All listening passages across all major certificates such as the TOEIC, TOEFL, CAE, CPE, IELTS and others, all have some important characteristics in common. One of these is the flow of information or information distribution in the passage, and the use of triggers and distractors.
Triggers are keywords that lead up to the answer in the listening passage. Distractors are just that … keywords meant to distract you.
When working with your IELTS listening skills, think of the passage as a sine wave with highs and lows, the curve building up to the top. You will find triggers as the curve moves upward. On the very top you will find the answer. Using this analogy you will understand that your full attention is not always acquired as answers come and go in waves.
Bottom line: Train your ability to identify keywords, highs and lows in passages and when synonyms are used as triggers and distractors.