Decoding December 30, 2023 IELTS Exam: Tips & Test Booking

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December 30, 2023 IELTS Exam

With the arrival of the New Year’s holiday, the curtain has fallen on the last IELTS exam of 2023. Despite the challenging nature of this final test, it hasn’t deterred most students from eagerly raising the banner of determination to take on the IELTS again next year. The focus of this round of examination was primarily on the listening section, where the introduction of multiple-choice questions and matching questions in both Part 2 and Part 3 left test-takers scratching their heads as early as Part 2. Although Part 4 featured relatively uncomplicated vocabulary, it demanded a high level of proficiency in answering techniques.

The reading section maintained a moderate level of difficulty with topics revolving around familiar subjects such as history and psychology. However, the writing component, as usual, managed to evoke a sense of dread. The main theme for the essay was a discussion on the importance of ambition in achieving success, delving into whether ambition is a commendable human quality. The writing tasks presented an additional challenge, leaving candidates with much to ponder as they navigated through the complexities of these thought-provoking topics.

Let’s continue with the review of the December 30, 2023 IELTS exam:

Listening Section

Part 1: Choosing a Wedding Venue

Question Type: Fill in the blanks
Difficulty: Moderate

  1. City
  2. Photos
  3. Round
  4. 5995
  5. Cakes
  6. Decorations
  7. Menu
  8. Sandwiches
  9. Lizard
  10. October 15th

Commentary: Part 1 kicked off with a challenging start, causing many students to lose confidence. However, it’s worth noting that Part 1 mainly consists of fill-in-the-blank questions. Utilizing the techniques taught for this type of question can significantly improve accuracy across varying difficulties in Part 1.

Part 2: Organizing a Swimming Class

Question Type: Multiple-choice + Matching
Difficulty: Slightly Difficult

11-15 Multiple-choice questions:

  1. Occasionally pain in neck
  2. Hand’s movement
  3. Pay too much attention to enjoyment
  4. 5
  5. 6 weeks

17-20 Matching:

  1. A. adults
  2. C. children between 3 and 5
  3. A. adults
  4. B. baby

Commentary: Part 2 presented a bit of a challenge. The combination of multiple-choice and matching required a careful approach. The information covered included occasional pain in the neck, hand movements, and payment details, demanding a thorough understanding of the audio.

Part 3: Discussion on Assignments

Question Type: Multiple-choice + Matching
Difficulty: Challenging

21-24 Multiple-choice questions:

21-25 Choices:

  1. C. spend a long time in the lab
  2. A. grateful for his contribution
  3. B. not enough keeping in touch
  4. C. project nearly finished because somebody completed the data analysis
  5. B. she always finishes reading her assignment

26-30 Matching:

  1. Irey: C. methodology
  2. Kim: F. results
  3. Jen: E. literature review
  4. Bill: D. bibliography
  5. Linda: G. discussion

Commentary: Part 3 posed a challenge for many students. The question types, demanding both selection and matching skills, required a good grasp of the scenario. Although the context was a conventional assignment scenario, the vocabulary involved made it relatively difficult.

Part 4: Development of Transportation

Question Type: Fill in the blanks
Difficulty: Challenging

  1. Public
  2. Uncomfortable
  3. Freedom
  4. Taxes
  5. Government
  6. Relationships
  7. Polluted
  8. Lanes
  9. Advertisement
  10. Shopping malls

Commentary: Part 4 was relatively difficult, testing students on their familiarity with common synonyms. Efficiently analyzing the question sentences and clearly understanding the content being tested are key to excelling in Part 4.

Reading Section

Passage 1: The Origin of Papermaking

Question Type: True/False/Not Given + Fill in the blanks
Difficulty: Challenging

  1. TRUE
  3. FALSE
  4. TRUE
  5. TRUE
  7. FALSE
  8. Strips
  9. Sheep
  10. Stretched
  11. Bark
  12. Samarkand
  13. Stone

Commentary: Passage 1 discussed the origin of papermaking and presented challenging True/False/Not Given questions along with fill-in-the-blank tasks. This required a deep understanding of the content.

Passage 2: Park Reconstruction

Question Type: Matching Information, Multiple Choice, Fill in the blanks
Difficulty: Moderate

14 iv 15 ix 16 i 17 x 18 iii 19 V 20 vii 21 D 22 A 23 C 24 Density 25 Architects 26 Budget

Commentary: Passage 2 covered the reconstruction of a park, featuring paragraph information matching, multiple-choice, and fill-in-the-blank questions. Although the topic wasn’t unfamiliar, the question types were less common, testing the mastery of techniques in quick reading, locating information, and recognizing characteristics of correct and incorrect options.

Passage 3: Research on Human Fear Emotions and Monkey Pain Responses

Question Type: Single Choice + Fill in the blanks
Difficulty: Challenging

27 B 28 C 29 C 30 A 31 C 32 B 33 C 34 A 35 A 36 Age 37 Two weeks old 38 Human beings 39 Good motor control 40 Mature monkeys

Commentary: Passage 3 involved a research study on the connection between human fear emotions and monkey pain responses. The question types included single-choice and fill-in-the-blanks, posing a higher level of difficulty.

Writing Section

Task 1: Line Graph – Dynamics

Content: The line graph depicted the dynamics of air pollution in the UK from 1990 to 2005.

Task 2: Ambition’s Role in Success

Question: Ambition is a positive quality for people to have in many societies today. How important is it for people who want to succeed in life? Is it a positive or negative characteristic?

Commentary: The Task 2 essay posed a higher level of difficulty as it combined a discussion on the importance of ambition with an exploration of its positive and negative aspects. This required candidates to flexibly apply accumulated knowledge and material related to the topic.

For those of you inspired by this discussion of IELTS and eager to embark on your language proficiency journey, don’t forget the crucial step of IELTS test booking. Whether you’re seeking information on the IELTS exam, aiming to schedule an IELTS test, or considering the convenience of IELTS online test booking, the British Council’s IELTS services stand as your gateway to international language certification. Secure your spot for the IELTS test and take a significant stride toward your academic and professional goals.

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