Dictation Words for IELTS: Practice and Preparation

Share this post

Dictation words are a crucial component of the IELTS Listening test, where you are required to listen to a recording and write down specific words or phrases accurately. These words are typically common vocabulary used in everyday contexts, academic settings, and professional environments

Mastering dictation words not only helps you to improve your listening skills but also enhances your overall spelling and language proficiency skills as well. Familiarising yourself with a wide range of dictation words can significantly boost your confidence and subsequently, your performance, in the IELTS Listening test.

Coming to the IELTS listening test, it is a key component of the International English Language Testing System. It gauges your ability to comprehend spoken English in a variety of academic and everyday situations. 

The test assesses you: 

  • Ability to grasp the main ideas and important details of the topics discussed.
  • Ability to follow the flow of information as ideas unfold
  • Ability to understand the speaker’s purpose and attitude  

Additionally, the test features speakers with diverse accents, ensuring you can comprehend spoken English beyond a single dialect.

In fact, the IELTS Vocabulary section is worth 25% of the total score in the entire test. 

Needless to say, applicants like you taking the IELTS exam should be well-versed in vocabulary and have high listening comprehension, as these skills will help you perform well in the dictation segment. 

This article covers over a hundred IELTS dictation words and provides crucial tips and strategies to help you crack IELTS with high scores.

Key Highlights

Here’s a glimpse of everything you will explore in this comprehensive guide on dictation words for the IELTS examination.

Importance of Dictation Words For IELTSEnhanced ComprehensionImproved speed
Better Accuracy
Challenges of Dictation Words For IELTSSpeed of Speech
VocabularyTime Management
Tips For Improving IELTS SkillsDiversify Your Listening Materials
Start With Familiar Topics
Practise Single Listening
Commonly Misspelt IELTS Dictation WordsEnvironment
Minimum IELTS Score Required for Masters’ in the USA6.0 – 6.5 Band score
Minimum IELTS Score Required for Masters’ in the UK6.0 Band score
Minimum IELTS Score Required for Masters’ in Australia6.0 – 6.5 Band score
Crack IELTS in 4 Weeks! IELTS 8 Band Guarantee
study in canada

Ace IELTS with Band Guarantee. Get access to Live Classes & 100+ Mock Test. Join Free IELTS Masterclass Now!

Book free master class

Crack IELTS in 4 Weeks! IELTS 8 Band Guarantee

Ace IELTS with Band Guarantee. Get access to Live Classes & 100+ Mock Test. Join Free IELTS Masterclass Now!

LA Banner Web

What Are Dictation Words For IELTS?

Dictation words for IELTS (International English Language Testing System) are specific words you should be familiar with to enhance your listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills. Mastery of these words can improve overall language proficiency and performance in the exam. 

The words often include a mix of academic vocabulary, common phrases, and specialised terms that appear frequently in the test. Building a strong vocabulary through regular practice and exposure to diverse contexts can significantly aid in achieving a higher IELTS band score.

This article will guide you by highlighting hundreds of words to familiarise you with the IELTS process and eligibility criteria.

Importance of Dictation Words for IELTS

Dictation Words for IELTS: Practice and Preparation

Did you know that more than 5 million Indian students apply for the IELTS exam annually, hoping to get admission to one of the top universities in the US and UK, but only around 50% get through?  

This is because mastering the IELTS listening test requires a well-rounded skill set, and learning common dictation words is one of the most crucial steps to your success.

Hence, learning common words in IELTS Listening is essential not only because these words frequently appear in the test but understanding them can significantly enhance your ability to follow conversations, lectures, and instructions.

Preparing with common words aligns your study efforts with the actual content of the IELTS Listening section, making your practice more effective and targeted.

Here, take a look at the importance of dictation words for IELTS in greater detail.

  1. Enhanced Comprehension

Familiarity with common words helps you understand spoken English more accurately. Learning common words will simplify the entire process as it will involve understanding easy-to-remember words you already use daily.

  1. Improved Speed 

Recognising frequently used words quickly can save valuable time during the test. This enables you to focus on understanding the context and content rather than deciphering individual words.

  1. Better Accuracy

Knowing common vocabulary reduces the chances of misinterpreting words that sound similar, leading to more precise answers and a higher score.

Some commonly used similar-sounding words are: See and sea, write and right, wet and vet, sight and site, ate and eight, and so forth.

  1. Confidence Boost

Being well-versed in common words builds confidence, making you less anxious and more focused during the exam.

The IELTS listening test might include some unfamiliar terms. However, if you already have a strong foundation in common words, you can use context clues and your understanding of surrounding sentences to discover the meaning of new words. This ability to fill in the gaps boosts confidence and ensures you don’t get stuck on every unfamiliar term.

  1. Contextual Understanding

Contextual understanding allows you to infer the meaning of unfamiliar words or phrases based on the surrounding information. You can use clues like tone of voice, body language, or the overall flow of the conversation.

Familiar words often provide clues about the overall meaning of a passage, helping you infer information even if you don’t catch every word spoken.

  1. Effective Preparation

Practising with common words aligns your preparation with the types of vocabulary and language structures typically used in the IELTS Listening section.

Overall, a strong command of common words enhances your listening skills and significantly contributes to achieving a better IELTS score. You can use IELTS resources crafted by Leap Scholar to prepare better. 

Also Read: Idioms for IELTS Speaking Test 2024

Crack IELTS Exam in first attempt

Dictation Words for IELTS: Practice and Preparation

Attend Leap’s free masterclass to get tips, tricks and advance strategies to crack IELTS exam in first attempt

Crack IELTS Exam in first attempt

Attend Leap’s free masterclass to get tips, tricks and advance strategies to crack IELTS exam in first attempt

Dictation Words for IELTS: Practice and Preparation

100+ Dictation Words For IELTS Listening

To attain good scores in IELTS Listening tests, you must develop a strong vocabulary, and you can only do that by knowing and using a wide range of words.

Did you know that you will need a minimum IELTS score of 6.5 bands if you want to study at any top university abroad? However, if you’re going to get admission to master’s courses in top universities in the US and UK, you’ll likely require a band score of 7.5+.

In your efforts to score well, you will undoubtedly come across words commonly misspelt and mispronounced, thereby giving you a not so favourable IELTS score. 

So, to help you in your quest to get high IELTS band scores and get admission into your preferred university, we have listed some commonly used and misspelt words below that you must familiarise yourself with.  

Here, look at some of the most commonly used dictation words for IELTS students based on different categories.

Dictation Words For IELTS Students: Misspelt Words & Words With Silent Letters

FuelVisual ArtsModern

Dictation Words For IELTS: Travelling

Express TrainConductorShuttle
HikingMineral BathPlatform 
StreetcarFerryFlight Number 
Hitch-HikeExpresswayTravel agency
Scuba DivingSpelunkingCaving

Dictation Words For IELTS: Entertainment & Food

Entertainment Industry Violence MoviePerformance
TV ChannelsMuttonRegular Dinner
Beverage Go DutchExcursion 
StapleBuffetTV Theater
Make A ReservationSnackAppetiser
Done MediumRaw

Dictation Words For IELTS: Language


Dictation Words For IELTS: Subjects

PhysicsPoliticsPerforming Arts
PsychologyArtificial IntelligenceAnthropology

Dictation Words For IELTS: Daily Topics

TechnologyPotential Inflation
BankruptEconomic CrisisMonetary

Dictation Words For IELTS: Housing, Equipment & Decoration

TransportationMultiple GlazingSideboard 
DwellVentilation Neighbourhood
Furnished Baby CribUnfurnished 
Spare RoomRefrigeratorLandlord
HeaterLight bulbHallway
Air ConditionerSinkPipe

Dictation Words For IELTS: Countries

United KingdomDenmarkSingapore
BrazilNorth KoreaFrance

Dictation for IELTS Listening: Challenges Faced By Indian Students

You might encounter several unique challenges while preparing for the IELTS Listening section. These obstacles stem from differences in accent and pronunciation, speed of speech, and unfamiliar vocabulary. 

Additionally, background noise, the need for effective note-taking, and understanding context can further complicate the listening tasks. Stress and anxiety, coupled with time management issues, add to the difficulties faced by you. 

Recognising and addressing these challenges through focused practice and strategy development is crucial for achieving a high score on the IELTS Listening test.

Here, take a look at the challenges in more detail:

  1. Accent and Pronunciation

The IELTS Listening test features a variety of English accents, such as British, Australian, and North American. If you are not accustomed to these accents, you may find it difficult to understand them.

Here are some tips to help you:

  • Watch movies, TV shows and YouTube videos to improve your understanding of the American accent.
  • Watch popular British movies, comedies and sitcoms to get the hang of the British accent.
  • Watch regional American movies to understand how the North American accent sounds.
  1. Speed of Speech

The speakers’ pace can be fast and might include natural speech patterns like contractions and elisions, making it hard for you to catch every word. 

Here are some tips you can follow:

  • Watch and observe popular rap singers to understand how they maintain their flow of speech without reducing their speed of speech.
  • Listen to audiobooks with speed options to listen to dialogues in varying speeds. 
  1. Vocabulary

Unfamiliarity with certain words or phrases can hinder understanding. This is particularly challenging when encountering idiomatic expressions or colloquial language. 

To drastically enhance your vocabulary – 

  • Read top books like Ulysses by James Joyce and The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway.
  • Glance through dictionaries and thesauruses to improve your comprehension of unfamiliar words and phrases.
  1. Background Noise

Some listening tasks include background noise or multiple speakers, making focusing on the main content challenging. 

In these situations, you can – 

  • Focus on one source at a time. Listening to numerous sound sources simultaneously is quite demanding, so try to deal with one sound at a time.
  • Focus your mind to keep out all distractions and only focus on the relevant sounds. 
  1. Note-taking Skills

Effective note-taking is crucial during the listening test. You may struggle to simultaneously listen, understand, and write down key points accurately. 

To counter this challenge –

  • Don’t write complete sentences; instead, write keywords that will help you remember the entire context of the discussed topic. By doing this, you will not only be able to keep pace with the speaker, but you’ll also remember the context of the topic with the help of keywords.
  • To keep information clear and organised, use a structured layout for your notes, such as bullet points or numbered lists.
  1. Understanding Context

Sometimes, you will struggle to grasp the overall context or main ideas of a conversation or lecture, leading to incorrect answers.

To help with this, you can –

  • Identify keywords and phrases that signal essential information or a topic shift. These can be transition words like however, therefore, emphatic words like certainly, absolutely, or specific terminology related to the subject matter.
  • Focus on learning how words can change meaning depending on the context. For example, “bank” can refer to a financial institution or the side of a river.
  1. Stress and Anxiety

The pressure of the test environment can affect concentration and performance. Managing test anxiety is a common challenge for many students like you to overcome. Besides, balancing the time between listening to the audio and writing answers can be tricky. You can easily address these issues through time management.

To manage your time effectively, you can –

  • Focus on jotting down keywords and short phrases that trigger your memory of the information needed to answer the question. Writing complete sentences is time-consuming and unnecessary.
  • Consistently practice with IELTS sample papers and mock tests. The more you practice, the more comfortable you will become with the test format.

Strategies for Improving IELTS Listening Skills

Conquering the IELTS listening test requires honing your ability to understand spoken English in various settings. To achieve the required scores, you must use different books and other audio resources to learn multiple tones and accents from various sources, such as TV and audiobooks.

Did you know that to get admission into any top university worldwide, you must attain a minimum band score of 7 or more? You must get similar scores by employing various methods to enhance your listening skills. 

To help you in this endeavour, we have simplified the process by highlighting a few crucial points you can focus on to improve your IELTS listening skills. Here are some effective strategies:

  • Diversify Your Listening Materials: Don’t limit yourself to IELTS practice tests. Listen to English news channels like BBC and CNN, podcasts on various topics, educational lectures like TED Talks, and audiobooks.
  • Start With Familiar Topics: Choose materials on subjects you’re interested in or familiar with, like your favourite cooking show or a movie about nature. This will make listening more engaging and help you grasp the context.
  • Gradually increase difficulty: As you get more comfortable, move on to more challenging materials with faster speech or unfamiliar accents.
  • Practise Single Listening: Simulate the IELTS test by only listening to recordings once. This trains you to focus and grasp information quickly.
  • Predict and Anticipate: Try to predict what they might say next based on context and the speaker’s tone. This improves concentration and helps you stay ahead.
  • Shadowing: Listen to a short audio clip and then immediately repeat what you heard, mimicking the intonation and pronunciation. This enhances listening comprehension and speaking fluency.
  • Focus on Keywords And Synonyms: Pay attention to words that convey the main points. The speaker might use synonyms to avoid repetition.
  • Skimming And Scanning: Practise identifying key information and details quickly. This is crucial for answering questions based on the listening passage.
  • Paraphrasing Practise: Listen to sentences and rephrase them in your own words. This improves comprehension and strengthens your ability to identify synonyms.
  • Review Question Types: Familiarise yourself with different question formats used in the IELTS listening test, such as multiple-choice, matching, sentence completion, etc.
  • Practise With Answer Sheets: Get comfortable transferring answers from the listening test booklet to the answer sheet within the allocated time. You will find a lot of free and paid answer sheet sample booklets that you can use to practise.

To learn more about IELTS listening in greater detail, visit this page.

Also Read: Latest Vocabulary for IELTS Speaking: Definition & Best Sample Questions

Dictation Words for IELTS: Practice Resources

Equipping yourself with dictation words is a strategic way to boost your comprehension and confidence during the IELTS listening test. These commonly used words appear throughout the listening passages, forming the building blocks of spoken English, so getting the hang of them should simplify the entire process for you.

To effectively practise and memorise dictation words for IELTS, here are some valuable resources at your disposal:

Dictation Words for IELTS: Practice and Preparation

Official IELTS Practise Materials 

The official IELTS website offers various practise materials, including listening exercises with transcripts. These transcripts can be a great way to familiarise yourself with dictation words used in the actual test.

IELTS Listening Websites

Many websites, like Leap Scholar, are dedicated to helping students prepare for the IELTS listening test. These websites often offer practise tests, dictation exercises, and other resources that can help you improve your dictation skills.

YouTube Channels

Several YouTube channels offer IELTS listening practise materials. These channels can be a great way to expose yourself to different accents and listening speeds.

Mobile Apps

Several mobile apps can help you improve your dictation skills. These apps usually offer dictation exercises, quizzes, and other features to help you learn new words and improve your listening comprehension.

Looking for more practice resources? Explore these IELTS books and the free IELTS masterclass by Leap Scholar to help you achieve your dream of being admitted to some of the best universities worldwide.

Wind Up

Mastering dictation in the IELTS listening test requires a multi-faceted approach. While no magic list of words will guarantee success, familiarising yourself with commonly used vocabulary can be a strong foundation that you can build on.

However, don’t stop there. Combine this with active listening practice, where you develop essential skills like skimming, scanning, and prediction. Furthermore, utilise IELTS-specific resources and strategies by LeapScholar to tackle the different question formats and hone your paraphrasing ability. 

Remember, the key is consistent practice with diverse English audio. By dedicating yourself to these strategies, you’ll be well on your way to conquering the dictation section and achieving your minimum overall IELTS listening score of band 6. Still, if you keep practising, a band score of 8+ is not too far away, either.

Ready to ace that dream band score and secure a spot in your dream university in the US, UK, Canada, Ireland, or Australia? Enrol with Leap Scholar’s IELTS masterclass now.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What are some tips for improving spoken English?

A. Here are some tips to help you improve your spoken English:

Increase your exposure to English
Immerse yourself in English audio
Listen to a variety of accents
Find a conversation partner
Talk to yourself
Shadow native speakers

Q. What are some examples of impactful phrases and words in IELTS Listening?

A. In IELTS listening, specific phrases and words can act as powerful signposts, helping you understand the speaker’s main points, intentions, and the overall flow of information. Here are some examples to watch out for:

Firstly,” “Secondly,” “In the first place,” “To begin with,” “Following on from that,” “Subsequently,” “Finally,” “To conclude.” These phrases indicate the order in which points are being presented.
In particular,” “Importantly,” “The most important thing to remember is,” “It’s crucial to understand that.” These phrases highlight key points the speaker wants you to focus on.

Q. What are some frequently heard words in the IELTS listening section?

A. The list of words most commonly used in IELTS listening are:


Q. What are some strategies to improve IELTS listening skills for dictation?

A. Here are some effective strategies you can use to improve your IELTS listening skills:

Diversify your listening materials
Start With familiar topics
Gradually increase difficulty
Practise single listening
Focus on keywords and synonyms

Q. What is the IELTS application fee in INR?

A. The application fee for IELTS in INR is as follows:

IELTS Academic Test – INR 17k
IELTS General Training Test – INR 17k
Computer-Delivered IELTS – INR 17k
IELTS Life Skills (A1 and B1) – INR 16k
IELTS For UK Visas and Immigration – INR 17k

Q. What is the annual frequency of the IELTS test, and how many times can it be retaken?

A. The IELTS exam is administered four times a month and 48 times a year. Furthermore, the exam can be administered up to five times every month, which is uncommon. 

This allows students like you to appear for the IELTS exam several times a year. 

– 24 of the 48 days are dedicated to IELTS Academic
– Remaining 24 days are for IELTS General Training

Q. What is the significance of achieving a good IELTS score when studying abroad?

A. Achieving a good IELTS score is highly significant for studying abroad, acting as a gateway to educational opportunities and a smoother international student experience. Here’s why a strong score matters:

Eligibility to enter top universities.
Enhances academic success
It opens up many scholarship opportunities
It makes you more confident and Independent
Provides post-education immigration benefits

Q. Which IELTS test is easier – The IELTS General Training Test or The IELTS Academic Test?

A. The IELTS General Training test is generally considered easier than the IELTS Academic test because it is designed for those looking to migrate to an English-speaking country or work in a non-academic environment. The language used is more general and reflects everyday situations.

In contrast, the Academic test focuses on assessing the skills required for academic success. It deals with complex topics and requires a strong understanding of academic language.

Q. What are some of the commonly used opposite words?

A. Some of the commonly used opposite words are:
Big – Small
Cheap – Expensive
Clean – Dirty
Deep – Shallow
Early – Late
Easy – Difficult

Q. Can I study for IELTS Listening at home?

A. You can effectively prepare for the IELTS listening test from the comfort of your home. Here’s why practising at home is advantageous:
Flexibility: You can design a study schedule that fits your needs and practice whenever you have time.
Cost-effective: Numerous free and affordable resources are available online, eliminating the need for expensive classes.
Targeted Practice: You can focus on specific areas you find challenging and tailor your practice accordingly.

Q. Can I clear IELTS Listening without coaching?

A. Yes, you can definitely clear the IELTS listening test without coaching! While coaching can provide valuable guidance and support, it’s not mandatory for success. However, you will have to follow specific tips to ensure you are ready for the test:

Discipline and consistency
Exposure to diverse English audio
Active listening practice
Develop essential skills such as practising skimming, scanning, and predictive listening.
Utilise official IELTS practice tests, free online resources, and more.

Q. How can I improve my Vocabulary at home?

A. Here are some effective ways to improve your vocabulary:

Read extensively
Listen attentively
Actively engage with new words
Maintain a vocabulary journal
Practice using new words
Utilise various learning tools
Use dictionaries & thesauruses

Know more about IELTS

Get Free Speaking Practice Samples
Get Free Reading Practice Samples
Get Free Writing Practice Samples
Get Free Listening Practice Samples
IELTS Important Information
IELTS Test Centre and Dates in India
rajgeeta balamurali counsellor
Rajgeetha Balamurali

Rajgeetha is an expert in SAT, GRE, GMAT and IELTS prep content. She is an academic strategist with experience in study abroad test prep and ed-tech industry spanning pedagogy design, customised training design, team building, training & development.

Articles: 71