Common Mistakes in IELTS Listening

We all make mistakes and there is probably no human being on earth who doesn’t fall into this trap, be it in IELTS or any other exam. Here is a list of the 10 very common points we forget or often overlook in the IELTS Listening section, thus losing quite a lot of marks. They are very easily avoidable and it is important to be aware of them so that we can put a conscious effort so as to not commit the mistakes.


Here are the 10 Common Mistakes in IELTS Listening you should avoid to score high:

1.Not following the instructions properly.

For example,
Write no more than two words and/or a number.
Most often, students appearing for the test overlook and fail to adhere to the instruction given on top of the questions. In this scenario, the answer public service goes wrong if written the public service, because of the violation of word limit.

2. Time utilization

Instead of using the few seconds available in between to check your answers, read the questions of the following section. This will give you a context of what you are looking for and help you in predicting the answer.

3. Focus

Concentration is the key to getting a high score in IELTS and as such, focus carefully on what is being said. Learn to listen, not hear. Is it procedure or procedures that you heard? Is it 30 or 13 that you heard? Is it disable or disabled? Take special note on plurals and numbers.

Another important point to be mentioned here is the use of synonyms. The words in the questions do not always match the words that you hear in the audio. Sometimes they are paraphrased. So look out for synonyms too.

4. Time Management

In IELTS Listening, every second matters. So in case you have missed an answer, do not bother pondering over it and move on to the next answer because you cannot afford to lose more marks.

5. Spelling

Wrong spelling leads to loss of marks. For example, if the answer is government and you have written it as goverment, it will be marked incorrect, resulting in the loss of a mark, so make sure you check your spelling while transferring the answers to the main answer sheet.

Some common spelling mistakes are listed down below:

Opportunity- not oportunity or oppurtunity
Across- not accross
Occasionally- not ocassionaly
Naught- not ‘not’, when the answer is zero
Noticeable- not noticable
Possessive- not possesive
Tomorrow- not tommorow
Friend- not freind

7. Do not erase, just cut though it

In case, you know you have made a mistake and want to correct it, do not bother erasing it and wasting time. Just cut a line through it or cross it.

8. Grammar

Make sure your answers are grammatically correct when answering Fill in the Blanks. For example,
Meet me at the hospital at 7:30 PM.
Time of meeting: 7:30 PM

9. Guess work

Never leave any question unanswered. There is no negative marking involved in IELTS, and as such, guessing an answer has a higher probability of going right rather than leaving a blank space unnecessarily.

10. Answers change

Sometimes, IELTS lays common traps for you to fall for. There are times when words or contexts are repeated and answered are changed. Make sure you follow the change and write the final answer correctly. For example, the meeting time can be changed from 7 PM to 7:30 PM during the course of the conversation, so do not lose focus.

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