Mastering Grammar for IELTS: Guide and Rules to Follow

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  • Updated On:Aug 14,2023 03:57 PM IST

IELTS is one of the most popular English proficiency test accepted worldwide. Grammar for IELTS is important for getting high band scores. Good grammar command is essential to scoring high in all the test sections, namely reading, writing, speaking, and listening.Read the blog to understand the guidelines and rules of IELTS Grammar.

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The IELTS (International English Language Testing System) is a popular English proficiency test accepted by most colleges, universities and other authorities worldwide. It tests the English skills of the applicant who intends to study abroad, where English is the primary language. Grammar for IELTS plays a pivotal role in assessing an individual's language ability during the English proficiency test. Grammar serves as the fundamental structure of a language. It plays a significant part, especially in the writing and speaking module of the IELTS test. Understanding the basics of grammar also helps both in reading and writing. Students preparing for IELTS must know the guidelines and rules during the test.

What is the significance of grammar in relation to the IELTS test? 

Grammar is considered to be the base of a language. Adequate knowledge of grammar is an absolute necessity as it helps in writing and speaking straightforwardly. The difficulty in constructing meaningful and logical sentences arises from a lack of comprehension of grammar. During the IELTS test, grammatical range and its accuracy affect 25% of the score. Grammar for IELTS is essential for all test sections- Speaking, Writing, Listening, or Reading. Though grammar is not tested directly, it should be correct while answering the questions. A more robust understanding of grammar ensures that the applicant clearly understands the topic. Grammatical errors during IELTS Test can bring down one's band score. If a sentence has too many grammatical errors, the scores can go down to 'coherence and cohesion' and 'lexical resource' criteria. 

Guide to Grammar for IELTS

It is recommended that applicants familiarize themselves with fundamental grammar topics during IELTS Grammar Test, including:

• Nouns
• Pronouns
• Adjectives
• Rules of tense
• Rules of articles
• Similes and metaphors
• Rules of degree of comparison
• Prepositions

By reviewing these basic grammar concepts, applicants can enhance their understanding and proficiency in English language skills.

Grammar for IELTS- Speaking

Applicants' speaking abilities are assessed in the Speaking section of IELTS, and grammar is vital during this test. It is essential to communicate effectively on various subjects, including abstract topics. Evaluation criteria such as confidence, fluency, and pronunciation heavily rely on grammar. Making errors in grammar during the speaking test can impact the examiner's assessment of candidates' confidence, pronunciation, and fluency.

Grammar for IELTS- Listening

In the IELTS Listening section, candidates encounter four recorded texts comprising monologues and conversations accompanied by corresponding questions. Native speakers present the recordings to assess applicants' ability to comprehend English in different contexts. To make the test more diverse and inclusive, recordings feature various accents. It is crucial not to overlook the significance of grammar in the IELTS Listening section, as it forms the foundation for understanding the recordings within the allotted time.

Grammar for IELTS- Writing

Within the Writing section of IELTS, one must complete two tasks within a 60-minute. Task 1 involves interpreting and describing data presented through graphs, diagrams, and other information, followed by a conclusion. Task 2 requires writing an essay that meets the expected standards. Undoubtedly, grammar plays a paramount role in the IELTS Writing section, as it is the primary means evaluators assess candidates' writing skills and grasp of grammatical concepts.

Grammar for IELTS- Reading           

The reading section of the IELTS test consists of three parts, each containing passages designed to assess your reading abilities. This section evaluates skills such as reading for main ideas, skimming, and understanding the logical arguments presented in the text. Although the section may initially seem straightforward, it can be challenging because it requires identifying the writer's opinions, attitudes, and purpose of writing. To accomplish this, a clear understanding of the text is necessary. Grammar plays a crucial role in the IELTS Reading section as it aids in achieving clarity when answering questions.

Also read: IELTS Exam Pattern

Essential rules to know for the IELTS Grammar Test

Grammar plays a significant role in the IELTS Grammar Test as it improves all four language skills: reading, writing, listening, and speaking. Candidates must adhere to the following rules:

Understanding Verb Tenses - Applicants must have an adequate understanding of verb tenses and should be able to differentiate between simple and continuous verb tenses. The difference between the simple and continuous verb tenses lies in the way they convey the timing and duration of an action. Simple tense describes general actions or facts and focuses on the action as a whole without stressing its duration or on-going nature. On the other hand, continuous tense focuses on activities happening at the moment of speaking or are in progress. It highlights the temporary nature or on-going aspect of the action. Therefore, the choice between these tenses depends on whether the emphasis is on a general situation or an activity at the present moment.
Present Perfect and Simple Past Verb: Applicants may be required to discuss various historical events. Additionally, they need to discern the relevance and applicability of these activities in the present context. While writing allows more time for contemplation, conveying such topics within the time constraints of speaking can be challenging. However, acquiring a solid understanding of the present perfect and simple past verb tenses can significantly facilitate success in this examination.
Passive Voice: The passive voice adopts a formal and detached tone. It is formed by combining the appropriate tense of the verb "to be" with the past participle. For instance, "written" is preferred over "written." Certain sections of the IELTS exam require writing in a formal style, such as the report writing section. Demonstrating proficiency in maintaining a formal tone showcases the candidate's expertise on the subject matter.
Definite Article: While referring to an individual or object the speaker is already familiar with, the article "The" is used in the sentence. Applicants appearing for the IELTS exam must keep aside time to cross-check their papers and use the time to reflect on their mistakes. 
Using Adjectives: Candidates are highly encouraged to use adjectives extensively when describing things, people, or situations. This showcases their wide-ranging vocabulary in both spoken and written communication. 
Eliminate common spelling errors: Candidates tend to make errors in their spelling during the IELTS test. It is advised that candidates must put in as much practice as they can, which will also help them increase their answering speed and eliminate mistakes simultaneously. 
Sentence Construction: Before appearing for the IELTS Test, one must know how to construct a sentence accurately. Using proper grammar for IELTS is crucial for creating sentences.

Also read: IELTS Exam Registration

Common Mistakes students make during IELTS Grammar Test

Some common mistakes an IELTS Test-taker must avoid are as follows:

 Ensuring Consistency in Sentence ConstructionIt is essential to achieve subject-verb agreement, meaning that the verb should match the subject's number (singular or plural). In simpler terms, the verb should also be singular when the subject is singular. Similarly, the subject and verb should be plural when the subject is plural. Maintaining the subject and verb agreement is essential for grammatically correct sentences.
Correct Word order: Proper word order is essential when composing sentences as it enhances clarity and comprehension. Ensuring the proper arrangement of words enables the sentence to be easily understood.
The Use and Overuse of Commas:  Commas are misused frequently. They can be overused, underused, or missed entirely. You don't need a comma when there is an independent and dependent clause in the same sentence.
Making grammar mistakes is common, but they can be readily avoided by being vigilant. It is crucial to review your writing during the IELTS test thoroughly. By reducing errors, candidates can increase their chances of achieving a higher band score.

Mastering grammar for IELTS is essential for achieving high band scores in all test sections - reading, writing, speaking, and listening. A strong command of grammar ensures clear communication, enhances comprehension, and showcases language proficiency. Candidates can effectively convey their ideas and discuss historical events by understanding verb tenses, such as the difference between simple and continuous tenses and being proficient in the present perfect and simple past verb tenses. Being mindful of subject-verb agreement and avoiding common mistakes, such as using commas, further enhances the overall quality of written and spoken responses. By adhering to the rules and guidelines of IELTS Grammar Test, candidates can improve their language skills and increase their chances of success in the test.

Also read: IELTS Exam Syllabus


Candidates can improve their grammar for IELTS by reading books and newspapers, listening to podcasts, practising writing every day and paying attention to punctuation. These strategies help one to enhance their grammar skills and contribute to overall language proficiency. 
Some of the most common grammar topics in IELTS tests are Nouns and pronouns, Articles, Tenses, Metaphors and Similes etc.
The most crucial areas of grammar for IELTS tests are verbs, tenses, speaking and voice.
There are no particular grammar-related questions in IELTS. However, the sections of IELTS require a fair amount of knowledge of grammar.
Grammar plays a significant role in any language, providing learners with a structure to understand, speak and write a new language.

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