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Everything IELTS Academic - A Comprehensive Guide to IELTS Academic

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  1. Paraphrasing Technique

    Paraphrasing Technique - Two Methods to Paraphrase a Sentence
    1 Quiz
  2. Reading
    Part 1: Everything IELTS Academic Reading
    3 Topics
  3. Part 2: Text Types in IELTS Academic Reading
    3 Topics
  4. Part 2: Questions Forms and Reading Rules
    2 Topics
  5. Part 4: Types of questions and Strategies
    9 Topics
  6. Part 5: Common Mistakes
    2 Topics
  7. Part 6: IELTS Academic Reading Practice Tests
  8. Listening
    Part 1: Everything IELTS Listening
    4 Topics
    1 Quiz
  9. Part 2: Detailing Questions
    3 Topics
    5 Quizzes
  10. Part 3: Summary Questions
    4 Topics
    4 Quizzes
  11. Part 4: Common Mistakes
    4 Topics
  12. Part 5: IELTS Listening Practice Tests
    10 Quizzes
  13. Writing
    Part 1: IELTS Academic Writing Task 1 - Reports
    15 Topics
  14. Part 2: IELTS Writing Task 2 - Essay
    16 Topics
    18 Quizzes
  15. Part 3: Two-task Practice Tests
    6 Quizzes
  16. Speaking
    Part 1: Introduction to IELTS Speaking
    3 Topics
  17. Part 2: A good IELTS Speaking Performance
    2 Topics
  18. Part 3: Common Mistakes in IELTS Speaking
  19. Part 4: IELTS Speaking Practice Tests
    7 Quizzes
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The tricks and the mistakes

In IELTS Listening, sometimes, the question is about speaker A or information that speaker A knows, but the needed information is mentioned by speaker B in the question. This trick often appears in conversations between 2 or more people, hence more common in parts 1 and 3 of the IELTS Listening test.

In this situation, there are two mistakes:

1. The information comes from the other speaker

Candidates do not catch the needed information because it is not mentioned by speaker A, therefore do not get the correct answer, especially in Detailing questions.

Example 1:

Question: Mike went to ____ last year.

Speaker Julie: Mike, you visited Milan last summer, didn’t you?

Speaker Mike: Oh yes, it was fantastic. You should go, too.

Speaker Julie: I’d love to, but my schedule hasn’t allowed it yet.

The answer is “Milan”.

Notice that the word “Milan” is mentioned only once and not by Mike, but by Julie. So, if you do not catch it in the first place, you will not hear it again, therefore, you do not get the answer.

2. The information is confirmed otherwise

Candidates catch the information and assume that the information is correct without the confirmation from speaker B, therefore, risk not getting a correct answer in case speaker B does not confirm the information.

Example 2:

Question: The outdoor cinema is opposite the ____. (No more than two words)

(Mike is asking Julie for some information about the city)

Speaker Mike: You told me about the new outdoor cinema and said it was amazing. Is it opposite the bank?

Speaker Julie: Yeah, it was really good. But it is actually opposite the puppet theatre, two blocks away from the bank toward the river.

Speaker Mike: Ah OK! My wife loves movies. She will definitely enjoy it.

The answer is “puppet theatre/theater”.

Notice that the “bank” is mentioned by Mike, not Julie, even though Julie is the one who knows the location of the outdoor cinema. If you catch the word “bank” and rush to use it as an answer, you will probably miss Julie’s response in which she does not confirm the location that Mike says (not opposite the bank, opposite the puppet theatre/theater). Therefore, you might get a wrong answer.

Avoid the mistakes

The root of the mistakes is the confusion between the speaker who talks about the information and the speaker who confirms the information. In situations where there is more than one speaker, candidates often get confused because the information comes from all the speakers.

Knowing the root, to avoid confusion, you should try to identify from whom the information should be confirmed based on the questions and the contexts of the conversations. 

For instance, in example 1 above, the question is about Mike, so the confirmation should come from Mike, but the initial information can come from both sides, Mike and Julie. If you only focus on Mike, you will not catch the information that Julie gives and, therefore, miss the correct answer. However, if you focus on both speakers but do not wait until Mike confirms, there is a possibility that Mike says “No, I went to Rome”, which means the answer is “Rome”, not “Milan”.

In example 2 above, based on the context of the conversation (Mike is asking for information about Julie’s city), you know that Julie should be the one who confirms the information. So you can only be sure of the answer if Julie confirms what Mike says.