How to Avoid Spelling Mistakes in the Listening Test

In the Listening Test, spelling your answer correctly is important. If you misspell a word, you will lose a mark – and remember every mark counts to achieve the band score you need.

Before you take the test, make a list of your own most common spelling errors and try and commit the correct spellings to memory – remember, there’s no spellchecker in the exam! Think about everyday items that often spring up in the first part such as days of the week (e.g. Wednesday) and months (e.g. February).

You can practise your spelling by using dictation - get a friend to help you by reading out names and common words that you have problems with. Another good technique is to try to spell a paragraph in a text by recycling a listening task.

Also, if you find that you confuse ‘a’ and ‘e’ for example, or any other letters, try to practise your ABC with a children’s song - look at the alphabet and pronounce or sing the song at the same time.

The Oxford Dictionaries website has a useful list of words that are often misspelt in English based on information taken from the Oxford English Corpus. This electronic collection of over 2 billion words of real English enables researchers to analyse how the language is used and discover common spelling mistakes.

Do you have any useful tips for improving spelling? We'd love to hear your ideas in the comments section below or at the end of this sentence.

After writing your answers on the sheet provided, check through them again carefully to try and spot any silly spelling mistakes that may cost you a valuable mark. This also applies to the Writing and Reading exams – make sure you leave a little bit of time to proofread your work for errors.

How many spelling mistakes can you spot in this short text?

I beleive that the ability to proofread what you’re writing is an esential skill to master if you want to do well in the IELTS exam. Let me give you a peace of advice - you should keep a record of your common mistakes and learn these how to spell these words corectly befor you take the exam.

I usually keep a note of the words I misspell and every Fryday I look thorough these exampels and try to commit the correct spellings to my memory. Doing this will definately help you acheive a better overall mark in the test so you won’t be dissapointed with your performence.

I found twelve mistakes – how about you?


See more ideas on how to improve your listening score here.


(Key: believe, your, essential, piece, correctly, before, Friday, examples, definitely, achieve, disappointed, performance)


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