7 Proofreading Tips for IELTS Test Takers

Proofreading is a challenging but essential step toward IELTS writing success. So, develop good proofreading practices during your review period! Here are some of the tips that IELTS online coaches drill into their student’s head.

  1. Know what you’re looking for. Spelling is only the tip of the iceberg. When you proofread your work, keep an eye out for errors or inconsistencies in the following.
      • articles (a, an, etc.)
      • proper nouns
      • pronouns
      • subject–verb agreement
      • verb tenses
      • sentence structures
      • idiomatic expressions
      • idea transition

If you’re enrolled in IELTS online course, you can ask your instructor for a list of things to double-check during proofreading based on your performances in writing exercises.


  1. List down your most common writing mistakes. Review the writing tests you took during your IELTS review period. Take note of all your recurring errors and inconsistencies. Keep an eye out for them when you proofread your future works.


  1. Read your essay out loud. Or, if you can’t (because there are other people in the room, you don’t want to call attention to yourself, etc.), sound out each word in your head. Read it with the appropriate tone and diction. If something sounds wrong grammar-wise based how you structured the paragraph, consider editing the sentences.


  1. Read it from the bottom going up. A lot of IELTS online course instructors recommend this strategy. After you’ve finished writing your essay, reread it from the last sentence and work your way back to the start. This’ll fool your mind into believing that you’re reading something new. You’ll be able to pinpoint spelling, punctuation, and grammar lapses better.


  1. Don’t skim. The problem with proofreading your own work is that you are intimately familiar with the content. You know what comes after each point, what examples support the main idea, and so on. You believe that your work is well-written. This makes you prone to speed-reading. You can’t skim when you proofread. It increases the risk that you’ll miss certain errors. Reread your essays slowly to avoid this issue.


  1. Use a pointer. Another neat trick that many IELTS online coaches recommend. Guide your eyes with a pen or your finger. Read the words out loud or sound them out in your head as your pointer touches on them. This’ll help you focus on your essay and regulate your reading speed.


  1. Be thorough. Make sure you don’t overlook any mistake. Most people grow complacent after spotting an obvious error. Their eyes skip from that one to the next glaring mistake, missing the subtle inconsistencies in between.


Want to learn more proofreading tricks to enhance your essays? Enroll in our IELTS online course today! Click here to find out more about our enrolment packages and their inclusions.