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!
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.
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!