Aubrey Carter
"3 Keys IELTS Certified Coach"
Jessica Beck
"Director of IELTS Training"

Don’t let the IELTS exam trick you!

There are classic pitfalls on the Listening exam that can throw off any student.

Today we’ll explain the most common ones.

We’ll also share strategies that will make sure you don’t get tripped up.

Why should you improve your Listening skills?

You can’t just do practice tests to prepare for IELTS.

You have to improve your comprehension first!

It is vital that your overall listening skills be high.

We have a great resource – our ios app!

You can find it at

On our app you can listen to our episodes and read the transcript at the same time.

Strategies Created by a Former IELTS Examiner

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Uncountable nouns

One of our students compiled a list of uncountable nouns that often show up on IELTS exams.

  • food

I like food. Food is delicious.

  • oil

This resource is often referred to on IELTS.

  • waste

You often see this verb, but IELTS loves to use this as a noun.

waste: garbage

All of this waste is going straight into the bin.

  • sugar
  • oxygen
  • water
  • space
  • traffic
  • weather

There are more plural nouns than singular nouns on IELTS.

One of the most common mistake is to leave an “s” off the end of a plural noun.

Tricks repeated often on IELTS

Words that are difficult to spell are used over and over.

You can use mnemonic devices to remember them.

  • February
  • Wednesday

We don’t say these the way they are spelled, so you need tricks to help you remember how to spell them.

Why does English have exceptions to every rule?

This happens because English comes from so many different languages.

Some spelling is like French, some is from other languages.

How can you avoid being tricked?

You need to do loads of Listening exams.

You’ll start to recognize words and tricks that are repeated.

Additionally, you’ll get used to the IELTS rhythm and pace.

Sign posts are extremely important

There are specific words that give you clues about the answer.

He wanted to go on Monday, however he decided to go Tuesday.

The linking word “however” clues you in that the answer is Tuesday.

  • Transitions
  • Contrast words like but, however, yet

When you see these, it’s a flag for you to pay attention!


IELTS loves to trick you!

You need to have strategies so you don’t fall for their traps.

Don’t let yourself get thrown off if you miss an answer.

Be aware of sign posts!

The 3 Keys IELTS Listening module has all the strategies you need.

Sign up today to get past IELTS!

What questions do you have from today’s episode?

Please leave a comment below.

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