Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"

When you are taking IELTS, you need to be aware of the most common Writing and Speaking mistakes so that you don’t make these mistakes too!

Today we’ll show you the biggest mistake that you could possibly make on IELTS Writing and IELTS Speaking. You’ll see exactly why students make this mistake and how it lowers their score.

This is an easy mistake to avoid so work hard to make sure you don’t make it.

Strategies Created By a Former IELTS Examiner

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Student success story

You know who didn’t make this mistake on her Speaking Exam?

Pawan, a stellar 3 Keys student, who got an 8 on her recent Speaking test!

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What is the biggest IELTS mistake?

Now, what is this big mistake that students make all the time in IELTS Speaking and Writing? Making lists.

If you simply list a bunch of ideas in your answer, you cannot get high scores for Fluency and Coherence in Speaking, or Task Response and Cohesion Coherence in Writing.

Why does this lower your score?

This lowers your score because the answer will not have any levels of organization or linking words.

Jessica knows this because she was an IELTS Examiner for 14 years.

For instance, if the question is asking you why people prefer their private vehicles, or the advantage of using private cars instead of public transport, this is what NOT to say: “Private cars are better because they are more comfortable, faster, private and flexible.”


Instead, choose one or two of those ideas, and give details about them.

Let’s choose ‘comfort’ as an example: “Private cars are simply more comfortable. I mean, take my Kia for example.

The driver’s seat is cushioned and padded, and I can have my awesome classic rock blaring from the stereo. In contrast, on a bus or train, you have to sit in a hard, cold plastic seat, and listen to other people boringly chit chat.”

Compare those two possible answers, listing or giving details.

See how much better the second answer is?


So keep this advice in mind when you walk into the Writing and Speaking Tests. If you understand the scoring system then you can avoid these huge, score-sinking mistakes.

If you took the IELTS Exam today, what score would you get?

You can find out by taking our short 2-minute quiz!

Go here to get your estimated score now.

There, you’ll get your estimated IELTS band score, and you’ll also receive incredible free resources aimed exactly at your level.

In our online IELTS course, 3 Keys IELTS, we give you all the strategies and practice you need to score highly on all parts of the IELTS exam.

What questions do you have?

Let us know in the comments below.

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