IELTS Pitfalls

Before using any study material or answering any questions, you should know the common IELTS pitfalls that may lower your band score. Most of them can be avoided if you read this blog and keep them in mind when you are practicing or taking the test. Let’s take a look at the frequent mistakes to get higher scores!

IELTS pitfalls-magoosh

Lack of preparation

Some candidates have good English communicating skill in social situations, so they believe that they can get high scores on the IELTS even if they don’t prepare a lot. However, taking a test is different from using the language in your daily life because the IELTS tests your overall English ability in social and academic settings. You should do adequate preparation to get familiar with the test format and content.

Memorizing answers

It is a bad idea to memorize answers for the speaking and writing test. There is only a little possibility to meet questions which you have prepared. Even if you are lucky enough to receive a similar question to what you have memorized, the examiners can easily spot it by asking you more questions.

Not following instructions

If you don’t follow instructions, you will definitely lose important marks. Though it seems easy to follow instructions, some candidates are likely to ignore them. Read instructions carefully before answering questions and keep them in mind. Pay attention to word limits for form/table/sentence completion questions.

Running out of time

You need to allocate your time wisely during the test. You will run out of time if you don’t pay attention to the timing. Some questions take more time to answer, so you have to leave more time for them. In reading test, questions on the last passage usually take more time to think than the others. Therefore, if you don’t know the answer to a question, just move on to the next and come back to it later. In writing test, you should finish the first task in 20 minutes. Otherwise, there won’t be enough time for you to complete the second task.

Saying/writing too much or too little

I suppose that you know you will receive lower scores if you say/write too little. You should also know that longer answers don’t mean higher scores. Instead of making answers longer, you should improve your answers on the content, structure, vocabulary and grammar. Also, you should always stick to the topic. Never go off-topic.

Grammar and spelling mistakes

Many candidates lose valuable marks on simple grammar and spelling mistakes. You can avoid these mistakes by checking answers. Check your spelling carefully. Check singular, plural and past forms before the test ends.

Check out out posts on common IELTS writing mistakes, IELT speaking mistakes and IELTS listening mistakes to learn detailed IELTS pitfalls in these sections. You can get higher scores once you know these pitfalls and keep them in mind!

 

By the way, improve your IELTS score with Magoosh!

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  • Kuangyan

    Kuangyan creates IELTS blogs at Magoosh. She is passionate about language education and has a MA in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages from New York University. Kuangyan has experience of teaching English both in China and in US. In her free time, she drinks mocha, does yoga, takes photos and travels to different places to explore the exciting world.