Dispelling the Myths of IELTS

After deciding to take an IELTS Test, you then need to find out about certain key aspects of the test. You must become very familiar with the overall test format, the different types of questions asked, and the standard of English expected from you in order to gain your desired IELTS band in the test.

However, there is also something else you need to be aware of – the myths often shared about IELTS. You may already know some of these IELTS myths and believe them to be true simply because many people tell you the same distorted information about the test.

This article dispels 10 myths frequently believed concerning the IELTS Test. Once aware of true test information, you will be able to more effectively prepare for taking the test.

1. Speaking with a British, American, or Australian accent will enable you to score more marks:

People often assume that adopting a British, American or Australian accent when speaking English will make them sound superior to an examiner because these accents are frequently associated with countries where English is the principal spoken language. 

But the essential part of your spoken language being assessed by every IELTS examiner is how effectively you communicate using English. An English tutor will help you to clearly express your thoughts and ideas using correct pronunciation and varied vocabulary with all of your spoken English to ensure achievement of the highest possible marks.


2. An IELTS Test is far harder than other English tests:

The challenges of any academic test will be better overcome if you are fully prepared as to what the test expects you to do, along with effective practising of all the English language skills and knowledge needed to score a high mark. 

 The IELTS Test is no different to other tests of language proficiency, so working with an IELTS private tutor to fully prepare you for the test remains essential. Such an English tutor will ensure you strengthen all of your English language skills to guarantee the very best personal achievement in the IELTS Test.


3. Completing an IELTS Test in your home country will get you a higher mark:

All IELTS Tests are set, invigilated and marked in an identical way across the globe. The overall test format and content, timing, and marking criteria remain the same in every country. Consequently, an IELTS Test you take in Johor Bahru is just the same as the one given in London. 

 Every IELTS examiner is fully trained to correctly administer the test, and each test is marked and moderated by several examiners to ensure accuracy and consistency when applying the specified marking criteria. Therefore, plan to take an IELTS Test at a location that gives you the easiest access to a test centre.


IELTS writing

4. Overuse of complex vocabulary is essential:

Do not allow yourself to be misled by a false belief that always using complex vocabulary will show the examiner how effective your English language skills are and result in you being awarded a better mark. Although drawing from an effective range of vocabulary is important (especially to avoid word repetition), the essential function of all spoken and written language is to clearly and concisely express what you think to the examiner. 

 So always try to select words that are fully understood by yourself and the examiner. Albert Einstein once said, “If you cannot explain it simply, you do not understand it well enough.”


5. Expressing your personal opinions is not allowed:

When responding to questions in both the IELTS Speaking and Writing Test, you must clearly express your personal thoughts and ideas. You can freely voice personal opinions provided they are relevant when giving your best answer to the question being asked. 

 Always remember that every IELTS examiner assesses your ability to clearly and concisely express yourself using English. The examiner is not there to judge the validity of any personal opinions given by you as a logical response to each question.

6. Cheating is easy to do in an IELTS Test:

Whether a myth or not, cheating in any test is morally wrong.  It merely reveals the dishonest nature and overall incompetence of the candidate being formally assessed.  


All IELTS Test centres operate securely and are fully monitored to ensure candidates do not cheat during their test.  Upon arrival at a designated IELTS Test centre, a photograph and fingerprints will be taken in order to clearly establish the identity of each candidate who is taking a test.  IELTS Test Centres are also internally monitored using closed circuit television, so each test candidate will be under constant surveillance.  Candidates found to be cheating face automatic disqualification from their IELTS Test, and a record of this kept for disclosure to organisations when future reference applications are made.

7. Asking an IELTS examiner to repeat a question is prohibited:

In the IELTS Speaking Test, you are allowed to ask for a question to be repeated by the examiner without losing any marks. But try not to do this too often, as the IELTS examiner may begin to think that you do not fully understand some of the questions being asked.


IELST reading

8. Scoring a higher mark is easier when taking an IELTS Test with IDP rather than the British Council:

The IELTS Test is administered by two different organisations – IDP and the British Council.  However, every IELTS Test is set by the University of Cambridge, and the test identically administered and marked in every country by fully trained IELTS examiners.

9. Smiling and making the IELTS examiner laugh leads to more marks being awarded:

In the IELTS Speaking Test, demonstrating a good sense of humour does not necessarily prove to an examiner that you are an effective communicator using English. 

 The IELTS examiner needs to assess your English language ability in terms of clear and concise self-expression. But trying to relax, remain confident and smiling during the oral test can reduce your overall level of anxiety during the test and help you to perform better.

10. Excessive writing in the IELTS Test guarantees higher marks:

Completing a large amount of written work in an IELTS Writing Test does not mean your overall mark will be higher.  Remember that an IELTS examiner assesses your accurate and clear written expression of English in terms of using correct grammar, a range of interesting vocabulary, and a variety of effective sentence structures.  However, always check that your written answers reach the specified word limit for each writing task to avoid losing some marks.


You must remain sceptical whenever you hear a rumour about the IELTS Test.  Before being influenced by such a rumour, ask yourself if it is based on factual information or commonly repeated personal opinions.

When in doubt, consult an IELTS private tutor in Malaysia and start to properly prepare for taking your IELTS Test.  Such an experienced English tutor is trained and able to fully prepare you for guaranteed success in passing your IELTS Test with the highest possible overall mark.

If you are looking for a Johor Bahru English tutor, please contact ‘English for Everyone now to find out more information.