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Common Mistakes in IELTS Writing

According to the assessment criteria for IELTS writing task 1 and writing task 2, we know that your score will be evaluated based on the coherence and cohesion, vocabulary range and grammar of your writing. Let’s take a look at the common mistakes in IELTS writing in terms of these criteria. Then dedicate yourself to IELTS studying to improve your speaking score!

Coherence and Cohesion Mistakes

Unclear thesis and unrelated ideas

In IELTS writing task 2, you need to show your own opinion with a clear thesis statement in the beginning and support that opinion with related topic sentences in each paragraph. Some students will give neutral opinions and unrelated points. That will greatly affect the writing score because it lacks coherence and logic.  Check out our How to Organize Ideas in IELTS Writing Task 2 to find out how to avoid this problem.

Wrong use of transition words

Transition words are used to connect your ideas in a logical way. Wrong use of transition words can influence the logic of your ideas. Check out the transition words and get familiar with their function!
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Grammar Mistakes

The most common mistakes in IELTS writing are the grammar mistakes. Here are some kinds of grammar mistakes you may have in your own writing.

Wrong verb forms

Some students will forget to change the verb into plural forms, past tense or past participle forms even if they know the correct tense in their mind. Here is an example sentence with wrong verb forms: This chart point out that teenagers use Internet more frequently than other groups of people in UK. Point should be changed to points.

Tense inconsistency

Tense inconsistency is not only a common mistake in IELTS speaking but also a frequent mistake in IELTS writing. It will also affect the coherence of your writing if you confuse in the tenses. Here is an example of tense inconsistent sentence: When I was a child, I like to play football with my friends. When I was a child indicates that the following action happened in the past. Therefore, like should be in the past tense form.

Run-on sentences

A run-on sentences refers to joining two independent clauses with wrong punctuations and coordinating conjunctions. Here is an example of run-on sentences: We went to the park we bought some drinks. We went to the park and we bought some drinks are two independent clauses. You can join them by the coordinating conjunction and or separate them by a period (.).

Vocabulary Mistakes

Limited lexical resource

Limited lexical resource can also lower your score because it means you don’t have enough vocabulary knowledge. One way to avoid this problem is to use different words when referring to the same meaning.  Here is an example sentence of limited lexical resource: I like traveling because I like unexpected things and I like meeting other people.  This sentence can be improved as: I love traveling because I like meeting people and experiencing unexpected things.


Redundancy refers to repetition of meaning. Here is an example: Computer plays a crucial and important role in current society. Crucial and important shares the same meaning that something has great significance. Therefore, one of them can be omitted without changing the meaning of the original sentence.

Wrong spelling

Misspelled words are also a common mistake in IELTS writing. Check out the 100 most misspelled words!


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