Here are 4 techniques that you could experiment with when practising IELTS listening tests from the Cambridge books:
- Work on specific sections rather than doing full tests. For example, you could focus on section 1 this week, then do lots of examples of section 2 next week.
- Do a full test, but allow yourself to listen two or three times. See how many extra answers you get the second or third time you listen to the recording.
- Do a full test, but give yourself as much time as you want during the breaks (by stopping the recording). This takes away the problem of not having time to read the questions properly, and allows you to focus more on your listening skills.
- Change the listening test into a reading test. Instead of listening to the recording, use the transcript at the back of the book. Did you get a higher score than usual? If you did, your listening skills need more work. If you didn't, maybe your problem is related to vocabulary.
The suggestions above might help you to find where your weaknesses are. They might also make exam practice a bit more interesting!