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Ever thought what listening tests are designed to do? Well, the primary aim is to separate the wheat from the chaff – identify which test takers are able to fully comprehend what they hear, and which aren’t. And to accomplish this, traps are set across the test to trick test takers and induce errors.
Here are some traps you should avoid in the IELTS listening test.
As the name suggests, a distractor is something that causes confusion so that the test taker does not pay enough attention to what they should be doing – which is listening for the right answers. For instance, in a conversation, a speaker may say something and then quickly correct themselves, or they may be corrected by another speaker. As a result, the listener hears two versions of the same piece of information – obviously, one is correct while the other is incorrect.
5. Telephone number: 9342__________
Receptionist: Okay, what’s the best number for us to contact you on?
Customer: You can call me at the hotel where I’m staying. The number is: nine-three-four-two-six-five-three-nine… Oh no, did I say five-three-nine? Sorry, it should be three-nine-five.
If you’re not careful, a distractor can make you choose the wrong answer, so be prepared. And here’s an additional tip: in IELTS listening, distractors are most commonly used in section 1, and they usually involve some type of number (telephone number, credit card number, postcode, cost of something, time, date, etc).
In IELTS listening, poor spelling is penalised, so test takers need to be able to accurately spell words that are long and complicated. If your spelling isn’t great, try learning commonly misspelt words. Additionally, make a list of words that you have already find trouble spelling.
Mnemonics can also be incredibly helpful in remembering the spelling of tricky words. For example, if you find it challenging to spell the word island, just remember this sentence: An island is land surrounded by water.
Remember, one way to avoid falling into a trap is to spot it early on, so keep an eye out while reading questions.
|separate the wheat from the chaff|
|Meaning||:||to identify a good group from the other, less desirable ones|
|Example||:||Face-to-face interviews with applicants can help recruiters separate the wheat from the chaff.|
|Example||:||Drinking cough syrup can induce sleepiness in a person.|
|Meaning||:||something, such as a poem or word, that helps a person remember something|
|Example||:||Use the mnemonic VIBGYOR to remember the colours of a rainbow.|
|keep an eye out (for something)|
|Meaning||:||to watch carefully for something|
|Example||:||While shopping I always keep an eye out for clothes sold at a discount.|