April 14

Common Spelling Mistakes And How Spelling Affects Your PTE Score


A wide range of vocabulary is essential for both the writing and reading test. for the writing test, you need to be able to understand the usage and spelling of a word, while for reading you need to be able to recognise words.

Making a spelling error might seem like a major issue, but it can be quite costly. There are so many rules to follow and just as many exceptions to these rules to remember. This makes spelling a tricky business indeed!

Stop Using Microsoft Word

You should not use Microsoft word while preparing or practicing for the exam. the reason for this is simple, Microsoft word automatically corrects common spelling and highlights the less common ones. You might not even be aware that you are making such errors. I recommend using a program like notepad to type out your responses, and then copy and paste into Microsoft word to cross-check your spelling errors. Keep a log of the words that you often struggle with and make sure that you regularly practice their spelling and use them in sentences.

Be Careful Of Homophones

Homophones are words that sound exactly the same but have a different spelling. You need to be aware of their different meanings so that you do not inadvertently use the wrong word. Some of the more common homophones are:

  • Be, bee
  • Ad, add
  • Ate, eight
  • Son, sun
  • By, buy, bye
  • Hear, here
  • Their, there

Non-Phonetic Spelling

The English language is non-phonetic, that’s just a fancy way of saying that the spelling of words often do not agree with how they sound. Unfortunately, there is no easy way to get around this fact. Some words can be accurately spelled out by breaking down their sounds( for example, constituent – con – sti – tu - ent), while others cannot. For example

  • Mortgage (The word is pronounced more like mo-ge-j)
  • Queue (The word is pronounced as a simple “Q”)
  • Language (The word is pronounced as langu-wej)
  • Choir (The word is pronounced as kwa-ya)


A suffix is a letter or group of letters, for example '-ly' or '-ness,' which is added to the end of a word in order to form a different word, often of a different word class.

When adding a suffix to a word that ends in Y you need to replace that Y with an I before you add the suffix.

For example, words like beauty, happy, and ready become beaut-i-ful, happ-i-ness, and read-i-ness, when adding a suffix.

If you add a suffix to a word that ends with E, you also need to replace that E with I before you add the suffix. For example, words like write, hope, like, and oppose become writ-i-ng, hop-i-ng, lik-i-ng, and oppos-i-ng.


When changing a word from its singular form to the plural form, you need to be aware of this simple rule. You should add ‘ES’ to words that end in -S, -SS, -Z, -SH, -CH, -X

  • Nurses
  • Buses
  • Sizes
  • Dishes
  • Lunches
  • Fixes

Hopefully, by now you understand that spelling like any other PTE skill requires focus and thorough preparation in order to see any sort of marked improvement.


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