Common Mistakes Made By IELTS Test-Takers

Common Mistakes Made By IELTS Test-Takers

Common mistakes made by IELTS test takers (that kill your score for sure)

Like with any other test, there are mistakes that occur on a regular basis throughout thousands of students and they definitely kill your score.

First of all, it is normal for human beings to make mistakes, especially in stressful situations like taking an exam. However, being aware of mistakes that can cost you your dream university admits or immigration status, is one precaution you should take.

One of the most common mistakes is, hands down, spelling errors and poor vocabulary in the writing tasks. The easiest way to avoid this is to reread your paragraphs before moving on. Make sure you do not just skim over the words and sentences. English is known for having many words that are spelled similarly but mean different things. If you are not entirely sure how to spell a word, go for the synonym. It is not worth losing marks over a silly mistake like that. That's why it is so important to have a good vocabulary. Sometimes we just blackout and can't think of the word or the spelling, so we should have a backup.

Another problem that many IELTS test takers face is the time management. All four modules (listening, reading, writing and speaking) consist of several parts. The time for these tasks is limited and therefore you have to know which question types etc. take you longer than others. You have to know yourself. This is only possible if you pay attention to your habits whenever you take a practice test. Time yourself while doing that. Do not betray yourself; it will only backfire in the end. Trust me. Every individual has a different way of solving the modules and takes more or less time in different parts. You have to figure this out on your own, and then you are one step closer to your dream score.

During the speaking portion of the IELTS, exam students tend to rush. This causes mispronunciation and mumbling. Obviously, the IELTS examiner will take marks away for not being clear and pronouncing words fully. For instance, if you say 'defly' instead of 'definitely' it will be marked as wrong.  You have to remind yourself to stay calm. The best way to avoid these things is to talk, talk and talk. If you are able to practice with a native speaker, go for it. This will help for sure and boost your confidence.

When we have a batch of new students we always instruct them to take one full test once, so we can clearly see where they are struggling. (Check out Believe me when I say that 10/10 students leave blanks while answering questions.  Never EVER leave blanks in the test. There are no negative marks. Either something is correct or it isn't. But why give them a chance to take away marks, when you didn't even try to guess the answers. If you have no idea about the answer just write SOMETHING. Something is ALWAYS better than nothing, remember that. Who knows, you may get lucky and they consider your answer as correct.

The next mistake has something to do with writing and vocabulary again. While describing a chart etc or writing your essay, make sure to use transition words. These give your essay structure and make it smooth. It helps the readers and listeners to understand your idea and make the connection between your sentences. It is crucial to receive a higher score.

Many students are the most worried about the speaking part. It definitely won't be a piece of cake, especially if you are in general shy and don't like to talk to other people and that in a different language. Having said this, you can still master the speaking part if you keep a few things in mind and avoid mistakes many test-takers make.

Do not, and I repeat do not try and force yourself to speak in a different accent. This won't just be awkward for you but also for the examiner. Just talk loud, clear and fluently, enough.

If you do not understand a word and you feel like it's vital to know the meaning of it to answer the examiner's question, you can ask the examiner in a polite way. However, do not make this a habit and ask for the meaning of words in every question. This will result in the examiner thinking you have poor knowledge of the English vocabulary.

Answer questions in the form of full sentences. Do not just nod your head or say short answers like 'yes' and 'no'. It is a speaking test, so you are required to speak at length. Obviously, when the examiner interrupts you and asks you another question you should continue answering that one. Do not talk over the examiner or interrupt his/her speech. This should be a known fact and usual behavior, but you may be surprised how many test-takers do not follow these guidelines.

If you take these things to your heart and consider everything that has been said, you are already halfway there. The rest is completely up to you and your preparation.

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