Common Mistakes in IELTS Listening

It will be helpful to know the common mistakes in the IELTS test before your exam. If you are studying for the test, always remind yourself to avoid these mistakes. Today, let’s take a look at the common mistakes in IELTS listening. Also, check out our Common Mistakes in IELTS Writing and Speaking to learn what you need to be aware of in these two sections.

IELTS listening-magoosh


Spelling Mistakes

Spelling mistake is one of the most common mistakes in IELTS listening. The frequently misspelled words are usually long and difficult words which consist of more letters than other words. As a result, some students will miss letters, add letters or exchange the position of the original letters. Let’s take embarrassment for example. Some people misspell it as embarrasement or embarassment. Another commonly misspelled word is convenient. It is likely to be spelled as convienent.

However, in some cases, the misspelled words are simple but tricky words such as receive and rhythm. They may be spelled as recieve and rythm. Check out the list of frequently misspelled words!

Grammar Mistakes

Another common mistake is grammar mistakes, especially missing the ‘s’ or ‘es’ for plural forms. For sentence or form completion questions, you need to pay attention to the plural forms when listening to the recording. Besides, you can predict whether the answer is a singular form or a plural form by reading the questions carefully.

Let’s take the following question as an example. Library holds most national papers, all …… and magazines. You can predict that the answer may be a plural noun because it usually has the same form as national papers and magazines.

Some candidates also have confusion between countable nouns and uncountable nouns. You can predict it by reading the questions as well.

For example, the question is Studying with the Open University demanded a great deal of… A great deal of indicates that the following noun is an uncountable noun. If the blank is after a great number of, then the answer must be a plural countable noun.

Note: Spelling and grammar mistakes can be largely avoided by checking answers. Therefore, always double check your answers before handing in the answer sheet.


Confusing Between Similar Sounds

If you have trouble distinguishing between similar sounds, you will have difficulty in understanding the content and getting the right answer. Here are several pairs of similar sounds.

/i/and /i:/  Example: live and leave

/e/and /æ/ Example: bed and bad

/u/and/u:/ Example: would and wood

/a:/ and /ʌ/ Example: dark and duck

To avoid these mistakes, you need to practice by speaking and listening as much as you can. When you get used to hear and speak these sounds, you can easily tell them apart.

Not Following Instructions

If you don’t read the instructions before answering questions, you are also likely to lose your valuable marks. If the instruction states Write No More Than Two Words and you write three words, you won’t receive marks for your answer. Therefore, spending several seconds to read the instructions is an essential step in getting a high IELTS score! Want more practice to help you earn that high IELTS score? Check out Magoosh IELTS prep!

By the way, sign up for our 1 Week Free Trial to try out Magoosh IELTS Prep!

No comments yet.

Magoosh blog comment policy: To create the best experience for our readers, we will only approve comments that are relevant to the article, general enough to be helpful to other students, concise, and well-written! 😄 Due to the high volume of comments across all of our blogs, we cannot promise that all comments will receive responses from our instructors.

We highly encourage students to help each other out and respond to other students' comments if you can!

If you are a Premium Magoosh student and would like more personalized service from our instructors, you can use the Help tab on the Magoosh dashboard. Thanks!

Leave a Reply