IELTS being the most reputed test worldwide, checks the proficiency of the candidates and their command over English Language. Commiting minimal mistakes in Ielts results in huge score differences. In order to avoid such mistakes, the candidate should have a comprehensive understanding of this particular test which includes the following four modules – Listening, Reading,Writing and Speaking. While attempting the Ielts exam, 25% of the total marks depend on how well a candidate scores in the Writing and Speaking section. Proper utilization of error free sentences and grammatical structures is recommended to the candidates while attempting the paper.
One of the very common mistakes that the IELTS test takers commit is to remain silent for more than 5 seconds. The examiner understands the hesitation of the candidate for not being verbal for a few seconds or thinking while gathering different ideas when the question is asked, but this little mistake can be avoided by using some filler expressions like, ‘this is a tough question’, ‘Supposedly’ etc. silences more than the expected time give a doubtful recognition of mind to the examiner, which for sure is not a good sign to achieve a good band score in Ielts.
In addition to such a situation, another factor to be kept in mind amidst the Speaking Test is that the candidate should not just nod his head assuming that the examiner will understand his reply of Yes or No rather should be able to answer in full sentences and feel more confident. Another mistake committed by the candidate is having the fear of speaking too less or too much. If you speak too much or without thinking, you might sound less coherent and make more mistakes. However if you speak less, the examiner might think that you have a very limited thought process.
Part 1 of the speaking test does not require more than two to four sentences while answering. In the Part 2 of the speaking test, Candidate is given clear instructions of the time. Whereas in Part 3 of the speaking test, candidates should answer in not more than three to six sentences. It is very important to speak in order to let your examiner know your potential and judge your ability to comprehend the English Language. Also, the fluency, pronunciation and vocabulary of the candidate is tested and shall be completely taken care of by the candidate.
Memorised answers do not let a candidate fetch a good band score. Usually , a dull student or a student with a wavering mindset Would commit such a blunder of memorising answers in order to create an impression in front of the examiner. Any question that has a possibility of a memorised answer is most unlikely to be asked by the examiner.
The signs of a memorised answer include unnatural articulation of speech, rephrasing of the question asked by the examiner etc. However, it is not ethical to underestimate the examiner at this point, as he belongs to an experienced school of thought. To avoid such havoc, candidates must practice speaking a wide range of thoughts before taking the test and stay away from the uncomfortable situation. Parroting a question is another biggest mistake being committed by the candidates appearing for the Ielts exam. The candidate is compared to a parrot in Ielts, where he is asked to repeat the question back in statement form. Candidates who can easily manage to put variation in their speech and paraphrase their answer in the best possible way, usually get rewarded with a good Ielts score.
Candidates usually forget the correct way to use countable and uncountable nouns and often end up making mistakes while sitting for this particular exam. With uncountable nouns you cannot use a plural verb, a number, ‘a’ or ‘an’ etc. For example, there ‘were alot’ of money to be spent on this house. A correction to this statement would be , there is a lot of money to be spent on this house. Use of commas help you differ between the sentence structures and the sense of making the sentence. In the writing section of this exam, there are
phrases being used , while jotting down various ideas together, and those phrases are termed to be “discourse markers” or “liking phrases”. Words like “Therefore”, “In the end”, “Indeed” etc are some discourse markers, however inserting a comma after these phrases, introduces a different sentence or gives a different meaning to the sentence.
Another very common mistake that a student should avoid , while writing the paper is to refrain from diverting from the topic. If in case a student doesn’t understand the topic given , they try to shift from the topic slightly and write about it, which in turn affects the Ielts score as changing the subject is somewhere not acceptable as per the norms of this exam. No matter how well the candidate”s piece of writing is, if the candidate is not covering every point of the topic then it is very difficult to achieve the desired result. However, once if drifted from the topic, the score automatically goes down.
Use of abbreviations in this exam is prohibited. Days of the week, months of the year or the names of the streets should not be written in abbreviations. For example, “Monday” should be written as “Monday” and not “Mon”. “August” should be written as “August” and not “Aug”, etc. if the examiner comes across such short forms then the answer of the candidate is marked incorrect. Therefore, one must be very careful and avoid committing such silly mistakes.
Last but not the least, time management is a huge matter of concern while sitting for this exam. The candidate should be able to finish the given task of each module in the given time. However, it is very important to read the instructions carefully and follow the guidelines before commencing the exam. Failing that, success will not come the way it is desired.
In order to pass the exam with flying colors, it is very important for the candidates to be completely aware of the pitfalls, and have a thorough reading of the rules before sitting for the exam. A comprehensive understanding of the structure of the exam, will help a student perform well in the exam and achieve a better score.