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Most Common IELTS Mistakes to Avoid

7 Most Common IELTS Mistakes to Avoid

July 29, 2021

Mistakes are part of any exam, but a student can easily overcome them if he/she identifies the mistakes on time and start working to improve them. Similar is the case with IELTS Exam. Most students repeat the common mistakes in the IELTS test and regret them at a later stage. Nevertheless, be extra careful about these common mistakes in IELTS Test because even missing the required score by 0.5 Band can cost your study or settle abroad dream.

This post is specifically intended for all the aspirants who want to identify the most common mistakes in the IELTS test and work on making them better. Take them into consideration and avoid them for better results in your IELTS Test.

Most Common Mistakes in IELTS

  1. Follow the Instructions
  2. Remember the Word Count in IELTS Writing
  3. Refrain from Extending the Word Limit
  4. Never Overdo with Connecting Words
  5. Stick to the Topic
  6. Cover All the Key Points mentioned in the Task
  7. Accent is Trivial but Pronunciation is Important!

1. Follow the Instructions

IELTS Low Score

One of the most common mistakes in IELTS is that the aspirants miss out on the instructions mentioned on top of every section. They are vital for moving forward in the test. Examiners deduct marks if they are not followed to the point. Instructions in the Reading test is one such example of the most common mistakes in IELTS. Why? Because students do not read the instructions carefully and get wrongly scored. For Example,

You are given the following information for a particular question.

Complete the sentence below. Write NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS for each answer.

Ques: Passenger ships across North Atlantic Ocean had an excellent safety record in ______.

Ans: past forty years [insert a 'right mark' here]

Ans: the past forty years [insert a 'wrong mark' here]

If you answer in more than three words, you will certainly lose marks.

2. Remember the Word Count in IELTS Writing

IELTS Writing Test tasks are word count-based. So, it is important you adhere to the word count while performing these tasks. Another common mistake in IELTS is that candidates do not count their words after completing the task. IELTS Writing tasks strictly follow the word count. For IELTS Writing Task 1 (Letter or Report), you need to write 150 words whereas, for IELTS Writing Task 2 (Essay), you require to write 250 words.

It is strongly recommended that you count the word so that you can immediately add some more information if it is lower than their requirements. This way, you will not lose marks on task accomplishment. The length of these tasks matter a lot, so make sure to count your word after finishing a task.

3. Refrain from Extending the Word Limit

We have time and again discussed that it is crucial to follow the instructions to the point. One such common mistake in IELTS is that candidates overdo their word limit. There is a misconception among most of the IELTS test takers that writing longer essays will help them achieve higher scores.

Why should you avoid exceeding the word count?

When you write a long essay, there are chances that you might make mistakes as the number of words and sentences increases. Also, it is in direct violation of the instructions. Yes, exceeding 30 words or so, is acceptable. But, if you go over 100 words, that is counted as NOT following the instruction. This decreases your score. Thus, it's time to break this myth right away.

4. Never Overdo With Connecting Words

IELTS Connecting Words

One of the important criteria is Coherence & Cohesion, on the basis of which your IELTS Exam, especially your Essay Writing Task is marked. So, while performing the IELTS tasks, which is the better way to demonstrate your Coherence and Cohesion skills?

Is it by using more and more connecting words?

If your answer is YES, then you need to work on it. Reduce the Excessive usage of connecting words. Unfortunately, this is also one of the most common mistakes in IELTS. The reason being, most of the test-takers aren't very fluent in the language and try filling the gaps using connecting words or fillers. The examiner sees through this and may deduct bands as this is an important criterion while evaluating IELTS scores.

5. Stick to the Topic

Many times it happens that the aspirant does not understand the topic in IELTS Writing or IELTS Speaking. In such cases, they get anxious and change the actual topic. Unfortunately, there won't be any scoring if the task goes off-track or is on the wrong topic in the IELTS Test. Regardless of how beautifully you present your ideas and work, it will not be considered. Though this is not a very common mistake in IELTS it is very close to becoming one. As more and more students think this is the best way out.

6. Cover All the Key Points mentioned in the Task

INSTRUCTIONS. It is the most important part of the IELTS test. We just discussed how important it is to stick to the topic and stay on it. Similarly, it is equally important to cover all the Key points mentioned in the task.

Let's take an example to understand it in a better way.

A family member has agreed to look after your house and plants while you are on a holiday.

Write a letter to your family member. In your letter

  • Provide contact details for when you are away
  • Give specific instructions about how to care for your plant
  • Mention details of other household duties

While writing the letter, you must include all the three points mentioned above. If you overlook any one of them, it will lower your score. This is a very common mistake of IELTS test-takers, they omit a point assuming covering the rest of the points will be sufficient. But, that is not the case. Read the given instructions carefully and cover all the key points given in it.

7. Accent is Trivial But Pronunciation is Important!

IELTS Tutorials OFTEN Word

IELTS is a test for assessing your English language skills. So, your accent DOES NOT affect your score. But, pronunciation is essential for a good score in the IELTS Speaking Test. Many test-takers make the mistake of faking their accent thinking it will lead it to better bands. But understand, this is a common mistake in the IELTS test, rather a common misconception.

But it is the WORDS YOU SPEAK that hold the importance. Its pronunciation, sentence delivery, and correct use of grammar that the examiner evaluates.

A Word of Advice

To stay away from trouble, it is inevitable to be aware of the pitfalls. So, practice enough before the IELTS Exam. Also, use these tips that will definitely help you avoid the most common mistakes in IELTS.

At IELTS Tutorials, you can carry out effective IELTS Test preparation with practice tests and other useful resources. Get familiar with the test structure and scoring pattern. Analyze your performance by using the free IELTS test online. Apart from this, you can also go for IELTS Online Coaching if you want guidance and mentoring, or Download IELTS Mobile App for endless IELTS practice material, and support. Build up your confidence and all your efforts will certainly reflect on your IELTS Score.