Common Mistakes You Must Avoid While Preparing for the IELTS Exam


Mrunmayai Bobade
Updated on May 18, 2023 01:07 PM IST

This article is aimed exclusively at those applicants who wish to discover the most common mistakes in the IELTS exam and intend to avoid them. Do not forget to take these into consideration and avoid them for improved IELTS results.

Common Mistakes You Must Avoid While Preparing for the IELTS Exam

Mistakes are frequent, especially during exams. Even the best-prepared people make blunders from time to time. However, when it comes to your IELTS (International English Language Testing System) exam, your points are important. If you have a bad grade, you may forfeit your chance to study at your desired institution abroad.

It does not help that studying for the IELTS may be both stressful and challenging. Students are assessed in the areas of listening, reading, writing, and speaking. The test is likewise time-consuming, with reading and writing modules in the morning and a speaking component in the afternoon. It can be difficult to cope with, especially with so much riding on the IELTS scores.

In this article, we will discuss section-wise common mistakes to avoid in the IELTS exam as well as some interesting tips and video to help you know how to avoid them on test day.

With increased competition, it is always better to seek expert guidance on how to get the highest score possible in IELTS. Register with us and connect with highly experienced study abroad counsellors who can help you ace the IELTS exam.

Get Expert Guidance on Achieving Your Desired IELTS Band Score! 

Do’s and Don'ts of the IELTS Exam

By avoiding typical IELTS blunders, you can enhance your confidence and perform higher on the test day. To help you prepare, below are the most typical IELTS mistakes that test-takers make which knock them down to lose significant points.

Mistakes to Avoid in IELTS Writing Section

Following are some common mistakes you must avoid while preparing for the IELTS Writing section:

1. Write Only Necessary Words: Aspirants frequently write more words than are specified in the guidelines. This is one of the IELTS Exam Common Errors while Writing an Answer, and it might impact your score.

2. Write in First Person When Needed: If you are taking IELTS Academic writing work 1, it is strongly advised that you give specifics of the material displayed in the graph, table, or chart without making any personal comments. In IELTS Writing Task 2, you can write in the first person depending on the question type. For example, if the question asks for your viewpoint, you can write in the first person.

3. Time Management: You will need more time for IELTS Writing Task 2, so do not waste too much time on it. You must practise writing responses for task 1 in 20 minutes. You will be able to practise this during your IELTS exam preparation.

4. Do Not Switch the Topic: You must solely write on a topic that is assigned in the test. In the IELTS exam, there is no score for a bad topic, regardless of how well you communicate your ideas, thoughts, and effort.

Mistakes to Avoid in IELTS Listening Section

Following are some common mistakes you must avoid while preparing for the IELTS listening section:

1. Take Notice of the Given Instructions: If the instruction says, "respond in no more than two words," you must write either one or two words. If you write your response in three or more words, you will not be graded.

2. Do not Leave Any Questions Unanswered: You should be aware that you will not be penalised for incorrect replies. Even if you do not know the answer, make an educated guess and respond to the question.

3. Avoid Spelling and Grammatical Errors: Any response that is misspelt or grammatically incorrect will be marked incorrect. So, first, thoroughly listen to the audio and then respond.

4. Do not Write on the Answer Sheet While Listening: As you can only listen to the recording once, you must focus on it without distraction. For a paper-based test, you will have 10 minutes to transfer your replies to the answer sheet, and for a computer-based test, you will have two minutes.

Related Articles:

How to Crack IELTS in First Attempt?

How to Get 8-Bands in IELTS?

IELTS Academic vs IELTS General

IELTS Computer-based vs Paper-based Test: Which is Better?

Common Spelling Mistakes in IELTS

How Much Time is Required to Prepare for IELTS?

Mistakes to Avoid in IELTS Speaking Section

Following are some common mistakes you must avoid while preparing for the IELTS speaking section:

1. Do not 'Parrot' the Question: It is not recommended to repeat the examiner's question in the IELTS Speaking exam.

2. Flat Intonation Is Bad: You must alter your pitch, loudness, pace, and intonation to keep the listener's interest and attention. Flat intonation will not make you appear natural. Be fluid and natural in your communication.

3. Do not Use Extensive Vocabulary: If you are not comfortable utilising sophisticated jargon, stop there and do not make things more difficult for yourself. While complex language or extensive idioms for IELTS might help you impress the examiner, if you are not confident, avoid utilising it. It will be obvious that you are trying too hard, which will harm your speaking score. This is one of the reasons why superior IELTS exam preparation sessions are essential.

4. Requirements-Based Communication: Speak solely is required for the IELTS Speaking part 1 questions and answers. Keep it brief and to the point. It is only an introductory round. During the Cue Card round, you must talk for two minutes on the provided topic or until the examiner instructs you to stop.

Mistakes to Avoid in IELTS Reading Section

Following are some common mistakes you must avoid while preparing for the IELTS reading section:

1. Conserve Word Formatting: In the IELTS exam, it is strictly forbidden to write in all capital letters (e.g., ANSWER) or all tiny letters (e.g., answer). Because capital letters are more visible, many candidates choose to use them. This concept also applies to the IELTS listening section.

2. Do not Read the Entire Passage: Use the Scan and Skim approach. Find pertinent keywords and connections, and scan the text to gain a sense of the subject. You can cut out extraneous words and information from the paragraph. Underline or circle the key terms so you can refer back to them when you read the piece again.

3. Keep an Eye on the Order of the Questions: The questions are often presented in the same sequence as the text. If you receive the second and fourth answers, you must locate your third response anywhere between those two answers. However, there is one exception in the paragraph-matching exercises. After a few IELTS practice papers, you will get used to looking for questions in the correct order.

4. Do Not Get Trapped By Complex Vocabulary: If you cannot find the definition of a term, it is best to move on because it will take a long time. It is fine if you do not comprehend a few words in a section.

Interested to know about the most common mistakes to avoid while preparing for IELTS within a fraction of a minute? Check out the following video:

How to Avoid Mistakes in the IELTS Exam?

Studying for examinations might be difficult, but it becomes simpler if you prepare with typical missteps in mind. If you are nervous about your next test, it is possible that you are only focused on the mistakes on the list of common mistakes. 

You should be aware of such typical IELTS mistakes so that you can avoid them on the test day, but do not let them overwhelm you. Here are some tips and tricks to avoid common mistakes while preparing for the IELTS exam.

1. More Emphasis on Testing and Less on Language Aptness

Learners frequently focus their anxiety on the IELTS test rather than their language skills. Keep in mind that you are being evaluated on your ability to communicate in English. As a result, you must concentrate on improving your language skills and Grammar Rules for IELTS.

The test is unpredictably difficult and therefore must be capable of handling the large range of topics it will ask you to investigate. Being able to demonstrate a flexible use of more complicated sentence structures, as well as having an extensive vocabulary for IELTS, is essential. As a result, continuous learning is critical in your test preparation.

2. Isolating Yourself from English

Building your fluency and coherence, expanding your lexical resource or vocabulary, improving your grammatical range, and correcting your pronunciation are all examples of English development, as are IELTS strategies like time management, question analysis, identifying keywords and issues, and scanning skills.

Prepare for the test by exposing yourself to as many languages as possible. Reading online periodicals or blogs about topics that interest you in English can be a good place to start.

Every day, write some English in a diary, create a blog, or communicate with an online community. Make use of the ‘shadowing' method, this entails repeating in English what someone has just stated. This will help with intonation, stress, and pronunciation to maintain the tone and rhythm of English.

3. Never Practising Practise Tests

This is an important component of your initial preparation because it will assist you to determine your strengths and shortcomings. Not only should you focus on your deficiencies, but you should also work on your strengths to develop a strong foundation for the exam.

Traditionally, students focus solely on the IELTS exam, which is one of the biggest mistakes they make. The vast majority of them take IELTS practice exams, but they overlook the gravity of polishing their English speaking or writing skills. Make sure you learn something every day, do not rush while solving practice papers, cross-check your IELTS Question Papers after solving, rectify mistakes, and try not to repeat those while solving the next practice paper.

4. Uncertainty About Learning Style

Remember that everyone is unique, thus your learning style and pace will be as well. Remember that self-learning is achievable if you are dedicated and find someone who can provide you with feedback.

Locate an organisation that can advise you and provide feedback if you are unwilling to commit or cannot find a suitable spouse. Enrolling in one of the training centres that specialise in making students exam-ready for IELTS is one of the simplest ways to approach your IELTS exam preparation.

5. Inadequate Far-flung planning of Time

Make sure you have enough time to prepare before the test to avoid placing yourself under unnecessary stress. Plan ahead of time and schedule a test date that allows you to work for your desired score.

Do not forget to bring in outside influences like your job and social life. You will not be productive if you study 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Schedule regular breaks in between your preparations to allow the knowledge to sink in and do not forget to provide necessary rest to your brain by sleeping an adequate amount of time.

Related Reads:

IELTS Reading Practice Test

IELTS Essay Writing Samples

How to Prepare for IELTS Exam in One Month?

 IELTS Writing Task 1

IELTS Reading Tips

IELTS Task 1 – Line Charts and Graphs

A Word of Advice!

To avoid difficulty, it is necessary to be aware of the hazards. We have addressed the most typical IELTS blunders while studying for the IELTS exam, and we would like you to try them once. Only you will understand what to avoid and what not to avoid. Now, do not forget to use all of these tactics in your IELTS exam preparation to attain the required score. Also, make certain that you follow each approach before taking the exam.

Our Study Abroad Experts have trained a great number of students on a one-to-one basis to score excellent results, particularly in the IELTS exam. For more information, reach out to us at

Get the 'Perfect IELTS Score' With the Help of Our Experts! 


What are the most common mistakes in the IELTS exam?

The following are the most common mistakes in the IELTS exam made by test takers which you can avoid to ace the test:

  • Spelling errors and poor vocabulary

  • Improper time management

  • Mispronunciation of words

  • Leaving answers blank

  • Lack of transition words

  • Lack of focus, etc.

Does handwriting matter in the IELTS exam?

Yes, handwriting does matter in the IELTS exam. Briefly said, handwriting is a crucial component of the IELTS and other exams. Experts typically examine handwriting to determine a person's personality because it is thought that handwriting is a reflection of character.

Why do mistakes happen in the IELTS exam?

The most common reason behind the common mistakes happening in the IELTS exam is ‘time constrain’. An insufficient understanding of the test format may be one of the other factors. The majority of errors born out of ignorance are caused by insufficient knowledge.

  • Another common cause of errors is negligence.

  • appearing on a test without preparation, etc.

How many grammatical mistakes are allowed in IELTS Writing?

Rather than keeping a count of how many grammatical mistakes are allowed in the IELTS Writing section, one should stay focused on how to avoid the maximum possible mistakes. You would not receive a higher band for grammatical range and correctness than band 6 if more than 50% of your sentences contain any mistakes or errors. For a score of 7 or higher, you should aim to make at least 50% of your sentences entirely error-free.

How can one avoid grammatical mistakes in IELTS Writing?

One can only avoid grammatical mistakes in the IELTS Writing section through continuous practice. In other words, a few minor errors that do not change the meaning will not affect your overall IELTS score. Also, test takers must keep in mind that they do not lose any points due to incorrect answers.

You can share this post!

Admission Open 2024

Lancaster University

Lancaster, United Kingdom

University of Debrecen

Debrecen, Hungary

University of Stirling

Stirling, United Kingdom

Related Articles

Aug 18, 2023 04:28 PM IST

How to Apply for Masters in USA?

Aug 03, 2023 01:18 PM IST

Documents Required for TOEFL

Our Study Abroad Offerings

Popular Universities to StudyAbroad

Planning to study abroad?

Interested in Studying Overseas?

Connect with us and kickstart your learning journey for a rewarding experience!

By proceeding ahead you expressly agree to the CollegeDekhoAbroad Terms of Use & Privacy Policy.