IELTS Listening Distractors

IELTS Listening Distractors are a significant part of IELTS Listening Tests. Although we’ve looked at IELTS Distractors before, such as providing the same kind of information, there’s another kind of distractor that we have to pay attention too.

The speaker might give out a piece of information and then correct him/herself, or the other speaker will correct them. This new corrected piece of information will be the right answer.

Look at the examples below:

The correct answer is given in red.

The wrong answer is given in purple.

Example 1:

B: Would you tell me, please, how I can join the library?

A: Well, you need an ID card – and we also ask for two passport-sized photos. There is also a small fee. It costs £2.80. But if you are a student, it costs £2.50. No, sorry, £2.00.

Question: If you’re a student, what is the fee you’ve to pay to join the library?

  1. £2.00
  2. £2.50
  3. £2.80


Example 2:

A: We welcome Professor Joseph Lewis, who teaches American and Canadian Studies at the University of Birmingham. Good evening, Prof. Lewis.

B: Good evening. It’s a pleasure to be here. There’s a small mistake in your introduction though; I teach Twentieth-Century American Literature.

Question: What does Prof. Lewis teach?

  1. Twentieth-Century American Literature
  2. American and Canadian Studies
  3. Computer Literacy and Educational Outcome

In both the questions above, the answer changes. So, to pay attention to these details, you have to:

  • Not assume that the first answer is the correct answer – listen carefully to what comes after that.
  • Watch out for words like ‘no’ and ‘sorry’ as there may be another answer coming up to correct the first answer.
  • Be extra careful when you hear numbers as they are more likely to change, but there can be instances where numbers aren’t used too.
  • Always listen very carefully!

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