IELTS Listening Test Misconceptions | 9 Myths Debunked…!

IELTS Listening Test Misconceptions | 9 Myths Debunked…!

Ninan Lawrence Published:
July 22, 2023

The Canadian Language Benchmarks (CLB) as well as the Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) trust the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) to evaluate a non-native speaker’s language skills. An IELTS exam result is necessary in order to immigrate to Canada, and is regarded as one of the most prestigious language tests in the world. The General Training (GT) test and the Academic test are the 2 different IELTS test types. The former is attended by people intending to immigrate, whilst the latter, as its name suggests, is attended by students pursuing further education in a country where English is the official language. In the following article, we will go through 9 IELTS Listening Test myths and explain why they are amiss.

The Listening Module | A General Overview

The IELTS Listening module has 4 sections and each section has 10 questions with topics related to ‘general interest’. Therefore, the test taker needs to answer 40 questions where each question carries 1 mark. The duration to complete the Listening module is 40 minutes where the audios take up to 30 minutes and a ‘transfer time’ of 10 minutes will be given to transfer the answers from the question paper to the answer sheet. Section 1 is a conversation between 2 people in a social context. Section 2 is a monologue or a speech on any social context. Section 3 is again a conversation between 2 and up to 4 people with regards to an educational or training context. Finally, section 4 is a monologue, or a lecture given on an academic subject. The recordings are played one after another with enough time in between to read and review the questions.

9 Myths Debunked in the “Listening Test” of IELTS

Myth#1 | Correct spelling and grammar are not required when responding to the questions: while you might be enticed to immediately respond to the question as soon as you can, you should also be mindful of your spelling and use of grammar. Even if you are just writing a few words for the short-answer question section, your answers must use proper grammar and spelling in order to obtain the highest possible score.

Myth#2 | Extra care must be taken as the audio will be played in random order: although it is a myth that the audio during the test will be played in random sequence, taking the IELTS Listening test does demand you to pay close attention to the audio. You do not need to worry about the sequence because the audio will always follow the order of the test’s questions; instead, concentrate more on the audio’s content to improve your ability to respond to the questions.

Myth#3 | There is no need for the listening testsa common misconception is that the Listening test only requires you to listen to audio recordings and answer easy questions at the end. However, the test format includes four different tasks that, if not practiced, can throw you off. Even if your listening skills are strong, if you don’t practice enough, you’ll be somewhat unfamiliar with the format and end up scoring poorly on test day.

Myth#4 | Each candidate will be provided headsetalthough it is possible, candidates may not always be provided with private headphones for the Listening test. For the audio portion of the test, some testing facilities include a sound system with speakers. It is advisable to confirm whether or not your venue offers a headset with the specific exam centre. You can also practice mock tests at home using both your computer speakers and a headset to get plenty of practice with both types.

Myth#5 | I am given time to think as I write my answerseach portion of the Listening test has a time limit, with each section and task becoming increasingly difficult. You will have 30 minutes to finish the test + 10 minutes of transfer time. In this regard, it is strongly advised that you time yourself during practice sessions and use every minute of the test to write down your answers.

Myth#6 | IELTS computer exam will differ from the paper examthe only difference will be where you enter the answers. You will type your answers using the computer keyboard in the computer test, while you will write your answers down on paper for the paper test. The best course of action is to choose the test format with which you are most familiar and then practice it until you feel at ease.

Myth#7 | My native accent will be used to conduct the listening testalthough the Listening test can be taken in your home country, the audio recordings used will have accents from the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, the United States, and Canada. To prepare for this, you should listen to both the sample tests and numerous audio accents in real life, such as those from the BBC radio station. This will allow you to feel more at ease and understand the audio content, regardless of the accent.

Myth#8 | After each section, the audio will pause: the Listening test cannot be stopped or restarted, which is perhaps the most damaging myth to dispel. There are no breaks in the audio for you to record your responses. As you hear the audio, you’ll need to respond to the questions. As a result, you should practice the Listening test to fully become accustomed to this multitasking.

Myth#9 | I can ignore the directions as long as the answers are correct: there will be instructions for each task, notably the final one, which may specifically ask you to fill in the blanks with the data provided in a certain fashion, such as “no more than 3 words and/or a number.” If you respond correctly but use more words than allowed, you will be penalised and given a lower grade.

Contact us if you need help from our language experts. Check out Owlspriority Immigration’s Canada Settlement Resources to learn about finding employment in Canada, making your initial days stress-free, etc.

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