Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"
Jessica Beck
"Director of IELTS Training"

Do you know the top 5 listening mistakes that IELTS candidates make every Saturday?

We’ve been doing a series on the show about the top 5 mistakes made on each section of the IELTS exam.

Click these links for:

Top 5 Writing mistakes

Top 5 Speaking mistakes

Today: Top 5 Listening Mistakes

  • Not listening to the introduction
    • You must listen to this. It tells you who is talking and what they are talking about.
    • Remember, you can’t outsmart the test. Just do what it tells you to do!
  • Not reading the directions
    • For example, they might say, “Write no more than one words and/or a number.”
    • If your answer exceeds the word limit, your answer is wrong.


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  • Getting stuck on unfamiliar words
    • If you get hung up on words you don’t know, you will lose track and miss the answers.
    • IELTS will give you answers that consist of vocabulary you know.
    • Focus on the key words you underlined and follow along as you listen.
  • Not checking your answers
    • Do not skip this step to try and “save time”.
    • You must check the spelling, grammar and logic. Catching these mistakes will raise your Listening score.

This advice comes with a decade of working with students, and seeing where they go wrong on the IELTS exam.

It also comes through the success of the students in our course, who have used my strategies to increase their scores on the IELTS exam.

Have you made these mistakes on the Listening exam?

Tell us your story in the comments section below!

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