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Home Read the Instructions
Read the Instructions Carefully! Print E-mail
IELTS - IELTS Listening Test

Read the instructions carefullyAim: This section will give you a few common examples of instructions you can find in the listening (and reading) sub-tests.

Problem: People studying for the IELTS test often answer “yes” when they’re are asked if they have read the instructions carefully in the listening part of the IELTS test. However, in the real-test situation, many people don’t - or at least don’t do it carefully.

As a result of not reading the instructions carefully enough, students could answer the questions correctly, but get band ‘0’ marks for a whole section of questions because their answers do not correspond to what they are being asked to do. This can reduce their IELTS scores by up to 2.5 bands.

A lot of the time, students look at the format of the questions and automatically assume that the instructions are going to be the same as what they have been previously used to – see the examples below.   

1) Compare the two sets of instructions below:   

a) Read the following statements and write ‘T’ if they are true or ‘F’ if they are false.   

All students can eat in the cafeteria for free   T  F   

b) Read the following statements and write ‘Y’ if the passage agrees with them or ‘N’ if the passage disagrees.   

All students can eat in the cafeteria for free   Y  N   

...and...   

c) Read the following statements and write ‘True’ if they are true or ‘False’ if they are false.   

All students can eat in the cafeteria for free   True  False   

d) Read the following statements and write ‘Yes’ if the passage agrees with them or ‘No’ if the passage disagrees.   

All students can eat in the cafeteria for free   Yes  No   

“So what ???”....you might ask yourself – it’s very clear; whether I write ‘T’, ‘True’, ‘Y’ or ‘Yes’ for the same answer. Technically you are correct, but if you don’t enter your answer exactly as you are instructed, you’ll get band ‘0’ – even if it is clear what you mean.   

2) Now compare the instructions for these gap fill questions:  

a) Complete the sentences using a word or short phrase.   

I have to always _____________________ carefully.   

b) Complete the sentences using NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS.   

I have to always _____________________ carefully.   

In example (a) you can write as many words as you feel are necessary to answer the question clearly (and make sure the sentence is grammatically correct!). But, in example (b) if you write four words or more, you will get 0 – even if your answer is correct.   

3) Now, compare this pair of similar instructions:  

a) Choose the correct answer and write the appropriate letter in the space provided.    

A: John B: Mary C: Peter

Answer: _______    

b) Choose the correct answer and write it in the space provided.   

A: John
B: Mary
C: Peter

Answer: _______   

If the answer is B: – Mary – and you write 'Mary' for example 3.a), you’ll get a score of 0. Likewise, if you write 'B' in example 3.b).   

4) Now, look at these T/F/NG questions:   

a) Write ‘T’ if the passage supports the statement, ‘F’ if the passage contradicts the statement, or ‘NG’ if there is nothing in the passage that supports or contradicts the statement.   

Monkeys in area of the Wakatikki River only mate in the spring   T  F  NG    

Answer: _______   

b) Write ‘T’ if the passage supports the statement, ‘F’ if the passage contradicts the statement, or ‘NI’ if there is no information in the passage to support or contradict the statement.   

Monkeys in area of the Wakatikki river only mate in the spring   T  F  NI   

Answer: _______   

Again, writing ‘NG’ instead of ‘NI’ or the other way around will lose you marks.

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Do you have any comments about this item? Let us know what you think... Use the comments form below… 

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avatar kuntal
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Thnx this vl help lot....
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avatar sami
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thanx need such type of tips
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avatar Onketing
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Nice Tips.
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avatar indra
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Excellent tips.... Thanks
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avatar TOORA
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Very>>>> Good
It’s a good source of information
TOORA
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avatar NABIL
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These tips sound very helpful !!
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avatar Satnam Sani
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Thanks for these useful tips...........
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avatar GUEST
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Correct spelling is \'demonstration\'
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avatar GUEST
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Useful only has one l

\"thanks this is a very minute and useful information for us\"
Should read \"Thanks, this is very detailed and useful information\"
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avatar GUEST
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thanks this is a very minute and useful information for us ...
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avatar GUEST
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very usefull tips
thanks
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avatar GUEST
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nice demonistration
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avatar GUEST
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More to come - Admin!
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avatar GUEST
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Thanks for the tips but I look forward for more tips in taking the exam
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avatar GUEST
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Thanks
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avatar GUEST
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For the purpose of helping my fellow IELTS takers, I'd like just like to comment that the right phrase is "these pieces of information."

And yes, this is very helpful for all of us.

Thanks!
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