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Friday, January 03, 2020


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Dear Simon, could you explain about the changes that have been made recently to listening test?

Hi Simon,

I’m curious about how examiners would know whether it’s a language-related or content-related hesitation. Could you give examples for both? Thanks

Crystal. The difference is very clear to native speakers. Pausing for language almost always occurs in an 'unnatural' place, such as the middle of an idea. Pausing for content almost always happens before an idea. Also, high level speakers will almost always say something while pausing for content to indicate they are thinking, such as 'well' or 'you know' or 'let me see...'.


There are 3 tiny changes. You can read about the on the official IELTS site here:




Sjm’s answer is perfect, so there’s nothing for me to add!

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