common mistakes in IELTS Exam

IELTS Exam | Learn More About Common Errors & Their Solutions

September 03, 2021

How is your IELTS exam preparation going on? Are you well prepared? Are you still making the same mistakes over and over again? Every IELTS aspirant who appears for the exam may face certain hurdles that demotivate them. This impacts their confidence in achieving a great result. Let's bring an end to this. Let us talk about the most common errors made during an IELTS exam preparation and how to overcome them.

What actually happens?

During your IELTS exam preparations, you are calm and relaxed, because you know very well that you are still practicing. But when you appear for the main IELTS exam, it is precisely the opposite. You are stressed, nervous, and anxious about how are you going to perform, and that makes it more difficult for you and you tend to make a lot of errors.

Common Errors to Avoid during the IELTS Exam Preparations

1. IELTS Listening Exam

  1. Don't Ignore the Given Instructions: Suppose, the instruction reads 'answer in no more than two words, then you are strictly required to write either one word or two words. You won't be scored if you write your answer in three or more words.
  2. Don't Leave Blank Answers: Know that you won't be negatively marked for your wrong responses. Even if you don't know the answer, make a guess and answer the question.
  3. Avoid Spelling & Grammatical Mistakes: Any answer that is wrong spelled or written grammatically incorrect will be marked wrong. So, listen to the audio properly and then provide your response.
  4. Don't Write on the Answer Sheet While You Listen: You can listen to the recording only once, so it is essential to focus on the recording without any distraction. You will get 10 minutes to transfer your responses in the answer sheet for a Paper-based Test and 2 minutes for a Computer-based Test.

IELTS Reading Exam

  1. Maintain Word Formatting: Strictly, in the IELTS exam, it is recommended to write either in all capital letters (e.g., ANSWER) or all small letters (e.g., answer). Many aspirants prefer to choose capital letters because of clear visibility. This point is also applicable to the IELTS Listening Exam.
  2. Don't Read the Entire Passage: Use the Skim and Scan method. Try finding relevant keywords and connectors, and skim the text to get an idea of the topic. You can avoid unnecessary words and information from the passage. Underline or circle the important words, so you have a point of reference when you begin reading the passage again.
  3. Don't Lose Focus on the Order of Questions: Generally, the questions are in the same order as the text. If you get 2ndanswer and the 4thanswer, then you have to find your 3rd answer somewhere between those two answers. However, there is an exception in the paragraph matching exercises. After a few IELTS sample tests, you will get used to searching the questions in their order.
  4. Don't Fall into the Trap of Complex Vocabularies: If you can't find the meaning of the word, then it is recommended to move on because it is going to take much time. It is okay even if you don't understand a few words in a passage.

IELTS Writing Exam

  1. Don't Write Unnecessary Words: Sometimes, aspirants write more words than given in the instructions. This is one of the IELTS Exam Common Errors while writing an answer, and this can affect your marks.
  2. Know When to Write in First Person: If you are IELTS Academic writing task 1, then it is highly recommended to share details of the information that are shown in the graph, table, or chart without giving your personal comments. In IELTS Writing Task 2, you can write in the first person as per the given question type. Such as if the question asks for your opinion, then, you can write in the first person.
  3. Time Management: You will need more time for your writing task 2, so do not spend much time on IELTS Writing Task 1. You must practice writing answers for task 1 in 20 minutes. You will be able to practice this during your IELTS Exam Preparations.
  4. Don't Change the Topic: You have to strictly write on a topic that is given in the exam. There is no scoring for a wrong topic in the IELTS exam regardless of how beautifully you present your ideas and work.

IELTS Speaking Exam

  1. Don't 'Parrot' the Question: In the IELTS Speaking exam, it is not advisable to repeat the question asked by the examiner.
  2. Don't Speak with a Flat Intonation: To maintain the listener's interest and attention, you need to vary your pitch, volume, speed, and intonation. Flat intonation will not help you to look natural. Be fluent and speak naturally.
  3. Don't Use Advanced Vocabulary: Yes, if you are not comfortable using advanced vocabulary, then stop there, and don't complicate it for yourself. Surely, advanced vocabulary helps to impress the examiner but if you are not confident, then avoid using advanced vocabulary. It will be visible that you are trying too hard and will adversely affect your Speaking score. This is one reason why it is important for better IELTS exam preparation sessions.
  4. Speak According to Requirements: In the IELTS Speaking Task 1, Introduction round, speak only for the required question. E.g.: Where Do you live? I live in London based in the UK. No need to add I live on the fourth floor or near the school or don't stretch the answer with unwanted details. Keep it short and simple. It is just an introduction round. While in the Cue Card round, you need to speak for two minutes on the given topic or till the time the examiner tells you to stop.


We have discussed the most common IELTS errors and we would really want you to try it once. Then only you will get a hang of what to avoid and what not. Now, don't forget to include all these strategies in your IELTS Exam Preparation to achieve the desired score. Also, make sure that you follow each strategy when you go for the exam.

IELTS Tutorials by Aussizz Group also offers 20+ FREE Mock Test with an easy sign up. Take the tests and try to improve your skills with every practice test. Also, you can get detailed IELTS exam preparation tips, guidance, and practice sessions with IELTS Online Coaching.

Get in touch with us if there are any doubts. We are here to help you!