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The Trickiest IELTS Questions

Everyone loves magic tricks but nobody likes questions on major exams that are designed to trick you. Which leads us to the topic of our blog post today: the trickiest IELTS questions out there.


Every module of the IELTS has an element to it that’s designed to throw you off guard and put you into a loop. if you can learn to identify these questions you can help yourself pass the test with the final band score that you need.




One of the most common types of questions that are designed to throw testers off is the final question of speaking part 1. If you touched base with us last week, then you caught our blog about perfecting the IELTS speaking and you’re an expert by but if you didn’t then here’s another bit of golden advice: expand, expand, expand.


The IELTS will ask you questions like:

  • Do you want to be a police officer?

  • Would you buy an apple product?

These questions are tricky because they appear to be simple three word answer questions, but in reality they demand the candidate to talk more. Of course, if every speaking question was determined on short yes or no answers, then everyone could pass the IELTS but the test is made to torture people.


Reading and Listening


The element that makes the reading & listening task tricky is the fact that every single question is paraphrased. We call it the IELTS catch 22, the answer is in the text, however the question is paraphrased. Many candidates will constantly be looking for the answers word for word and if when they do this then they are blindly looking because the answer is there but the phrase is different from the question.


In order to get over this IELTS trick we suggest candidates constantly improve their vocabulary and become familiar with synonyms and different ways to say phrases.


Here’s an example that will help you visualize what we are talking about


On the reading:


More than _______ times as big as the UK.


On the question sheet:


Over fifty-eight times the size of the UK.


You can see here that more than… times as big… appears on the reading while on the question sheet the text says over…. the size of the UK. As you can see both parts of the phrases have been transformed but the meaning of each statement are the same. These questions are designed on purpose to confuse testers so be aware and alert!




What’s the trickiest part of IELTS writing module? Well questions like these:


Living in Urban Areas causes health problems. Discuss.


What makes this question tricky? Many candidates will not be able to identify that this question is not an opinion question but rather a cause and effect question. Many IELTS writing questions are created to appear to be a certain type of question while actually being another type. Many candidates will make the mistake of writing responses that are designed for different question structures because of this mistake.


There are many other tricky questions and insider tips we will share with you so check us out next time or contact us now to register for our IELTS classes so we can help you get the band score you need to succeed.


One Responseso far.

  1. Kristiena says:

    To draw attention to their lack of understanding can be intimidating for the pupil.