7 Most Common IELTS Mistakes to Avoid

7 Most Common IELTS Mistakes to Avoid

  • Posted By IELTS Tutorials IELTS Tips / March 01, 2018

Mistakes are part of any exam but a student can easily overcome them if he or she keenly observes where the mistakes are encountered. Similar is the case with IELTS Exam. Nevertheless, you need to be extra careful about your 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 the IELTS aspirants to make them aware regarding the most common mistakes that aspirants usually perform. Take them into consideration now and avoid them when you appear for your IELTS Test.

More Words = Low Score

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One of the most common mistakes that aspirants commit is writing in more words than given in the instructions.

Let’s say, 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 four words (or in a count more than three), you will certainly lose marks.


Less Words Lowers Score in IELTS Writing Tests

Just as writing more words cost marks, answering in less than the required words will also cost marks.

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. The length of these tasks play a crucial role for your score. If you write less than the pre-specified word limit, you will obviously get a low score.


Longer Essay Won’t Give You Better Marks

There is a misconception among most of the IELTS test takers that writing longer essays will help them achieve a High Score. If you too are under such misunderstanding, then clear it right now!

When you write a long essay, there are chances that you might make mistakes as the number of words and sentences increase. This indirectly decreases your score. Thus, it’s time to break this myth right away.


Never Overdo With Connecting Words

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

Is it using more and more connecting words?

If your answer is YES, then stop this practise now. Excessive use of connecting words is NOT ACCEPTABLE. An examiner easily identifies this and penalizes you with a low score.


Changing The Subject is Unacceptable

Many times it happens that the aspirant does not understand the topic on which he/she is asked to write. So, to avoid skipping the entire task, they think of writing on a slight different topic. But, the fact is that you won’t be given a score for a wrong topic in IELTS Test. Regardless of how beautifully you present your ideas and work, Wrong Topic = Zero Score.


Avoiding Some Part of Instruction Decreases Your Score

Just as changing the subject is not accepted, omitting some of the instructions is also unaccepted.

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

A friend has agreed to look after your house and pet while you are on a holiday.

Write a letter to your friend. In your letter

  • Give contact details for when you are away
  • Give instructions about how to care for your pet
  • Describe other household duties


While you write letter, you must include all the three points mentioned above. If you overlook any one of them, it will lower your score. Thus, read the given instructions carefully.

Accent is Trivial But Pronunciation is Important!

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IELTS is a test for non-native speakers. So, your accent does not affect your score. But, pronunciation is essential to fetch a good score in IELTS Speaking Test. Your IELTS Score for pronunciation mainly depends on how clearly you speak and how intelligible you are.

No matter how strong your accent is, the words you speak must be pronounced correctly. Else, you will lose marks.

A Word of Advice

To stay away from trouble, it is inevitable to be aware of the pitfalls. So, practise enough before the IELTS Exam.

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. Analyse your performance by getting your practice tests evaluated from experts. Build up confidence and all your efforts will certainly reflect on your IELTS Score.


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