Avoid these vocabulary mistakes and improve your IELTS Writing and Speaking band score
Do you know the difference in meaning between the words ‘rise‘ and ‘raise‘? What about ‘learn‘ and ‘teach‘, ‘lose‘ and ‘loose‘, or ‘care for‘ and ‘care about‘?
Do you know the difference in word form (i.e. verb, noun, adjective or adverb) between the words ‘convenience‘ and ‘convenient‘? What about ‘possible‘ and ‘possibly‘?
I’m asking you these questions because these are words that I’ve seen or heard many IELTS candidates make mistakes with in their writing or speaking.
To see how well you know the difference in meaning or form of these words, choose the correct word in italics in each of the examples below. (You can click on any of the words in italics for a dictionary definition).
- The number of complaints showed a dramatic rise / raise between…
- Schools should learn / teach children how to…
- …lose / loose the freedom to choose…
- If the government really wants to care for / care about their citizens, they should provide…
- Technology makes our life much more convenience / convenient.
- These problems are possible / possibly caused by…
All of these examples are from the writing or speaking of IELTS candidates who I know, and in each case the student used the wrong word.
If you make these kinds of mistakes too often in your IELTS Writing or Speaking test, it may prevent you from getting the band score you need.
Here’s what it says in the public version of the official IELTS descriptors for vocabulary in Writing Task 1 and 2:
- IELTS band score 7: “[Candidate] may produce occasional errors in word choice and/or word formation”
If you want to check your answers to my questions above, post them in the comments section below and I’ll let you know if they are correct or not.