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Common spelling mistakes made in IELTS


Common spelling mistakes made in IELTS


Spelling is huge concern for IELTS students. Writing scores are 25% determined by vocabulary, which includes spelling accuracy. Too many spelling mistakes can also seriously bring down your score in IELTS Listening and writing.

Part of the reason for this may be that there are so many inconsistencies in the English language. Spelling is also a big problem for many IELTS candidates – especially those who have a different alphabet in their own language.

Most misspellings or spelling errors can be categorized into groups. Here are some examples for each of those types.This list of common IELTS spelling mistakes includes some of the words most likely to appear in the test. Try to master these basic rules in order to minimise poor spelling in IELTS.



  1. Changes of spelling when words change form

For example:

  • The word ‘Benefit’ becomes

incorrect: benefitial


  • The word ‘Influence’ becomes

Incorrect: influencial

Correct:  influential

  • The word ‘Circumstance’ becomes

Incorrect: circumstancial

Correct: Circumstantial

  • The word ‘Maintain’ becomes

Incorrect: maintainance

Correct: maintenance

  • The word ‘Pronounce’ becomes

Incorrect: pronounceiation

Correct: pronunciation

  • The word ‘Argue’ becomes

Incorrect: argument

Correct:  arguement

  • The word ‘Occur’ becomes

Incorrect: occured

Correct: occurred

  • The word ‘Refer’ becomes

Incorrect: refered

Correct: referred

  • The word ‘Begin’ becomes

Incorrect: begining

Correct: beginning

B. Silent letters in consonant clusters

In some words some of the alphabets in the word are silent. Students often make a mistakes in spelling such words.

For example:

  1. The silent [nm]

  • Incorrect: enviroment

            Correct: environment

  •  incorrect: goverment

            correct: government

  • Incorrect: colum

             correct: column

  • Incorrect: autum

             correct: autumn

b. The silent

  • incorrect: concious

            correct: conscious

  • incorrect: acend

             correct: ascend

  • incorrect: disipline


c. The silent [xc]

Incorrect: exite

correct: excite

d. The silent [g]

  • incorrect: privilje

            correct: privilege

  • incorrect: oblije

             correct: oblige



  1. Objective: Identifying the correct spelling.

Choose the option which has the correct spelling in each question.

  1. Which is correct?

  • absence

  • absance

  • absense

  • abcense

2. Which is correct?

  1. achieve

  2. acheive

  3. acheeve

  4. achiev


3. Which is correct?

  1. adress

  2. address

  3. addres

  4. adres


4. Which is correct?

  1. begining

  2. beginning

  3. Begginning


5.Which is correct?

  1. colleague

  2. coleague

  3. coleage

  4. colleage


II. Objective: Spot the error

Instruction: Choose the wrongly spelt word in the following

  1. She consciously/consciosly avoided talking to her boss.

  2. It was a deliberete/deliberate mistake.

  3. It has been/being raining since three days.


III. Objective: Correcting the spelling mistakes

These words are spelled wrong. Can you correct them?

  1. Atack: _____________

  2. Scratsh: _____________

  3. Langauge : _____________


IV Objective: Correcting a paragraph

Rewrite the following paragraph by correcting all the spelling errors:

Without mayking a judgment on them, it is surprising how meny peeple spell carelesly without any acknowledgement of their mistakes; good spelling is the principle cornerstone of accessible and legable writing, make it a vitle part of study and not sumthing seperate!

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