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What Are the Common IELTS Mistakes to Avoid While Preparing?

This blog is valuable for IELTS aspirants aiming to score well. Here, they will find the most common IELTS mistakes to avoid, along with the ways to overcome them effectively.

The IELTS test is a must for students planning to study abroad to prove their ability to survive in an English-speaking country. However, it is known for its daunting nature and giving sleepless nights to the aspirants. Therefore, to ace this test, students look for tips, but before getting along with them, you must be aware of the common IELTS mistakes to avoid. Thus, in this blog, we will list the mistakes which make this scary. So, to begin with, let’s first briefly overview the exam. 

What is IELTS and Why is it Crucial?

IELTS is the most effective way to judge a candidate according to their English proficiency. IELTS stands for International English Language Testing System, designed to evaluate the English language proficiency of the aspirant planning to study in English-speaking countries like the UK, USA, Canada, Italy and more. There are four section in the test that combines to form a single IELTS exam:

  • Listening: 30 minutes- 4 Tasks
  • Reading: 60 minutes- 3 Tasks
  • Writing: 60 minutes- 2 Tasks
  • Speaking: 11-14 minutes- 3 Tasks

Without passing this test, you cannot fulfil the admission criteria of the English-speaking countries. However, there are several common IELTS mistakes to avoid and reduce the struggle to score well. Thus, in this blog, you will get along with the mistakes to avert. So, begin with the first section, that is the writing. 

Common IELTS Mistakes to Avoid: Writing Section

The writing section is designed to test an aspirant's writing skills; for that, they must complete two tasks effectively. These tasks are:

  • Task 1: Summarise a graph, table or diagram. 
  • Task 2: Write an essay in response to a perspective. 

Moreover, to ace these parts, you must perceive the mistakes that might make you lose scores.

Mistake 1: Not Writing Adequate Words

Writing more than the required words or giving short answers are wrong approaches.

How to Overcome:
Consider the word limit in the test and try to complete your justification or the answer within that limit only. 

Mistake 2: Spelling Errors & Poor Vocabulary

Spelling mistakes in IELTS writing can make you lose scores and impression on the reader. Using complex words with incorrect spellings can change the meaning you want to deliver. 

How to Overcome:
Use simple words in your content to ensure correct spellings and do not use those words whose spellings you are unsure about. Thus, the answer to your query, how many spelling mistakes are allowed in IELTS writing, is zero, as there is no room for misspelt words.

Mistake 3: Leaving Blank Answers

Students leave the answers as they do not know the correct one.

How to Overcome:
Fill all the blank spaces, even when you are unsure about them. It is so because there is no negative marking. Sometimes, your random fluke can be correct and fetch you marks.

Besides this, there are several do’s and don’ts of IELTS listening listed below to ease your work even more:



Use precise language

Use contractions

Use numerous relatable examples

Repeat words, thoughts or sentences.

Write around 150-250 words at least

Forget to look for grammatical errors

These are the common mistakes that can prevent you from scoring well. But with this blog, you now know how to overcome them. Move ahead with other sections of the IELTS test to explore its mistakes.

Common IELTS Mistakes to Avoid: Speaking Section

The speaking section is designed to test an aspirant on their communication skills; they have to complete three tasks effectively. These tasks are:

  • Task 1: Introduction and questions on familiar topics
  • Task 2: Individual long turn
  • Task 3: Two-way discussion

However, to ace these parts of the speaking section, you must perceive the mistakes, which can help you score well.

Mistake 1: Overusing Filler Words

Fillers are the extra words that can be omitted to improve the quality of the speech. These include; like, know, um, alright.

How to Overcome:
Listen to yourself while speaking from a recording and identify the pattern of fillers you are using to resolve the issue and reduce them while practicing.

Mistake 2: Inappropriate Fluency

Using complex words or flowery vocabulary can be an issue when not handled confidently. 

How to Overcome:
Include simple yet effective vocabulary to ensure no blunder. Hence, keep accuracy and clarity a priority.

Mistake 3: Memorising Answers

Many aspirants have the habit of learning the solutions and presenting them as it makes them more complex. 

How to Overcome:
Practice and discover various speaking topics to ensure you do not memorise them and get stuck in the middle of the exam. Besides this, there are several do’s and don’ts of IELTS speaking listed below to ease your work even more:



Answer in a natural tone or accent

Repeat the question

Expand your answers

Showoff complicated words

Display range of vocabulary

Mispronounce any word

These common mistakes in IELTS speaking can make you lose your grades. Moving on to the other section of the IELTS. 

Are you unable to overcome IELTS mistakes? will help you to find and overcome all the common mistakes in IELTS. Get Assistance Now!

Common IELTS Mistakes to Avoid: Reading Section

Reading is the next section of the IELTS test, where the test-takers must showcase their capacity to comprehend of the information. To judge this, this section contains three tasks:

  • Task 1: Two- three short factual texts
  • Task 2: Two short factual work-related issues
  • Task 3: Longer, complex text on a general topic.

Moreover, to ace these parts of the reading section, you must know the mistakes to avoid.

Mistake 1: Understanding Each Word

Understanding every word is impossible when you are new to some language. Thus, this is a common IELTS mistake to avoid.

How to Overcome:
Perceive the essence or the gist of the text rather than understanding all the words. 

Mistake 2: Time Mismanagement

Sticking to a particular thing to complete it can waste a lot of your time. 

How to Overcome:
Plan your time from the preparation phase only to know how to manage it on the test day.

Mistake 3: Fail to Find Keywords

There are focus words in every reading paragraph but being unable to find them can create struggle. 

How to Overcome:
Look for the key phrases or words first when you are skimming the content. These will help you understand the content more effectively.

Besides this, there are several do’s and don’ts of IELTS reading listed below to ease your work even more:



Note the no. of words to answer

Forget to recheck the answers

Answer all the questions even in fluke

Stick to a single paragraph for longer

Read instructions carefully

Skip the details of the question

These are some common mistakes in reading sections that can make you lose grades. Moving on to the other section of the IELTS. 

Common IELTS Mistakes to Avoid: Listening Section

Last but not least is the listening section of the IELTS test, where the test-takers have to showcase their verbal communication skills in a face-to-face interview setup. This section contains four tasks:

  • Task 1: Conversation between two people about a social context.
  • Task 2: Monologues set in an everyday social context.
  • Task 3: Conversation between up to four people set in an educational context.
  • Task 4: A talk 

If you want to ace this section, you must know common mistakes in IELTS listening to avoid them beforehand.

Mistake 1: Listening to Audio Without Any Purpose

Listening to the audio without having any purpose will waste your time and chance to grab the answer. 

How to Overcome:
Read the questions beforehand to have a direction while listening to the audio. 

Mistake 2: Spelling and Grammatical Mistakes

The most common spelling mistakes in IELTS listening can make you score less. 

How to Overcome:
Look for the spellings of names, cities or places and grammar before submitting the test. 

Mistake 3: Listening and Writing Parallelly

One mistake is to simultaneously listen to audio and write the answers.

How to Overcome:
In the first attempt to listen, you should find the answers and then write, and in the second attempt, revise the written solutions. 

Besides this, there are several do’s and don’ts of IELTS listening listed below to ease your work even more:



Get along with different accents

Try to perceive each word

Aim to answer every question

Stuck to a single question

Revise the answers before submitting

Forget to leave time to transfer the answers

Now that we have equipped you with the common IELTS mistakes to avoid, along with the tips to overcome them, you must get down to work. In this blog, you have explored the mistakes you might commit in different test sections and lost your score for that. But this will not happen anymore as we have provided you with ways to rectify those mistakes to ease your work. So, avoid these mistakes and prepare for your test effectively to get an eight-band score. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Question 1

How Can I Minimize My Grammar Mistakes in the IELTS Writing?

To reduce grammatical errors, you must perceive the basics of the language. Know the sentence structures, tense rules, nouns, pronouns and more.

Question 2

Is Memorizing Answers for IELTS Listening a Good Strategy?

Not at all! You should never learn answers as the questions may vary, and you will be caught for doing this by the examiners. Therefore, it is better to know the question and develop your answer. 

Question 3

How Many Mistakes Are Allowed in the IELTS Reading Section?

However, there is no room for mistakes in IELTS, but if you aim to score a seven on the test, you must give 75% correct answers. Thus, you can only make 2-3 mistakes in the test. 

Question 4

Is One-Line Answer Good to Avoid Grammatical Mistakes in IELTS Speaking?

No! One-line answers will not justify the point you are making. Thus, you must prepare in such a way to speak fluently and present at least 2-3 lines and justify the point you are raising.

Question 5

For How Long Are the IELTS Scores Valid?

IELTS scores are valid for up to 24 months or 2 years. It is calculated at the time of result and lasts up to 2 years. 

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