How can you get better at this?
- Private practice
To practise this alone, a good exercise is to use a recording.
- Choose a recording at the right level - not too hard! It's very helpful if there is a script, so you can read as well as listen.
- Listen and make notes about the main points only. Try not to stop the recording.
- Listen again and check your notes: have you got all the main points? Are some of the points you've written really details, not main points?
- Now read the transcript for a final check.
What materials can you use for this?
- The Six-Minute English series on the BBC website is a good source.
- The English Lesson Listening Library Online is another good source of short recordings.
- For other sources, including more academic ones, go back to the main Listening page and look for materials.