IELTS Common MistakesIELTS Tips

Avoid These 12 Common Mistakes In IELTS Listening

Are you one of those candidates who fund IELTS listening more difficult than IELTS reading? Then here we have brought something really valuable for our candidate-“Common Mistakes to avoid in Listening Exam”

The major reason for finding the listening section difficult is that in reading one can refer to the text again and again but in listening you can hear audio-only once. Rewinding the audio and listening to it again is not available.


Understanding the Exam Format

Before going further with common listening mistakes firstly it is important to understand the format of the listening section.

Candidates are required to answer 40 questions in 30 minutes and extra 10 minutes are provided to them for transferring the answers to the sheet. The listening section is divided into 4 sections each containing one or more set of questions. Instructions for each part are given before and after each audio recording. Also, you will get enough time to prepare yourself for attempting each set of questions.

     Part 1– Conversation on general topics between two people.

     Part 2 – The second section is a monologue. There will be one speaker and he or she will be presenting his or                     her thoughts on a particular topic.

     Part 3 – The third section is a bit complex as there are four or five speakers who will be talking about one                            particular topic (for example, a group of students talking about exam preparation or exam results).

      Part 4 – The fourth section is again a monologue. But, this can be much lengthier than the monologue which                      you may get in section 2.

12 Common Mistakes To Avoid In Listening Exam

1. Losing Concentration

Losing concentration is a common mistake that candidates often commit while listening to the audio. It might be possible that while looking for an answer to a particular question you are in a dilemma that means you are unable to find its answer. This could lead you to lose your focus from the audio that will cost you much more than the marks for that particular question.

So, if you feel yourself in such a state, stay calm and head towards the next question. Mock tests are the best solution for knowing your mistakes in the listening exam and improving them.

2. Understanding the Distractors

You might encounter distractors in listening exam audio. These distractors are given to check the attentiveness of the candidate towards the audio. So it is advisable for a candidate that listens to audio very carefully.

For an instance, in audio, a person is saying one sentence, and the next moment he or she says another sentence by correcting the previously said sentence. You must be attentive enough to understand that it is a distractor and answer accordingly otherwise you end up giving the wrong answer.

3. Predicting the Answers

A little bit of prediction is also recommended while attempting the listening module. Predict some information before the audio begins like-

  • Type of audio you are going to listen
  • Information that the question demands you to find

At the same time, it is important to understanding the context of audio and knowing the clues. For prediction, you can underline keywords, synonyms, and key phrases coming in audio that help you in making the right predictions.

4. Ignoring the Instructions

Reading instructions carefully is very important to given answers accurately and within a given time slot. Suppose the instruction is to give the answer to the question in two words then you are strictly required to given an answer in either one or words else you won’t be scored for your answer more than 2 words. Make sure to work accordingly as the instruction demands.

5. Spelling Mistakes

In the hurry to write the correct answer you might make spelling mistakes in commonly used words like names of cities, countries, or addresses. So make sure to firstly listen to the audio properly and then respond accordingly. Spelling mistakes also lead to loss of marks in the listening section or spelling really matters.

6. Grammatical Errors

Candidates often commit grammatical errors while giving answers. For an instance, they might forget to write the plural form of the word i.e. missed to put “s” which leads to loss of marks or might get confused with the use of countable and uncountable nouns. So, be careful while writing your answers or transferring them to answer sheets.

7. Don’t Leave Blank Spaces

It is suggested to candidates avoid leaving blank spaces in their answer sheets. Why?

  • You don’t lose marks for wrong answers that means no negative marking is there. So you can make a guess.
  • Secondly, on leaving blank space, you might write the right answer at the wrong place. This will surely lead you to lose marks.
  • Maybe your guess is right and you gain marks for that answer.

So, it’s better to make a guess rather than leaving blank space.

8. Transferring Answers On Answer Sheet

Remember, you get extra 10 minutes for transferring answers from the given sheet to the actual answer sheet. So, it advisable to use those 10 minutes in the right way.

Students often try to shift their answers while listening to the audio. The audio is played only once in the IELTS listening test so in order to not get distracted from the audio and at the same time gets confused in transferring answers at the same time, it is advisable and recommended to the audio gets finished first and then transfer the answers on the sheet once the audio is complete. In crux, font read, hear and write simultaneously.

9. Choosing Without Listening To Whole Passage

When you hear the audio, you might feel that you know the correct answer without hearing to complete audio and immediately marks it as the correct answer. But wait it might be a distractor or maybe the complete audio provides you more specific answer for the question. So the best suggestion is to listen to the complete audio before answering.

10. Not Aware With Different Question Types

You might find difficulty in giving the right answer for a particular answer type like reading map questions. If you are unfamiliar with the question types then it will be difficult for you to get the desired score. The best solution is to practice listening round as much as possible and learn the skills on how to tackle each question in the right way.

11. Poor Note Taking Skills

Note-taking skills matter as they provide you the basis to answer the question correctly. So, while taking down notes, always look at the key points and not them out. Write the main idea is clear handwriting so that you will be able to understand the notes while giving answers to the questions.

12. Forget to Revise the Answers

Revise the given answers before handing them over to the examiner. Always check for misspelled words, grammatical errors, whether the right answers are in the right places, and so on to ensure the desired score in the IELTS listening exam.

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