Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"

Today you’ll learn about the two most common mistakes on recent 2018 IELTS Exams.

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I have it on good authority that there have been a couple errors lately on the IELTS test, that are being repeated by a great number of students.

The first is in Speaking Part 1.

There is a group of questions about plants.

Quite a few students have misheardplants’ as ‘plans’.

Then, they start talking about the wrong topic, and their answers don’t make sense. Not great for your score, students!

Firstly, pay attention to context.

The question, “Do you have plants in your home?” makes sense, while the question, “Do you have plans in your home?” does not make sense.

If you think you misheard, or just want to clarify that you understand, just ask the examiner!

In this case, you could say, “Sorry, do you mean, like, flowers and ferns and whatnot?” (‘Whatnot’ is an excellent native paraphrase for ‘stuff.’)

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The second surprisingly common mistake is saying ‘take decisions’ instead of ‘make decisions.’

This occurred in Writing Task 2, in which the phrase ‘make decisions’ was stated.

First of all, you shouldn’t copy something incorrectly from the question.

Secondly, we don’t ‘take’ decisions in English. We ‘make’ them.

Paraphrases for ‘decide’:

✔ Determine

✔ Elect

✔ Judge

✔ Arrive at a conclusion

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