The IELTS listening test seems simple because it is just about listening to a few recordings and answering 40 questions. But if you dive deeper into the format of the test, you will understand that it is about answering all the answers in 30 minutes only. You will have to be a master at multitasking and also maintaining concentration.
However, it is not enough. The questions will be split across 6 different tasks which will challenge every facet of your listening and reasoning skills.
Not only will you be scrambling for time, but it will also be super easy to slip up and make mistakes that can cost you the band score that you need.
In this article, you will learn about the top mistakes that you must avoid and what you can do to prevent them from happening in the first place.
7 Mistakes to Avoid When Sitting for IELTS Listening
1. Predicting Answers
Perhaps this is the biggest mistake you may make. Trying to predict answers before fully understanding the text is not the right approach.
It can be as simple as focusing on the question and fixating on an option while listening to the passage. This is also very dangerous as you might miss out on the real answer as you are too focused on waiting for your pre-determined option.
Ideally, you should understand the type of audio and question being presented by concentrating through an open mind.
2. Ignoring the Instructions Given
With 6 different types of questions, it is easy to get the answer format mixed up or ignore it completely.
When it is said that you need to answer in three words, you need to take the word limit seriously and answer accordingly.
This is because the test is not only about writing an answer, but also processing, analyzing and presenting the information in the right manner.
3. Not Watching Out Distractors
As you listen through the various recordings, it will be tempting to zone out and allow your mind to wander. But you should not allow this to take place. There will be distractors just to check your attentiveness, ensuring you pay attention to the details.
This can also come in the form of a person stating a particular fact and then retracting it moments later or a sentence that was being corrected by another speaker. This can be truly tricky.
4. Shifting Your Answers Too Early or Too Late
While you will have 10 minutes dedicated to transferring your answers to the answer sheet, you might make the mistake of shifting answers while listening to the recordings.
This might seem to be neat and you can also get distracted in the process. It is important to note that the audio is played just once and you would need to fully concentrate on the passage being read.
5. Answering Before Fully Listening
Similar to trying to predict the answers, you would not want to zone out during the audio when you hear what might be a hint to the answer.
For all that you know, it can be a distractor or only a part of the answer. You would want to stay tuned and listen to the entire audio as the answer before writing the final answer.
6. Leaving Blank Spaces
Unlike a reading test, it is actually counterproductive to leave blank spaces as you go through answering queries.
Remember that the recording will be played just once and it will be better to leave an answer that you believe will be correct. The good part is that there will be no negative marking.
7. Not Checking Grammatical Errors
The spellings should be accurate. If the answer is right but spellings are wrong, the answer will be marked incorrect.
Because there is a time limit, the added stress of answering at the same time can make you misspell the words. This can either be something as small as forgetting to write the word in plural form or using the wrong tense.
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