A common mistake in the IELTS Listening module – watch out!

In a couple of days’ time many of you will be sitting your IELTS exams and I thought this would be a good time to tell you about one common mistake that has been hurting the scores of other test takers.

As you know the Listening test consists of 4 sections. Before each section you will hear some instructions and there will be some time to look at the questions. Then the recording will begin playing and you will need to listen and write down your answers. You will be writing the answers right in the Listening booklet, next to the questions they belong to.

As you also know, at the end of the Listening test the answers must be written on the Answer Sheet. And here is the part you need to pay attention to: some people mistakenly choose to copy the answers to the Answer Sheet during the time they are given before each section begins. This is a BIG mistake, because that time is for you to concentrate on reading the questions about the new section (that is about to begin), it is the time to try and understand what’s coming – it should not be used for looking back or copying answers.

After the test you will be given 10 whole minutes to copy all your answers to the Answer Sheet and only then you need to be doing that. Any time spent on copying during the actual test is WASTED, it’s not doing you any good – in fact it distracts you and therefore harms your score.

Good luck with your exams, everybody!

IELTS tips that helped Donmarl get Band 8.0

Our latest winner, an IELTS candidate from the Philippines, Donmarl Camua explains what he did to achieve Band 8.0 in his Academic exam.


Coming from the Philippines, a country where English is the second official language, I do certainly have some advantage in taking the IELTS. However, in IELTS – just like in any exam – preparation is always the key.

I may be fluent in English, but if I didn’t take time to do homework, attend a class or do online exercises, I may not have the score that I need for my Immigration Application.

If you want to get high scores, dedicate enough time to studying.


Prior to taking the exam:

I did some research. I searched and downloaded reviewers and e-books on the Internet. I gathered all the reviewers I could find. I made sure that I do at least one reviewer a day.

I subscribed to the IELTS-Blog.com. I thank the creators of this website, because it helped me a lot during my review. The “overview of IELTS Exams” shared by blog subscribers, helped me plan what to practice.

I took a review class sponsored by the test center, the IDP Philippines, to get tips from the actual examiners. We were given some tips on what the examiners look at in the written exams. We were taught how to do skimming and scanning in the Reading exams.

Again, if you want to be successful in IELTS, make time to prepare.

And when you prepare, prepare to WIN.

Simone says: I would like to ask all the people reading this post – if you achieved Band score 7 and up in IELTS and have tips to share – please click here and let me know.



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