1200 Most Commonly Repeated Spellings of Words in the IELTS Listening Test

Sristy Sharma
Updated on Aug 12, 2022 06:01 PM IST

The English language has a large number of words and you cannot learn all of them to prepare for the IELTS exam. So, here is a long list of 1200 most commonly repeated spellings of words in the IELTS Listening Test. 

1200 Most Commonly Repeated Spellings of Words in the IELTS Listening Test
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Most common words in IELTS Listening Test: You can obviously ace the IELTS exam with the knowledge of a good number of English words. However, there is no shortcut to building a good vocabulary. You need to consciously put in enough time and effort. 

As your IELTS exam date nears, your preparation faces a time crunch as well, and you definitely do not have enough ‘time’ even if you think you are ready. That is exactly why we have prepared a categorised list of 1200 most commonly repeated words in IELTS Listening.

You do not have to learn all common words in IELTS listening to expand your vocabulary but learning a few specific ones would certainly help you score high on the test. So, let us dive right in!

What is the IELTS Listening Test?

IELTS Listening Test is a subtest of the IELTS exam.

The IELTS exam tests your English speaking skills in four subtests, namely Reading, Writing, Speaking, and Listening. The IELTS Listening test is designed to test whether you can understand what is spoken despite the accent, difficulty level, and fluency. The easier it is for you to understand spoken English, the better you can communicate in the language. In short, the subtest will directly test your IELTS vocabulary.

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Vocabulary in IELTS Exam

Vocabulary is an important part of any language, including English. Vocabulary refers to the range of words which you know, understand, and can easily use to communicate in the language. The wider the range of your vocabulary, the fluent you are in the language.

A good vocabulary in IELTS exam will help you in easily understanding and answering the questions correctly. Although knowing as many most common words in IELTS listening test as possible will be great, you need to learn at least 1,000 common words in IELTS listening in their root forms to get through the test easily. 

Difficult Words in IELTS Listening

IELTS listening test will continuously ask you to identify the spoken text, and in some questions, you will have to rewrite the text that you have listened to. Hence, it is important to know the correct spelling and pronunciations of the most common words in IELTS listening test.

In order to ensure that no mistakes are made, you must learn how the spelling and pronunciation sometimes change a word when the meaning of the word changes. For instance, when the verb ‘maintain’ becomes a noun or the verb clause ‘maintenance’, the root word pronunciation remains the same, but the spelling changes. 

Here are some of the examples of such changes a root word may go through:

Root Word

Spelling Changes















Similarly, there are many other aspects of spelling and pronunciation which need to be focused to properly attempt the IELTS exam. For instance, the silent letter or cluster of letters in a word, the usage of different letters to produce similar sounds, the additional letters, prefixes, suffixes, etc., all have different meanings. 

Here are some most common words in IELTS listening test and their respective pronunciation effects:


Pronunciation Effect


Silent ‘n’


Additional ‘ea’


Negligible ‘r’ sound


Different sounds for two ‘g’ s


Same sounds for ‘s’ and ‘c’


Silent ‘K’

Some of the commonly misspelled words in IELTS exam are given below. You can include them in your list of top most common words in IELTS listening test:

Commonly Misspelled IELTS Listening Words





























































1200 Commonly Used Words in IELTS Listening Test

You do not have to necessarily learn all the common words in IELTS listening, even though that would be best. You can focus on the root forms of the most common in IELTS listening words, or you can even prioritise based on the different categories of commonly repeated words. 

Here are 1200 common words in IELTS listening categorised for easy learning:


Commonly Repeated Words

Months and Weekdays

January, February, March, April, May, June, July,

August, September, October, November, December, Monday,

Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Weekdays, Weekends

Continents and Countries

Australia, Africa, South America, North America,  Asia, Europe,

Antarctica, Switzerland, Turkey, England, Egypt, Mexico, Germany,

Greece, Brazil, India, North Korea, the Dominican Republic, France, Indonesia,

India, Malaysia, New Zealand,  United Kingdom, China, Italy, Nigeria, Pakistan, Singapore, the Philippines, Denmark

Languages, Expression, and Time

Japanese, German,  linguistics, bilingual, trilingual, polyglot,

Portuguese, Mandarin, Bengali, Chinese, Hindi, Russian,

Punjabi, Thai, Persian, Filipino, French, Italian, Greek, French,

midday, three times, three times per week, millennium,  a gap year,

fulltime, part-time, midnight, century, decade, fortnight

Verbs, Adjectives, and Qualities

train, develop, collect, supervise, mark, edit, revise, exhibit, donate, surpass, register, support, hunt,

persuade, concentrate, discuss, suggest, arrange, borrow, immigrate, review, learn, touch, energetic,

social, ancient, necessary, fantastic, exciting, fabulous, dull, comfortable, convenient, suitable, affordable, voluntary, mandatory,

compulsory, temporary, permanent, Immense, vast, salty, extinct, vulnerable, pessimistic, optimistic, realistic,

practical, knowledgeable, flexible, confident, Western, intensive, tranquil, spectacular, intact, various, expensive,

cheap, reasonable, satisfactory, dangerous, poor quality, satisfied, disappointed, efficient, luxurious,

safe, strongly recommended, coloured, spotted, striped

Materials, Colour and Shapes

aluminum, copper, fur, metal, steel,  rubber, plastic, ceramics, cement, stone, textile, cotton, fabric, wool, glass,

leather, bone, paper, lumber/wood, glue, concrete, wax, paper, wood, silver, composite, fiberglass, gold,

feather, blue, white, orange, green, grey, black, red, yellow, purple, brown, pink, oval, square, rectangular, triangular,

polygon,  spherical, circular, curved, cylindrical, three dimensions, Measurement width, length,

altitude, imperial system, metric system, spiral, Mass, depth, breadth, height, frequency

Subjects and Hobbies

science, politics, architecture, law, geography, history, biology, archaeology, literature,

statistics, mathematics, performing arts, visual arts, logic, physics, psychology, anthropology,

economics, philosophy,  chemistry, humanities, business management, agriculture, gardening, stamp collection, orienteering, caving, spelunking, scuba diving, snorkeling, skateboarding, bowls, archery, ice skating, darts, golf, billiards, photography, painting, embroidery, climbing, chess, parachute, pottery, woodcarving

Higher Studies

course outline, group discussion, handout, research, Proofreading, experiment, written work, report writing, experience, reference, textbook, student advisor, teamwork, module, topic, dictionary, laptop, printer, assessment, library, department, computer centre, classroom, attendance, deadline, give a talk, speech, lecture, tutor, main hall, computer laboratory, certificate, diploma, placement test, facilities, college, dining room, specialist, knowledge, international, accommodation, overseas students, full-time, homestay, primary, secondary, intermediate, media room, commencement, dissertation, leaflet,  school reunion,  feedback, tasks, outcomes, advanced, introductory, extra background, resources room, staff,  higher education, guidelines, post-secondary, faculty, pupils, pencil, supervisor, bachelor’s degree, compound, foreign students, schedule, vocabulary, student support services, student retention, publication,  registrar’s office, stationery

Marketing and Finances

catalogue, interview, research method, entertainment industry, TV program, strategies, leadership, management, customer, special offer, collecting data, display, products, questionnaire, survey, mass media, poll, business card, training, trainee, statistic, profit margin, newsletter, competition, merchandise, manufacture, recruitment, cash, debit, low-risk investment, credit card, cheque, annual fee, monthly membership, tuition fees, poverty, bank statement, money management, current account, interest rate, deposit, student account, withdraw,  mortgage, grace period, in advance, budget deficit, retail voucher, coupon, counterfeit money, debt, interest-free credit, purchase, partial refund, annuity, public money, taxpayers’ money, income,  non-refundable, MasterCard, VISA, duty-free store, distribution costs, finance department, family finances

Weather, Health, Nature, and Environment

humid, hot, sticky, breeze, chilly, cold, cool, dry, dusty, freezing, hot, warm, wet, weather forecast, antenna, moisture, yoga, tai-chi, keep-fit, salad bar, vegetarian, outdoor activities, leisure time, disease, meal, protein, balanced diet, food pyramid, vitamin, carbohydrates, rice, pasta, potatoes, pizza, tomatoes, bread, cereals, minerals, zinc, meat, seafood, eggs, beans, milk, cheese, yoghurt, fruit, vegetables, citrus fruits, green pepper, blackcurrant, nuts, egg yolk, liver, medicine, treatment, remedy, nursing care, nursery, regular exercise, field, footbridge, river, mountain, forest, village, environment, waterfall, coast, reef, lake, valley, peninsula, earthquake, avalanche, tornado, typhoon, hill, cliff, island, desertification, volcano, disaster, landslides, storm, flood, hurricane, pond, catastrophe, erosion, jungle, oasis, dam, canyon, coal, fossil fuels, acid rain, global warming, carbon dioxide, greenhouse effect, burning fossil, exhaust fumes, smog, climate, pollution, temperature, power plants, deforestation, nitrogen oxide, landfill, cattle, wind turbine, renewable, source of energy, reliable, solar panels, solar power, hydroelectric power, environmentally friendly, oxygen, chemical-free, vegetation, sea level, ocean currents, soil conditioner, firewood, desert, degradation, drought, contaminated

Job Profiles, Arts, and Media

designer, occupation, profession, decorator, architect, engineer, waiter, teacher, vacancy, professor, specialist, manager, waitress,  psychologist, volunteer, craftsman, work experience, curriculum vitae, freelance, secretary,  mail address, receptionist, pilot,  lecturer, office assistant, clerk, accountant, guard, flight attendant, cashier, captain, Opera, Orchestra, concert, symphony, the press, conductor, vocalist, audience, festival, carnival, exhibition, classical music, theatre, cinemas, art gallery, museum, ballet, television, radio, graphics, newspaper

Homes, Architecture and Buildings

chimney, bedroom, semi-detached house, duplex, townhouse, row house, bungalow, thatched cottage, mobile home, houseboat, a block of flats, apartment building, condominium, basement, landlord, terraced house,  tenant, rent, lease, neighborhood, suburb, dormitory, story, kitchen, refrigerator, microwave, sofa, coffee table, ground floor, oven, hallway, insurance, dome, palace, fort, castle, glasshouse, pyramid, log cabin, lighthouse, hut, skyscraper, sculpture

City, Places, and Workplaces

central station, cities, street, lane, city centre, car park, department store, bridge, temple, hospital, garden, avenue, embassy, road system, parliament, accommodation, local library, swimming pool, cafeteria, cottage, restaurant, bookshop, sports centre, city council, canteen, cafe,  dance studio, park, conversation club, kindergarten, staff selection, clinic, dentist, reception, appointment, colleague, workshop,  employer, employment, unemployed, technical cooperation, team leaders, showroom, information desk, stress, ability, vision, employee, internship, confidence

Vehicles, Transportations

camper, double-decker bus, single-decker, minibus, forklift truck, school bus, coach, truck, tanker, van, lorry, transporter, tow truck, breakdown truck, pickup, jeep, taxi, cab, tram, underground, subway, caravan, tractor, stream train, freight train, a goods train, boat, lifeboat, cargo plane, shipment, container ship,  ferry, liner, canal boat, narrowboat, dinghy sailing, hovercraft, hydrofoil, sailboat, paddle steamer, cabin cruiser, kayak, canoe, punt, gondola, aircraft, rowing boat, rowboat, helicopter, seaplane, airship, hot-air balloon, airport, platform, hire a car, automobile, crew, passenger

Sports and Tourism 

jet-skiing, bodyboarding,  snowboarding, cricket, baseball, basketball, rugby, hang-gliding, skydiving, soccer, American football, hockey, swimming, tennis, squash, the javelin,  badminton, ping-pong, field, court, pitch, stadium, team, the discus, the hammer, the high jump, horse racing, show jumping, polo, cycling, canoeing, refreshment, gymnasium, extreme sports, paragliding, abseiling, athlete, gym, bungee jumping, white-water rafting, surfing, windsurfing, kitesurfing, mountain biking, push-up, judo, recreation, jogging, press-up, snooker, walking, barbell, treadmill, championship, souvenir, trip, tourist guided tour, ticket office, guest, reservation, view, culture, single double-bedded room, picnic, tourist attraction, hostel, suite, memorable,  aquarium

Tools and Equipment

helmet, light, musical instrument, cassette, silicon chip, digital monitor, gadget, device, screen, breaks, wheels, mechanical pencil, disk, backpack

Flora and Fauna

lion, penguin, seabirds, poultry and game,  birds of prey, mammals, genus, species, cetacean, whale, primates, rodents, reptile, insects, octopus, phylum, fish, amphibian,  class, order, family, livestock, creature, plants: mushroom, fungus, stem, roots, cluster, fertilizer, leaves, seed, core, bark, trunk, twig, branch, flower


sufficient, dialogue, passport photo, state, variety, private sector, practice, gender, creativity, government, individual, original inhabitant, indigenous, demonstration, circuit, guarantee, commerce, carriage, narrative, strike, entrance, chocolate, satellite, decision, prototype, attitude,  activity, recipient, ultrasound, pedestrian safety, daily routine, personal fulfilment, traffic jams, procedures, creation, senior, opportunity, driving license, prize, junior, process, literary, man-made, republicans, waiting list, sewer systems, liberal democracy, democrats, umbrella, frequently updated, lunar calendar, libertarian, burger, videos, fund-raising event, magnet, dialect, ramification, straight, nature conservation, life expectancy, farewell, welfare, encyclopedia, illiteracy, robot, proficiency, evolution, revolution

As you learn the IELTS words, you must ideally also learn their spellings, pronunciations, and changes they go through when they change their meanings. You do not have to learn specific meanings for each and every word by heart, but you must know the meaning and nature in order to use the words correctly.

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Do I need to learn all the most common words in IELTS listening test?

Ideally, you must learn all the common words in the IELTS listening test. However, you are under no compulsion to learn all of them. You can strategise to learn common listening words based on different categories and you can learn only their root forms or even their pronunciation and spellings. 

Which are the most common words in IELTS listening test?

The most commonly used IELTS listening words are from categories such as weekdays and weekends, months, days, places, workplaces, jobs, weather, environment, health, nature, flora and fauna, higher studies, hobbies, subjects, materials, colours, shapes, verbs, adjectives, and qualities.

Does it matter if I learn only a handful of the most common words in IELTS listening test?

Yes, it matters if you learn only a handful of the most common words in the IELTS listening test. It is advised that if you are focusing on selected words among the 1200 most common words in IELTS Listening, you should learn their spellings, dictations, word forms, and the changes undergone by the root form of the word.

Is dictation an important part of the most common words in IELTS Listening test?

Yes, dictation is an important part of the most common words in IELTS Listening test. The dictation or pronunciation of a word is sometimes different from the actual spelling and may even omit some sounds. It is important that you know both the spelling and dictation of an English word. It can severely affect your performance in the IELTS Listening test.

Is 5.5 bands a good score on the IELTS Listening test?

Yes, 5.5 bands is a decent score on the IELTS Listening test. Although a good score depends on the requirements of the institute you plan to apply to, a sub score of 5.5 bands in the IELTS Listening test is accepted by a majority of foreign universities. Learning the most common words in the IELTS Listening test will help you in scoring 6.5 bands or higher in the IELTS Listening test.

Do spelling mistakes matter in IELTS exam?

Yes, spelling mistakes matter in IELTS exam. As the exam is an English language proficiency test, it is important that its usage is correct. This includes correct spellings, pronunciations, and grammar. You must hence focus on learning correct spellings of the most common words in the IELTS Listening test. 

What are the three common types of spelling errors in IELTS exam?

The three common types of spelling errors in IELTS exam are similar diction words with different spellings, changes in spellings of words, and silent words or clusters in a spelling. Since the pronunciation and spelling are different, it is common to commit mistakes in the IELTS exam. The most common words in the IELTS Listening test will help you in reducing the chances to make such spelling errors.

Does IELTS cut marks for spelling mistakes?

Yes, IELTS cuts marks for spelling mistakes. The sections of Writing and Listening are the most affected by spelling mistakes. Since you have to write your answers in these sections, it is important to know the correct spelling and grammar. Technical errors in concepts of the English language can result in the deduction of marks.

How can I practice spelling for IELTS Listening?

You can practice spelling for the IELTS Listening exam by learning the various technical aspects of English language words. You can use the most common words in the IELTS Listening test to ease your learning process for the exam. You can learn about root words, homophones, homographs and homonyms, and silent and repetitive letters.

Should I follow the American or British spelling in IELTS?

You can follow either of the two, American or British spelling in the IELTS exam. The IELTS exam acknowledges both varieties of the English language, including their unique spellings, dictionaries, and words. The only requirement is that whatever variety you use, it must be consistent throughout the IELTS exam, and spellings and diction should also be used correctly.

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