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Read to spell better

Good spelling is crucial in the IELTS exam. You will be marked on your spelling in the writing exam and it is also important in the listening test. One way to improve your spelling is to read lots in English. The more you read in English, the more good English spelling you are exposed to. If you see a word lots of times, it will help you to recognise how it should look when spelled correctly.

IELTS writing tip

Make sure that you begin every sentence with a capital letter and end it with a full stop. It is possible to end you sentences with question marks and exclamations marks where appropriate. Nothing looks as sloppy as sentences that aren’t punctuated correctly.

Read read read

One way to improve your English is to read as much as you can. When reading, you are exposed to a great amount of English. Reading shows you grammar in action and vocabulary used in context. IELTS students that read in English on a regular basis get higher IELTS grades.

It’s time for a spelling test

IELTS candidates should pay special attention to their spelling. Your IELTS writing will be much improved if words are spelt correctly. Keep a list of words that you spell incorrectly and test yourself on their spelling regularly.

When you have finished a piece of writing, edit it carefully and check for any spelling errors.

Read this post about editing your written work.

Here is a short recorded spelling test. There are five commonly misspelled words. Press play and try to write down the words immediately. You can press “pause” between the words if you need to. Listen to the recording as many times as you want to.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.


When you have finished, you can check your answers here.

Position of adverbs

He ate quickly his breakfast.

Can you identify the adverb in the above sentence? I am sure that you know it is quickly but can you see what is wrong with the sentence? Out of a class of 14 advanced students, 5 made this mistake yesterday. That’s right!! 5. Five. FIVE. Clearly, the adverb is in the wrong place and these advanced students should have known this. They are all capable of scoring an overall IELTS band score of at least 7 but 5 of them still made this basic mistake. Do you know where the adverb should be in the sentence? More importantly, do you know why it must go there? (more…)