Dictation Words for IELTS

International English Language Testing System ( IELTS )

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Aishwarya Bhatnagar
Study Abroad Expert
Updated on Feb 28, 2024 14:51 IST

Dictation Words for IELTS: Check out over 100 dictation words for IELTS vocabulary preparation of the IELTS Listening section of the exam. IELTS Vocabulary carries about 25% weightage of the total exam and is often regarded as one of the most challenging tasks for test takers looking to take the IELTS test. 

Dictation Words for IELTS

Dictation words for IELTS are part of the IELTS Listening section of the exam which is common for both – IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training Test. The Listening section of the IELTS exam evaluates the test taker's ability to understand the main ideas, detailed information, opinions, purpose, and attitudes of the speakers, as well as their ability to follow the development of ideas.

The IELTS Listening Section will involve candidates having to listen to four recordings and answer 40 questions based on these recordings. While the first two recordings would be based on situations one might experience in an everyday context, the last two recordings would focus on situations that might occur in an education or training context.

Challenges Faced by Indian Students in IELTS Listening

Indian students often encounter specific challenges in the IELTS listening module, particularly the dictation section:

  • Unfamiliar Accents: The IELTS features recordings in various accents, primarily British and Australian. These accents can pose listening comprehension difficulties due to differences in pronunciation and intonation compared to Indian English.
  • Fast Speech: The recordings in the listening module often use a faster-speaking pace than students might be accustomed to, making it difficult to grasp every word and capture the complete message.
  • Specialized Vocabulary: The dictation section may feature academic vocabulary or technical terms related to various topics, which can be unfamiliar to students, impacting their understanding.

Dictation Words for IELTS: Spellings

Using the correct spelling is important in the Listening Test.  If the candidate gets his spelling incorrect the answer will be marked as wrong. Below we have provided words that can be tricky to spell in the IELTS Listening Section.

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Example Incorrect Correct
Begin begining beginning
Benefit benefitial beneficial
Circumstance circumstancial circumstantial
Influence influencial influential
Maintain maintainance maintenance
Refer refered referred

Dictation Words for IELTS: Silent Letters in Consonant Clusters

Example Incorrect Correct
The silent (g) privilje privilege
The silent (nm) enviroment environment
The silent (sc) exite excite
The silent (xc) concious conscious

Dictation Words for IELTS: Most Commonly Used Words in IELTS Listening

To be able to score well in the IELTS Listening Section, the test taker must build on their vocabulary. And we can only build on our vocabulary by knowing and using as many words as possible. Candidates can also disable the ‘spell-check’ feature in Word and then practice their spellings. Once they have got their words down they can switch the ‘spell-check’ option back on to assess their spelling.

 Dictation Words for IELTS: Commonly Misspelt Words

avenue beautiful believe
boring basically because
business commitment comparison
computer conscious controversy
customer disappear disadvantage
difficult disappear environment
exciting February foreign
friendly fuel fluctuate
highway hundred immediately
marriage million modern
musician murder necessary
neighbour nuclear obesity
opportunity original peak
percentage professor recover
realistic receive recover
restaurant rhythm software
solar separate skiing
solar software temporary
tendency topic thousand
unfortunately video visual arts
vocabulary Wednesday written work

Dictation Words for IELTS: Sports

archery billiards bowls
caving chess climbing
darts embroidery gardening
golf ice skating orienteering
painting parachute photography
pottery scuba diving skateboarding
snorkeling spelunking stamp collection

Dictation Words for IELTS: Subjects

agriculture anthropology archaeology
architecture biology business management
chemistry economics geography
history humanities law
literature logic mathematics
performing arts philosophy physics
politics science statistics

Dictation Words for IELTS: Marketing 

business card catalogue collecting data
competition customer display
entertainment industry interview leadership
management manufacture mass media
merchandise newsletter poll
products profit margin questionnaire
recruitment research method special offer
statistic strategies survey
trainee training TV program

Dictation Words for IELTS: Education

accommodation advanced assessment
attendance bachelor's degree certificate
classroom college computer centre
computer laboratory compound commencement
course outline department dictionary
dining room dissertation diploma
facilities faculty feedback
foreign students full-time give a talk
group discussion guidelines handout
higher education homestay international
introductory knowledge laptop
leaflet library main hall
media room module overseas students
pencil placement test post-secondary
primary printer pupils
publication registrar's office research
resources room retention schedule
school reunion secondary specialist
staff stationery student advisor
student support services supervisor tasks
textbook topic tutor

Benefits of Mastering Dictation Skills Beyond IELTS

Mastering dictation skills goes beyond just performing well in the IELTS exam. It offers numerous benefits in your future endeavours:

  1. Enhanced Overall Listening Comprehension: By regularly practising dictation, you train your ears to decode accents, understand faster speech, and improve your overall ability to process spoken information.
  2. Increased Confidence in English Communication: As you become more adept at deciphering dictation, you gain confidence in using English during conversations, presentations, and various other communication scenarios.
  3. Improved Academic Performance: Strong listening skills are vital for success in academic settings, allowing you to actively participate in lectures, seminars, and group discussions, leading to better information retention and academic performance.

Dictation Words for IELTS: Effective Strategies for IELTS Dictation Practice

Just memorizing words isn't enough. Here are proven strategies to transform your dictation practice into success:

Active Listening

  1. Go beyond transcribing words: Don't just try to write down every word you hear. Focus on understanding the meaning of the sentence, including the speaker's intent and tone.
  2. Skimming and scanning: Practice skimming (grasping the main points) and scanning (focusing on specific details) based on context clues.
  3. Predict upcoming information: Based on the speaker's tone, topic, and context, try to predict what they might say next. This helps you stay focused and anticipate upcoming information.
  4. Identify keywords and synonyms: Pay close attention to keywords and synonyms that convey the main points. This allows you to fill in the gaps even if you miss some words.


  1. Listen and repeat immediately: Listen to a recording and repeat what you hear immediately, mimicking the speaker's intonation and rhythm. This trains your ear and improves recall.
  2. Start short and gradually increase complexity: Begin with short sentences and gradually increase the length and complexity of the audio clips as you get comfortable.
  3. Record yourself: Record yourself shadowing the speaker and compare your pronunciation to the original audio. This helps you identify and address any pronunciation errors.

Speed Building

  1. Start slow and gradually increase: Begin with recordings played at a slower speed that you can comprehend comfortably. Gradually increase the playback speed in small increments as you improve.
  2. Utilize online tools: Many online tools offer adjustable playback speeds and transcripts for reference. This allows you to practice at your own pace and check your understanding.
  3. Dictation with transcripts: Initially, practice dictation exercises with transcripts provided. This allows you to check your accuracy and learn from your mistakes.

Spotting Spelling Errors

  1. Practice with transcripts: Regularly practice dictation with transcripts available for checking your work. This helps you identify your common spelling errors and learn from them.
  2. Focus on context and patterns: When encountering unfamiliar words, try to understand the meaning based on the context of the sentence. Pay attention to spelling patterns you recognize in familiar words.
  3. Mnemonics and visual aids: Use mnemonics (memory aids) or visual aids to help you remember challenging spellings.

Dictation Words for IELTS – Right Strategy

In this section, we are going to be discussing the right strategy to master the IELTS Listening section of the exam. 

  • A variation of voices and native-speaker pronunciations are used in the Listening test as IELTS is an international test.
  • To score well in the Listening section of the exam test takers would have to build on their dictation words for IELTS, build on their vocabulary and identify the common mistakes to avoid.
  • Candidates should note that in the IELTS listening section, the four recordings will only be played once. It is important to concentrate from the beginning to the end of the test.
  • The IELTS Listening test is scored out of 40 and then regularised to a band score which ranges from Band 1 to Band 9

Dictation Words for IELTS: Practice Resources

Candidates wanting to prepare for the IELTS Listening Section can check out our IELTS Mock Tests and IELTS preparation material available on our website. Candidates can also look at coaching centres to assist them with their IELTS preparation. 

Test takers looking for assistance with university admissions should get in touch with our Shiksha Study Abroad counselling services for assistance with university admissions abroad. For any other queries, candidates can get in touch with us in the comments section below. 

About the Author
Written by
Aishwarya Bhatnagar
Study Abroad Expert

Aishwarya is a professional Writer currently working as a Study Abroad Expert in the Editorial Team at Shiksha. She has over 5 years of experience and is skilled at creating Online Content with leveraged knowledge i... Read Full Bio

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