Test Quest Logo

Western Reserve Public Media

Test Quest
Active Listening

Meet The Questers
Learning Styles
Study Habits / Time Management
Test Taking Skills
Taking Notes
Active Listening
Improving Your Memory
Test Quest Teacher Guide & Handouts
Watch Online
Western Reserve Public Media

Experts say that about two-thirds of everything you learn, you learn through listening. Yet, very few people are good listeners. "The average person remembers only about 25 percent of what he or she hears, and some people remember as little as 10 percent. The problem is that while hearing is incredibly easy, listening takes a real effort." (Amberg, Jay. The Study Skills Handbook. "Learning to Listen," p. 59.)


There are no shortcuts to improve your listening skills, but here are some tips that might make you a better listener.

  • Be attentive. You have to make an effort to listen carefully. Don't daydream and don't talk.

  • Think about the main point the speaker is trying to make. To remember it, write it down. If you are in class, write a summary of the information when the speaker has finished his/her presentation.

  • Paraphrase or restate in your own words what the speaker is saying.

  • Try to leave emotion out when you're listening. Try not to argue back in your mind. These things detract from what the speaker is saying.

  • Ask for clarification if you don't understand a point the speaker is making. Be polite.

  • Avoid distractions. Sit close to the speaker, if possible.


Copyright©2001-2005, Northeastern Educational Television of Ohio, Inc.
All rights reserved.