4.5 Question Trap: Wrong Detail

Let’s talk about a type of wrong answer that you might see in the listening section, particularly on detail questions. This is a wrong answer that brings up the wrong detail from the listening, from the lecture or conversation. So, the wrong detail, it’s very similar to the same kind of wrong answer in the reading section.

It’s, yeah, it’s the same. It’s a little bit different, because it’s less common, but it has the same general idea. It mentions a topic from earlier or later in the lecture or conversation than what the question asks about. So, you have a lecture, let’s say here’s the script of the lecture, and to the question is about this part, while one of the wrong answers might be about keywords that are up here, or here, or down here, in the wrong part of the lecture.

It’s important then, that you check your notes and see where it was that something was mentioned, because if it’s from too early or too late, it’s possible that it’s the wrong detail. So, the example I’m about to give is using a recording from the lesson in, the lesson called Listening Sample 1: Lecture. It’s about Allotropes.

So, if you haven’t heard that, go back now, and listen, and come back. Okay, so here is the question. According to the lecture, what is true of sheets of carbon in graphite? They bond together under high pressure. This answer choice looks pretty good especially with this phrase high pressure, because I remember hearing this in the lecture.

But, I’m going to listen again. Now, you can’t do this on your test, but now in this lesson, I want to show you why this sounds familiar. We heard the professor say it here. You couldn’t create diamonds from coal, not by pressure alone at least. Okay, so she mention pressure but she’s talking about diamonds and coal.

You couldn’t create diamonds from coal. That’s not about graphite and that’s the question. The question about graphite, so this causes a problem, similarly, we see here in the next answer choice, separated by layers of other elements. Well, we heard her talk about other elements here. But if we take a look at graphite, we can see that it’s not just the inclusion of other elements, non-carbon atoms. Okay.

Now, she’s talking about graphite, right? You heard her say graphite. But she said, if we take a look at graphite, we see that it’s not just the inclusion of other elements because she’s referring back to coal, which had been the previous topic she mentioned. And what’s more, this separated by layers comes after the mention of other elements and it is a separate topic, it is a different topic.

So first, she’s talking about other elements in coal and then, she’s talking about separating layers in graphite. So, it’s the wrong detail this other elements part. And here again, we have a topic with some keywords that are from the lecture, sharp corners, she uses those words. You don’t get the same kinds of flat surfaces with sharp corners that you get from diamonds.

Okay, there she’s saying that diamonds have sharp corners, and something else doesn’t have sharp corners. That something else is coal, by the way. Coal doesn’t have sharp corners. But this is again about diamond, not about graphite. So, we can rule this out as a wrong answer because it is the wrong detail.

And here’s our last answer choice. They do not hold together strongly. And holding together is also mentioned but it’s different words. Let’s hear this. By the way, these layers separate from each other very easily. Now, she doesn’t say hold together but she does say separate from each other. And that is not exact, sorry, separate.

There we go. And that is not exactly the same, it’s opposite, right? Separating and holding together are opposite. So, she mentions this same idea in the opposite way. Separate and not hold together are the same. This is actually the correct answer.

And we can find this in our notes. So, I’m gonna go back to my notes and I’m thinking about graphite and sheets, because that’s what the question is about. And here, I actually don’t have much information, but when I look at this, I might think at this part she was talking about graphite, she started talking about pencils, right?

Why was she talking talking about pencils? She was saying that we use graphite in pencils. Because it separates very easily. I remember she said separate very easily. And there when I look back at my notes and have that memory. I might be able to find the keyword that relates to the right part of the lecture.

The right part of the recording, instead of getting tricked by these keywords that relate to other parts of the lecture. So, all these other ones are incorrect, the right detail is here, about the right part of the lecture.