Top 10 Mistakes To Avoid While Taking IELTS

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Listening & Reading

  1. Students do not carefully read the “Question Response” asked. As out of 40 questions, there will be Objective and Subjective questions. Therefore, not following the response, answers entered onto the main answer sheet goes incorrect.
  2. Reading has 3 passages adding to 40 questions and IELTS provides 20 minutes for each passage. Students fall back on “Time Management” and barely complete the 3rd This is primarily due to the fact that students are answering in the question paper. It is advised to simply Tick mark the answers done and make the actual response onto the main answer sheet as you are not provided any extra time.
  3. Students should not use any abbreviations to describe – Days, Months and Streets. For eg – Monday should not be written as – Mon. Likewise, the month February should not be written as – Feb and Street should not be written as – St. Your answers will be marked incorrect.
  4. Many students responses in the main answer sheet are impossible for the Examiners to comprehend. Sometimes alphabets such as R seems to look like an S, T seems to look like an F and so on. Therefore, it is advised that student’s transfer all their word answers to the main answer sheet in – Capital Letters to avoid markdowns.
  5. In the Reading and Listening test, there will be a lot of Objective questions. Many students simply do not attempt them because they either have not found the answer or they did not have enough time. If any of these situations arise, students must guess the answer as there is a 20 percent possibility of getting the correct answer. Also, there is no negative marking for guessing.
  6. Students should never use a pen to Transfer their answers to the answer sheet as well as for attempting Task 1 and 2. You will be marked down in Task 1 and 2 areas if your work is untidy.

Writing Task 1 Academic – (Graphs/Pie Charts and Tables) General – (Letter Writing) & Task 2 (High School Formal Essays)

7. Students do not focus on the entire question of the essay. The essay question is called the “Background Statement” which can be in a single sentence and up to a maximum, four-sentence statement. Students do not address all parts of the question and therefore loose marks on the marking area – Task Response

8. Students also do not read the last part of the essay question which requires them to give their response based on (a Solution/ an Opinion/an Argument). If this is not seen and followed, the entire essay format and the meaning changes with a huge markdown. For eg – Essays which ask – (Agree or Disagree/ Argument) require you to give your view of the topic in the Introduction or also known as the 1st Body Paragraph. Essays which ask – (Discuss both sides and give your opinion/ Solution) require you to answer all parts of the statements in individual paragraphs and then finally give your choice of opinion or solution in the last body paragraph which comes before the Conclusion. Students write most of their words using Contractions – (aren’t/ couldn’t/ shouldn’t). There is no harm doing so,

9. Students write most of their words using Contractions – (aren’t/ couldn’t/ shouldn’t). There is no harm doing so, however, you should remember that there is a word limit for Task 1 = 150 and for Task -2 = 250. Thereby, using contractions makes it tougher for students to meet their word target and there is a huge markdown if the word limit is under length.


10. Many students loose marks from the very start of the speaking test. Simple questions such as – Please tell me your full name. Here, many students respond by giving their family name first and then their first name. Students must understand that the Speaking examiners have their personal information in front and will expect their name to be stated in the same manner. A markdown will be given – the Candidate did not answer his/ her name in the appropriate English manner. Even with a simple question such as – Where do you come from? Students give a wrong answer by saying the State than rather where exactly he/she stays in the state. A Further question – Do you work or do you study? Students loose points as they state that the subject they are studying is theirs and use abbreviations as in – Yes! I’m still pursuing my B.Tech in the 3rd yr/ final yr of ECE. A perfect response should be – Yes! I’m still a student. I’m at present pursuing my 3rd yr / final yr in B.Tech and my specialization in Electronics and Communication. 

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