How to Avoid Distractors in the IELTS Listening Exam

Apr 03,2023

How to Avoid Distractors in the IELTS Listening Exam

Getting ready to take the IELTS exam? You must be searching the internet for the finest IELTS Exam Preparation Tips in order to achieve a fantastic grade. Explore the blog to learn about IELTS distractors, which are an integral component of the IELTS listening exam, as well as tips to overcome them.

IELTS listening is one of the four crucial components of the IELTS test. As the name suggests, the IELTS Listening Exam intends to evaluate the English listening skills of the candidate.

There are a variety of reasons why you make wrong answers on the IELTS listening exam. Sometimes you don’t grasp the speaker’s dialect, sometimes you don’t keep your focus, and sometimes you fail to understand the vocabulary. Among many causes, one is the presence of distractors. Let’s understand distractors in a bit more detail. We’ll also go over some IELTS listening tips to assist you to avoid distractors, Improve Your IELTS Listening Preparation, and ace the IELTS listening exam.

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What are Distractors?

When listening to recordings for the IELTS listening exam, you will frequently come over an alternate but wrong answer. The speaker delivers some false info at first, then adjusts himself to provide the correct information. If you don’t listen carefully, you’re more likely to get erroneous information and give a wrong answer. Distraction is a technique for perplexing listeners by providing two versions of the same information.

IELTS Listening Distractor – Example

Distractors commonly occur in discussions in which the first speaker delivers inaccurate info, which is later corrected by either himself or the second speaker. If you read the dialogues, you are more able to obtain the right information; nevertheless, if you listen to an audio-only once, your chances of getting confused with the information are high.


Customer: I want to book a room in your hotel.

Booking Officer: OK.. I need to complete small paperwork for you. When will you be arriving?

Customer: 20th of January. So sorry, that’s my leaving date.  I’ll be reaching out on the 17th, so please set up it on that date.

The examiner may ask about the booking date. You may choose 20 January instead of 17 if you were not attentive when listening to the recording.

Types of Distractors

IELTS listening distractors come in a variety of forms. You can sometimes get an incorrect answer by getting the wrong word since the right word and the erroneous word sound quite similar. Synonyms are another type of distractor that can be seen in the IELTS listening exam. Synonyms, which are terms that have the very same or nearly the same meanings, are likely to easily distract you. In multiple other circumstances, negative phrases like NOT are used to distract test takers.

IELTS Listening Tips – How to Avoid Distractors in IELTS Listening

Pay Close Attention While Listening

It is very common to feel worried while taking the IELTS listening exam. However, you must learn to manage your anxiety because it might have a major impact when it comes to your IELTS listening exam result. The best approach to boost your confidence and keep your fears at bay when taking the IELTS listening exam is to practice regularly. While listening to the recording, always keep your mind and ears attentive.

Don’t Make Hasty Conclusions

The test-takers frequently skip over the lengthy audio and jump straight to the choices. This approach, however, should be avoided at all costs. Because details provided in one statement might be misconstrued in the next, it is critical to listen to all of the facts before drawing any conclusions.

Be Extra Cautious With Numbers

When there are numbers, such as zip codes, prices, and house numbers, the most distractors occur. Numbers are utilized as distractors in many of the IELTS listening exams, so be mindful if you encounter them.

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Practice Sufficiently

One method to successfully cope with IELTS listening exam distractors is to take as many practice tests as possible. The internet can assist you in completing this task by providing a bulk of high-quality IELTS listening exam materials and sample questions. You can also get the best practice material and IELTS listening exam tips by Consulting Trained IELTS Experts.

Miscellaneous Tips

  • It’s not always the case that the very first answer is right. Listen to the following information carefully.
  • Be very cautious if you hear phrases like ‘no’ or ‘sorry.’
  • When practicing for the IELTS listening exam, attempt to figure out when a distractor is more likely to appear.
  • Make it a habit to take notes of crucial information as you listen. With consistent practice, you’ll be able to achieve it.


Distractors are a vital component of the IELTS Listening Exam. They’re designed to see if the person can interpret the given information thoroughly or not. Distractors in IELTS listening play a crucial role in deciding a test-taker’s total IELTS score, thus they must be well- understood and avoided.

I hope the above IELTS listening tips are helpful and will assist you in enhancing your IELTS listening preparation. Feel free to Contact Our IELTS Exam Professionals for further help and guidance.

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Written By

Kirati Shah

Kirati Shah is a certified IELTS/TOEFL/PTE Trainer with 10 years of experience. She is on a mission to provide good quality lessons about IELTS and PTE through blogs and videos that can help students get their desired score and achieve their dream to migrate/study abroad.


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