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Monday, September 21, 2009


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Simon, here is a good link for spelling practice of common words found on the listening test, especially days/ months, professions and education (nearly always good for Part 3). It is aimed at Emirati students, but others may find it useful, but I should mention the radio buttons for American and British English appear to be the wrong way round at the moment

Great, I'll give it a try and pass it on. Thanks Andy

Hi simon

how much time is given to read the question before the recording starts?

according to

its only 20-30 seconds for each section

Are the tips provided in this article reliable?

Hi Liy,

I couldn't open the file, but I'd say it's usually 30 to 40 seconds.

Hi simon,

If I have made mistakes in grammar when answer the gap filled question, is it count as wrong or correct?
For example, out of print written as out of printed.
Thanks a lot!1!

I'm afraid it is usually marked wrong if the grammar is wrong.

Hi Simon,

Can we use CAPITAL LETTERS for gap filling questions in both Listening and Reading?

For instance:

Can we write the full words and all letters in every word in CAPITAL LETTERS? Please let me know.



Hi Venky,

Yes, you can if you want. They don't care about capital letters in the reading and listening tests, so it's impossible to make a mistake in that.

Hello Simon!

I have found this website just a few days ago and I have my IELTS exam tomorrow... You give a lot of really useful information, unfortunately personally I didn't have enough time to read and practice everything. However, thank you for your work!

I have a question about listeting. I have tried to do a listening section and there I should write a date of birth.
It was 23rd April 1989 and I wrote 23.04.89. Answer was wrong (it is Top Tips for IELTS programme) and they supposed it as 23.(0)4 (19)89 Would it really be a mistake?

Hi Helen,

No, that's not a mistake. It's fine.

hi simon,can you tell me ? how many questions have to correct to get 6 in reading for academic and general ielts test .

Hi Suresh:

Hi simon
I have done all your listening and reading tests which you have given and I found it very useful.I request you to keep some of the practice of both daily.
thanks a lot once again.

I have done a few listening practice tests, but im unsure how best to write my answers down while listening. Should I be looking at the questions while listening or is it best to to try and remember the main points and write down as much information? I seem to be struggling in listening and writing at the same time despite being a British National! My brain cant seem to keep up....

Hi Dave,
Let me try to answer your question. I'd say you should underline key words in the questions in the 30-40 seconds given before each section of the listening test. But please note that these 30-40 secs does not allow test takers to read and underline all 10 questions, so just do your best. You probably can skim through 6-8 questions.
While listening you should follow the questions but perhaps don't need to "stick" your eyes onto the questions. Rather you should try to listen and "catch" the key words in the conversations, but remember that key words in the questions may very likely be paraphrased in the conversations.
My final point is NOT to write as much information as possible because it's difficult to choose the details you need to fill in from a heap of information. And also by doing this you may miss the next questions.
There's a book focusing on Listening and Speaking by Sam McCarter. I very highly recommend this book!!
Hope my comments help!

The most difficult part of listening for me is to finish the gap of map. Because I am not good with directions, I used to get lost when I was listening to the map section regarding the campus road map.Is anyone can give me a good piece of advise to how can i improve this section of my listening?Although my listening is quite good.

hi, please answer my question.My question is," We all know that there are some time to give instructions before starting section 1 in ielts listening. I wanna know the pin point time which is given before starting.In CAMBRIDGE books there is around 1:30 minutes, but I heard that in real exam time given is too little before starting section 1. Please convey me the exact time figure." Thanks.

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