Many students often make mistakes in writing some words incorrectly as they are ambiguous about their spellings. Committing spelling errors can cost you in the IELTS exam as it increases the number of errors in your writing tasks.
Some students struggle a lot with spelling errors and just can’t get rid of them. Some of the mistakes include, for example, missing the alphabet ‘a’, ‘e’, ‘i’ in the words or writing a single letter in the words where double letters are to be written and vice versa.
Let us find out the most common spelling mistakes in the IELTS exam that students generally make so that you can learn from those mistakes and avoid committing them completely:
Most Common Spelling Mistakes in the IELTS Exam
Despite the fact that there are no specific spelling or vocabulary tests in IELTS, spelling is still assessed. You must not only use the correct words (e.g. adjectives, nouns, and verbs) but also the correct spelling of these words in the Listening, Reading, and Writing tests.
Indeed, words with spelling errors will be marked as incorrect in the Listening and Reading tests, while spelling errors in the Writing test may make it difficult for the examiner to understand and follow your message.
In today’s article, we’ve compiled a list of some of the most common spelling errors that IELTS candidates encounter:
- Single/ Double Letters
Sometimes, you may be getting confused in some words as to whether you should put a single letter or double letters in those words.
Embarasment – Incorrect
Embarrassment – Correct
- Silent Letters
In English, one or the other letter may be silent in a particular word when you say it but in writing, you cannot ignore that letter.
Handkerchief – Correct
- Position of ‘i’ and ‘e’
There are many terms you may come across on a daily basis that include putting the letters ‘i’ and ‘e’ together. In some words, you use ‘i’ followed by ‘e’ while in others, it is just the reverse.
Recieve – Incorrect
Receive – Correct
- Confusion with ‘or’ and ‘er’
You find some words that end with ‘or’ e.g. doctor, while you use ‘er’ in some words e.g. gather. You are likely to get confused in this case and hence, you need to be careful about these words.
Travellor – Incorrect
Traveller – Correct
- Writing How you Speak
Being a non-native speaker, you often borrow some terms from your local language or speak some words incorrectly with your local accent and thus try to write English words in the same way.
Modren – Incorrect
Modern – Correct
- Words that Sound Similar
Many words in the English language sound very similar to each other but are drastically different in meaning. So, you are likely to make mistakes while writing such words.
Accept – Kindly accept my apology.
Except – I work every day except Sunday.
Their/ There/ They’re
Their friends are really good people.
There are many friends of mine.
They’re my friends and I love them.
How to Avoid Most Common Spelling Mistakes in IELTS?
Surely, there are ways to avoid spelling mistakes and if you work on them, you can definitely write them correctly.
Develop Reading Habit
People who write free from spelling errors read and write a lot. So, you can also make the habit of reading articles in magazines, newspapers or on websites.
Practice writing those terms where you usually make mistakes again and again as this will help you to learn them well. Once you absorb the right spelling of a particular word, you would never make a mistake in writing its spelling incorrectly.
Play spelling games online that would help you remember the words in a fun learning environment.
Remember the Correct Spelling
One basic tip is that once you make any spelling error, remember the correct spelling of that word confidently and then try your best to avoid making the same mistake again and again.
Some Spelling Rules
Rule Number 1
Except after C and only if it rhymes with BEE, I come before E.
Words like [receive, ceiling, science, ancient] can be spelt using this rule.
In words like [believe, friend, parties, alien], the correct order is I before e.
The correct order after the letter C is [receive, ceiling, deceive, receipt] except after c – e before i. After the letter C, all of these sounds rhyme with BEE (ceev/cell).
U comes after Q.
Remember that the letter Q is always followed by the letter U. Consider the words [earthquake, queen, quarter, quality, equal, and quiet].
Rule Number 2
Naughty 40 has been demoted.
The number four is a number that we all know how to spell. Remember that when we spell 40, we drop the U. Because the words ‘naughty’ and ‘forty’ rhyme, this rule is simple to remember.
The floss principle
If the word ends in L, F, or S in a one-syllable word, you must double it. Consider the following words: [toss, fluff, loss, floss, call, stiff, fall].
When writing ing, leave out the E.
A suffix is added to the end of a word to create a new word class (ing). Remove the E from your word. Consider [love/loving | come/coming | sneeze/sneezing] as examples.
Rule Number 3
Drop a L if ALL is a prefix.
Prefixes are prefixes that appear before words to transform them into other words. Drop one of the Ls if you use ALL. Consider the terms [always | almost | also | entirely].
Drop a L if FULL/TILL is a suffix.
Drop the L and only use one when FULL appears at the end of a word. Consider the terms [cheerful | till/until | useful | lovely | hopeful].
To words that end in ch, sh, s, ss, x, or z, add ‘es’.
Follow this rule when making one of these words plural (by adding a s or and es). Consider [wish/wishes | box/boxes | fox/foxes | church/churches | glass/glasses] as examples.
Tips for IELTS Writing Section
Make sure you respond to the question directly and completely. For example, for Academic Task 1, this would entail highlighting the most important data and patterns.
Make sure you’re structuring your response in a logical and orderly manner, with as many connectors as possible. For example, in a paragraph, avoid having one sentence that is excessively long in comparison to the others.
Keep an eye on your vocabulary, spelling, and level of difficulty. Attempt to vary the level of difficulty in accordance with your target grade. Consider using phrases like “Moreover” or “Regarding this issue…” to connect sentences and introduce paragraphs.
Make sure your grammar is as complex and correct as possible. Avoid “experimenting” with new structures in the exam and instead consider using different options, such as perfect tenses/passive.
Try to get a lot of practice in so you can see where you stand and how you’ll respond to different types of questions. Sufficient practice can also aid in the identification of errors, which you can then work to eliminate.
It’s possible that double-checking your answers is crucial to passing the IELTS exam. Try to leave time in your answer to double-check at the end. If you don’t take the time to double-check, you risk making a slew of easily avoidable mistakes that will lower your grade.
It is critical that your handwriting be as legible as possible for the examiner to read and understand your answers correctly. If you make a mistake, erase it with a pencil or cross it out with a pen and write above or next to it. If you try to overwrite a letter/word with a pen, the examiner may become confused.
Spend 1-2 minutes at the start of each task writing down keywords from the question (including charts, graphs, and so on) that you can try to replace with synonyms. For example, rather than repeating the word “good,” you could substitute “fine” or “up to the mark”
Make a list of the mistakes you’ve made in writing, and then keep track of how many times you’ve made the same mistakes over time. You can then try to focus on the most important issues – for example, grammar articles are a common challenge for students.
Examine sample answers to see how IELTS experts approach the exam. Keep in mind that each tutor will have unique abilities. As a result, don’t expect a single teacher to have “all the answers.” Use caution when using a “template,” as this is prohibited by the IELTS exam rules.
Write correct spelling of the following words which are incorrectly written:
Points at a Glance to Reduce Spelling Mistakes
Spelling, as a crucial factor in writing, has a significant impact on your IELTS band score. Here are a few pointers on how to avoid spelling mistakes when writing in English.
Spellings that are frequently misspelt should be practised. The majority of them appear to be self-evident, but they require attention. Practice writing the words that you keep getting wrong. You will never spell a word incorrectly once you have learned how to spell it correctly.
Learn the vocabulary and rules of the English language. The numerous exceptions are one of the most difficult aspects of English. When practising spellings, keep in mind the basic rules for vowels and letter usage.
Typos are considered errors. You must proofread your work to ensure that there are no typos.
If you have poor spelling skills, you must take spelling tests. These may appear to be from your childhood, but they are extremely useful.
Every day, read English. Newspapers, books, journals, online resources, articles, and websites can all be sources of information. The more you read, the more familiar you will be with the spelling.
Some More Points
Sayit aloud. This is a fantastic way to avoid spelling errors. You can easily spot the mistake if you read the words as you would pronounce them. Make use of spell-checking software. These will assist you in identifying spelling errors as you practise writing tasks.
Make a vocabulary list that is related to the IELTS topics. There will be some words that are frequently used in tests. It will be easier for you to learn the spelling if you practise the topic-related vocabulary.
Complete the above-mentioned exercise on your own and then check the answers. See how well you can perform. You can always practice more to make yourself ready to achieve your desired band score. All the best!