Is Spelling Important in IELTS Listening

Yes, spelling is crucial in IELTS listening.

IELTS Listening scores are based on correct answers. This means for each question you answer correctly, you get one point. You don’t lose points for incorrect answers.

To get an answer correct, it must be spelled correctly. Any answer that is not spelled correctly will be marked wrong. IELTS accept both American and British English spelling.

Correct spelling includes the use of hyphens when necessary and knowing when compound nouns are written as one word.

Lessons for improving your Spelling

Click on the links below to practice your spelling:

How to improve your spelling

  1. Once way to improve your spelling is learning by heart. This means writing words down again and again until you can spell them correctly. Improve your vocabulary for IELTS with appropriate words lists for topics.
  2. Use spell checker on your laptop. When you do this, make sure you write down the list of words that you got wrong.
  3. When you write an essay at home, underline words that you think might be spelled wrong. Check them in a dictionary.
  4. Read more. Most people find that the more you read, the better your spelling will become. However, this is a passive method of learning and can take time. If you are short of time, then be active and make spelling lists.
  5. Use free spelling websites. You can find a link to one on this page: Useful Websites and Links for IELTS
  6. There is no quick easy way to improve your spelling, it takes time and dedication by you.

Main IELTS Pages

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  1. hello,
    it says that spelling is not important in listing, except for the words they spell for you on the tape. from the book ” ace the ielts.”

    can you explain this to me.

    • The word you write for your answer is either 100% correct or it is wrong. If your spelling it wrong, the whole answer is wrong. I am not the author or “ace the ielts” and I do not know the author of “ace the ielts”. If you choose to use books that contain incorrect information, it is your choice.

  2. Hi Liz,

    I have had a quick scan over all QnA but couldn’t find a clue, if actually there is, I apologize.

    I just got an exercise testing, a correct answer was Karen which was not spelled out, but I wrote Caren because it just came across as possibly another common name(?).

    Will it be marked wrong?

    Many thanks,

    • As a common name, it is always spelled with a K. Any other spelling would have been spelled out and highlighted. Always go with the usual spelling.

  3. Hi Liz. I wrote childeren instead of children in my listening exam which is very minor spelling mistake. Will I lose a mark or the examiner will ignore it.


  4. Hi Liz,One tiny question.. in my listening test, I wrote “an office”, NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS. the speaker did not say the office, and she spoke with an Australian accent. and she was talking about a room that will be turned into an office. so An office is correct ? or just “office”. Thanks Liz!

    • It depends on the type of question you got. Sentence completion questions require the grammar to be correct, which includes articles “a/the”. Other types of questions,tables, note completion etc etc – do not require that.

      • it was in the first section, she was talking on the phone with some guy about cleaning her house. Thank you for being so fast in answering!

        Note: you should upload more videos on youtube even if it is not IELTS related

        • The section isn’t important, only the type of question. Section 1 can have many different types of questions. I would like to upload more videos, but the problem is that I have serious health problems that prevent me. I hope next year I’ll be stronger.
          I had thought (in the future) of branching into English language videos and also life skills videos – would you be interested in that?)

          • Oh, I think the question was you need to complete the sentence. i kinda forgot if she dropped the “an” or not, I added it because of the grammar. so you think IELTS will be fine with it? they want NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS.

            Ihope you get well soon, i was in a car accident and stayed in the hospital for five months .. i know what you are going through , and yes i think most your fans will be happy to see you back on youtube. even if it is not English related.

            • IELTS are very strict about getting the article correct. Without seeing the full question and transcript, I can’t tell you which answer is suitable. Did you watch my video on this page which mentions this relating to prepositions:
              Thanks for your feedback. I can’t wait to get back to making my videos – I really enjoyed making them 🙂

              • Ya i thought so too, seeing the transcript would be helpful, and yes I saw your videos and they were helpful. I did the test on the 21th of April, and it was very easy, what i am worried about is only the listening (I did lose three points for sure so far!) , the rest of the Test was very easy and very enjoyable. i am doing the general test in order to immigrate to Canada (Wish me luck, mt results will be out this Thursday!) and thank you yet again and i do hope you get better very soon! and i did the test in Dubai,UAE and i shall post my result to share it with others!

                • I’ll keep my fingers crossed for your results! Try to relax – the results will tell you how well you did 🙂

              • I think IELTS will put the “an” in a bracket ? do you think it is possible ?

                • Again, it depends on the question type and the individual question as well. Some questions have more than one answer and that is the reason the books show brackets – but many questions do not have more than one answer – some questions have only one answer.

                • I hope so! and thank you for your support!

  5. Hi Liz,

    Is it fine to spell the word weekend as “week-end” or it will be marked wrong?

    Appreciate your answer!

  6. Noman Khan says

    In my recent listening test I spelled “nutts” rather than “nuts”. will i lose mark?

  7. Hi Dear Liz
    I realy love your Website and your teaching style.
    I just have one question about spelling in listening test. is even simple mistakes like writing ‘bussines’ for example will realy take all our correct point?
    I’ve heard that is the mistake in spelling doeasnt change the words meaning then its fine.

  8. Hello Liz,
    I appreciate all the videos that you have me lots of help in revision n practices…I’d like to thank you for doing so..keep up the good work 👍

    Take care 😊

  9. which skills should i improve first in my preparation for IELTS?

  10. khalid Alzhrani says

    I think ,it`s true

  11. Dilan kanti sikder says

    what is paypal? when i went to pay you, there coming one paypal massage.

  12. Do our answer is marked wrong if we, for example write Day instead of days, during listening exam?

  13. I really hope you could have a correcting service for writing tasks sooner because the lessons you give are very helpful. 😊

  14. hello Liz,
    I thank you for your lessons, you’ve really been a great source of help and inspiration to many. I’ve learnt a lot from your videos and I am much better than before.
    However, I need more help with writing task 2. That’s the part of the test that is scaring me. I’ve been doing much practicing but I need a professional critique on my writing. Can I post some of my writings for you to review and provide comments? I would be very grateful.

    Thank you

  15. Thanks

  16. Khalil Ahmed says

    Yeah, Spelling is very important to get the full marks. As we mark our students for their correct answers, we should be.

  17. Thank Liz for these tips

    I want to share my experience for master spelling it was by using . It improved my spelling dramatically. So I encourage all people to use it through make a new list and learn it .

    Thank a lot Liz

  18. Hello Liz I like to ask you how can I improve my band score in the academic reading as I only got 6 maximum in all my attempts?
    I need to get band 7 minimum.

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