IELTS Listening

IELTS Listening Tips to Overcome IELTS Listening Common Mistakes

July 23, 2021

Just like some other candidates do you also find IELTS Listening stressful? Are you on the lookout for well-tested IELTS Listening Tips? Are you frequently making common mistakes in IELTS Listening?

If yes, you need to read this!

IELTS Listening can be tricky as you face the listening section as soon as you start the exam, and you might find it challenging to keep up with the speed of the recording and in a different accent. Also, in the test, you hear the recording only once! You cannot rewind it or go back to listening to it again. This is what exactly makes the test more difficult and results in students making IELTS Listening Common Mistakes. The following IELTS Listening Tips will surely help you resolving such common mistakes. Let's take a look at them.

IELTS Listening Common Mistakes and The Best IELTS Listening Tips

It will be great if we divide both these topics into two segments. It will not only simplify the concern areas but even give detailed clarity on the two main discussions, 'IELTS Listening Common Mistakes' and 'The Best IELTS Listening Tips'. Check out the most common discussion topics right here:

  1. Listening To The Audio Blindly
  2. Avoiding the Use of Prediction Skills
  3. Losing Your Focus
  4. Avoiding Distractors
  5. Ignoring The Given Instructions
  6. Making Spelling and Grammatical Mistakes
  7. Leaving Blank Answers
  8. Writing On the Answer Sheet While Listening to the Audio

IELTS Listening Common Mistakes (Tips Included)

1. Listening To The Audio Blindly

IELTS Listening Mistake: One of the most common mistakes made in IELTS Listening is not knowing the purpose or subject in the audio.

IELTS Listening Tips: It is highly advisable to understand the context of the audio and the information you will get from it before you even begin. This will help you identify the answers in a better and progressive manner. Also, you must read the instructions properly, look for clues, and determine the context of the audio that you are going to listen to. Further, during your IELTS Listening test, it is important to read the questions beforehand, this will help you recognize the correct information easily while listening to the audio.

2. Avoiding the Use Of Prediction Skills

IELTS Predictions

IELTS Listening Mistake: IELTS Listening tests a candidate's listening capabilities and their core understanding of the topic by answering the questions. Candidates are so focused on carefully listening to the audio and knowing the clues, that they forget to predict some sort of information before the audio begins. Without prediction, it may get difficult for you to find your response from the audio played in the IELTS Listening test.

You should be able to predict -

  • The kind of audio you are going to listen to in the current IELTS Listening task
  • Specific information that the question demands you to find

IELTS Listening Tips: Underline the keywords that can help you predict the answer. Remember, all the answers are hidden in the IELTS Listening recording. Concentrate on the keywords, their synonyms, and paraphrases that are used. You might find your answer somewhere in that part of the audio.

3. Losing Your Focus

IELTS Listening Mistake: Another most common IELTS Listening mistake made by candidates is that they lose their focus when they are unable to find their answer. It might be possible that you come across a question that leaves you in a state of dilemma and you are unable to get the answer. This could lead you to distraction and thus, you end up losing your concentration.

IELTS Listening Tips: Not able to find an answer? Just stay calm & head on to the next question.

Leaving one question won't cost you more than one mark. So, don't panic if any such situation occurs in your IELTS Listening Test. You should skip the question or write your best-guessed word there with the hope it may be the right answer. You can overcome this problem with a regular IELTS Listening practice test.

4. Avoiding Distractors

IELTS Listening Mistake: Distractors are used in the IELTS Listening test to trick the candidates. Those are the wrong choices with the correct answers that appear correct, which may misguide or confuse the candidate. But, in the IELTS Listening module, you must pay more attention to them. Why? Because this means the answer is hidden somewhere nearby.

IELTS Listening Tips: In the IELTS Listening audio, at times, it seems that the speaker is trying to confuse by hiding the answer amongst the distractors. You must be quick at identifying this distractor else you would end up giving the wrong answer. Similarly, is the case with IELTS Listening Multiple Choice Questions, you listen to a list of options out of which only one is correct. These are the places you must stay attentive too! The distractor and answers are generally close by, hiding in plain sight.

5. Ignoring The Given Instructions

ignoring instruction

IELTS Listening Test always starts with a set of instructions that candidates need to follow. You must not ignore the instructions in the IELTS Listening Test.

IELTS Listening Tips: Read the instructions carefully, then the questions, and write answers accordingly.

For Example, The given instructions read as 'Answer in No More than Two Words'. Then, you are strictly required to write either one word or two words. You won't be scored if your response is in three words even if the answer stands correct.

Let's consider the below example.

Complete the sentence below, using NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS AND/OR A NUMBER for each answer.

The number of stocks have fallen across the world as well as in the USA.

Q. Where has the number of stocks fallen?

Correct Ans. The World

Wrong Ans. 'Across the World' or 'Across the World as well as the USA'

Reason. The Instruction says 'NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS AND/OR NUMBER'

Thus, make sure that you do exactly what the instructions ask you to perform.

6. Making Spelling and Grammatical Mistakes

Grammar Errors

Wondering, do spellings matter in the IELTS Listening Test?

Yes, obviously!

IELTS Listening Mistake: Any word spelled incorrectly will be marked wrong in the IELTS Listening test. You will also lose marks if you misspell the names of places, cities, countries or addresses, mentioned in the audio. Grammatical mistakes are also taken into consideration while marking your answers.

IELTS Listening Tips: It is very important to work on such IELTS Listening common mistakes. Read novels and newspapers for correct English and listen to as many podcasts as possible to understand sentence formation.

For Example: If the correct answer is 'St. Peter Street' and you wrote 'St. Pters Street' i.e. if you missed 'e', it will cost you marks. Hence, be careful with such IELTS Listening common mistakes.

7. Leaving Blank Answers

In the IELTS Listening module, there isn't any sort of negative marking for answers that are left blank. Hence, if you don't know the answer, you can make a guess. There are two reasons for doing this -

  • You don't lose points if the response is left blank in the IELTS Listening test
  • If you leave a blank space, you might write the right answer in the wrong place later on. This may get you into trouble.

So, it is better to guess rather than leaving blanks in the IELTS Listening answer sheet.

8. Writing On The Answer Sheet While Listening to The Audio

IELTS Listening Mistake: You get to hear the audio once in the IELTS Listening test. Thus, it is important that you neither get distracted nor miss the information. Try not to make such common mistakes in the IELTS Listening test.

Also, shuffling from your question paper to answer sheet while listening to the audio is not feasible. It consumes more time, creates confusion, and also distracts you. Keep it simple, don't read, hear and write simultaneously.

IELTS Listening Tips: You are given 10 extra minutes to transfer your responses onto the answer sheet once the audio is completed. This will avoid you from making such common mistakes in the IELTS Listening test. Utilize this given time to transfer responses and avoid writing them while listening to the audio.

Conman Mistake in ielts

Top-Notch IELTS Listening Tips

This blog has beautifully covered the most common IELTS mistakes and shared IELTS Listening Tips as well. But, we always like a little extra, don't we? Check out a few more of the best IELTS Listening Tips that you can keep trying!

  1. Work on Your Vocabulary
  2. Practice! Be a regular at IELTS Listening Practice Test.
  3. Use a Pencil (Neatness Matters!)
  4. Answer in CAPITAL LETTERS (Highly Recommended)

IELTS Listening Test is not very difficult but it can be tricky. Try to avoid these common mistakes in the IELTS Listening test and practice IELTS Listening as much as you can. These IELTS Listening Tips will help in better preparation of IELTS Listening tests and achieve great scores from preparation at IELTS Tutorials as well! Get familiar with different question types, learn different strategies to solve them, and ace the actual test with your desired score. If there are any doubts, do reach out to us!