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IELTS Test Preparation Tips

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Common Mistakes to Avoid When Taking The IELTS Test

ielts test mistakesThe IELTS Test is the most reputed test worldwide for estimating the proficiency of the candidate’s overall knowledge level in English. As the standard of the test is very high, small mistakes here and there sum up to a big difference in score. Thus dream gets shattered and opportunities go out of hand; on the contrary, being just a little cautious can make a big difference. Let’s make a comprehensive list of common IELTS test mistakes for the awareness of all test takers.everything

What you should avoid doing in the IELTS test:

  1. In the speaking test, just don’t nod your head for indicating yes or no. Answer in full sentences. If you asked, ‘Are you an Indian?’, don’t just say yes or no. Speak up say, ‘Yes, you are right sir, I am an Indian’, answer like this.
  2. Remember, in the speaking test, if the examiner asks you, ‘How is the conveyance in your locality?’, your answer should be like, ‘Though, I stay in the outskirt of the city, the conveyance is good enough in our locality, buses and autos are always available. Though during the monsoon, some areas get waterlogged and autos deny to ply, but its’ a rare problem; all in all, I must say that the conveyance is good.’ Now you may ask, ‘Why should I talk so much, instead of just saying, good or bad?’. Yes, you must speak, because the examiner wants you to speak and thus wants to measure the depth of your knowledge in English, your fluency, your range of vocabulary, your pronunciation and all that. So, speaking less is not good for you at all, though you won’t get any credit for useless chatting.
  3. Again, in the IELTS speaking test, if the examiner interrupts your speaking and asks a different question, do stop talking, and start answering the next question you have been asked. Otherwise, it would be counted as ‘showing disregard’ to the examiner. So, avoid continuing talk, when you have asked to talk.
  4. Do avoid to imitate any accentual bias. Say a student/candidate is going to go for the USA. Sometimes, it is observed that a nerd candidate trying to speak like the Americans. It sounds funny and embarrassing to the examiner, the candidate is bound to lose marks due to awkward accent. Remember, your pronunciation is important, it should be perfect but strongly avoid imitating any particular ‘Accent’. Also, avoid talking in mother tongue bias.
  5. If the examiner, asks you, ‘Where, you are coming from?’. Don’t just say, ‘Amritsar’. It might not be a satisfying answer for the examiner because he might be from ‘New Zealand’, he is not supposed to hear the name Amritsar, naturally, you are making him ask again, ‘Where is Amritsar?’. This is embarrassing for an examiner. Give a complete answer like, ‘I am coming from Amritsar at Punjab in India.
  6. So, you have perceived that you need to speak a lot in the speaking test. No, you won’t have to speak a lot, you will have to speak as much as required. You must avoid needless chatting because the more you speak the more prone you are to commit mistakes. Moreover, if you speak needlessly you might fumble and lose marks, that’s not desired at all.
  7. It’s a common misconception that, in the IELTS reading test you won’t have to read the whole text, its’ partly right and partly wrong. Yes, you don’t have to ‘scan’ the whole text, but you have to ‘skim’ through the whole text to understand where the answers are. You have to master the two arts, ‘Skimming’ (just have a quick and shallow reading) and ‘Scanning’, as the name suggest (reading thoroughly and keenly). Don’t avoid skimming, it might incur you reading more than once, thus wasting time. Also, you can’t avoid scanning, otherwise you have to read the text repeatedly to get the correct answers.
  8. Another point, don’t avoid a technique that you are habituated while preparing for the test. Avoid testing a new technique during the test, stick to what you have practiced a number of times, might be it is a not so good technique. Keep trying and testing the best suitable technique for you during practice, but during in the test, don’t try anything new. If you try a new method or technique, you might make a mess of it.
  9. IELTS reading test is the ‘Toughest’ of all the tests according to the candidates. So, plan everything well ahead of your test. Do avoid looking at the text for a long time, do avoid spending too much time on a single question or a group of questions.
  10. Do avoid practicing ‘Only the old question papers’. Because, if you keep doing that, instead of getting prepared for unknown questions, you might land in trouble in the test. Practice, sample question papers collected from different reliable websites.
  11. When it comes to writing tests, students often commits some common mistakes. Firstly, in the writing tests of both ‘Academic’ and ‘General Training’ test in the Task1 and task2 words limits are specified. In task1 you have to write a minimum of 150 words and in task2 you have to write a minimum of 250 words, falling short of the specified limit is penal offense. So, you must avoid writing shorter than specified word limits. Though it is very tough to make exact word count in the exam hall, so, the candidates are advised to practice writing essays or reports similar to the actual test papers and look how 150 words or 250 words look like in their own handwriting.
  12. Probably due to excessive strain, candidates are often found to make very silly mistakes, which is writing shorter or longer than what is instructed in the question paper. Well, this needs an example to clarify: If the task reads like ‘Write in not more than 3 words’. You have to write your answer in 3 words, not in 2 words nor in 4 words, 3 means 3.
  13. One more point, which is not mentioned anywhere, but a hidden truth is, avoid writing a lot more than 150 words for Task1 or writing lot more than 250 words for Task2. What happens actually, candidates stay scared of writing shorter, but they don’t mind writing longer as it is not mentioned as an offense. Surely it is not an offense if you write 180 words (instead of 150 words) or you write 280 words (instead of 250 words). But, you won’t get any credit for that, also if you keep writing much longer than 150 words or 250 words without minding the time allotted for task1 and task2, you will fall short of time. So, though it is not an offense, you would incur trouble by not minding time resulting in losing marks.
  14. Another terrible mistake is to memorize essays. A very sad truth is that, usually, dull students or the nerds, prefer memorizing essays to writing themselves. The outcome may tell havoc. How? Say, John is such student and he has memorized 60 essays. Now in the test, two things may happen. No.1) John gets an almost similar essay to write, not the exact in John’s memory, but somewhat a similar one, so john gladly write that down and gets no marks at all. No.2) John gets an essay which he has not been memorized and he is not used to writing an essay without cramming, the result would be disastrous, he might get no marks at all or get very less.
  15. A very subtle point is that, when you are writing an essay or a re port, you might not get the central idea perfectly, but whatever idea you have got, you have established them with justified points and perfect English with correct spelling, good grammar and a wide range of vocabulary, you get full credit for that. So what to avoid? You have to avoid freezing or panicking.
  16. Strictly avoid copying ‘the questions and write as they are’, use paraphrasing, its’ a great art to learn.

There might be some more mistakes, the students commit, but the above mentioned are found in common. While preparing for the test, you should be careful of ‘the common mistakes’ and check yourself whether you are prone to commit such ones or some others. The more aware you are the fewer mistakes you would commit. The IELTS test is a very high-level test taken worldwide, the bars are raised high. Each every mistake or error counts if you prepare yourself properly with a sound knowledge base in English and can execute your ability in the test, a bright future awaits you.

Originally posted 2017-05-22 14:54:39.

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