that tell you what to listen for, e.g. ‘a total of’ and ‘what’s called a’.
4. Sometimes the sentence tells you what to listen for, e.g. ‘A beaver is . . . in colour’. But you may hear a number of colours in the recording. Listen carefully to know which one is correct.
5. Most of the missing information is facts about the topic, so the words you need to write are mostly either numbers or nouns. If they are nouns, think about whether your answer needs to be singular or plural. The sentence may help you to decide.
6. The word or words you need to write are on the recording. Don’t try to put the information you hear into your own words.
7. The instructions tell you how many words to write – if you write more, your answer will be marked wrong. Most answers are single nouns, e.g. ‘water’. or compound nouns that include two words, e.g. ‘water quality’.
8. There’s no need to write words that are already in the sentence.
9. Write numbers as figures, e.g. ‘104’ – !1Q1 as words, e.g. ‘one hundred and four’.
10. The sentences follow the order of information in the recording.
11. When you listen to the recording, you hear some words or ideas from the sentence. These tell you that the words you need to write are coming.
12. You won’t hear exactly the same sentences that you read on the question paper. This task isn’t a dictation. Think about the meaning and listen for the information.
13. Don’t just write down the first word you hear that fits the gap – keep listening and keep thinking about the meaning.
14. You should think about your spelling. If you spell a word incorrectly, your answer will be marked wrong. But the words you need to write are words which you know, and which are easy to spell.
15. If you aren’t sure, always write something. No marks are taken ott for wrong answers.
16. Remember, you hear the recording ONCE only.

Which tips and tactics do you think are the most useful?

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