Sometimes we mis-speak. This happens to native speakers as well as language learners. If we mis-speak in our native language (say the wrong word or use the wrong tense), we usually go back and self-correct.

Should you do this in the IELTS test?

One of my students was worried that if he went back and corrected himself, it would make the examiner realise that he had made a mistake in the first place. Right?

What do you think? Do you agree with him?

NOPE! Wrong. The examiner will realise straight away that  you have made a mistake. So the best thing you can do is to go back and correct it.

‘ I took five really good picture on my holiday, pictures, five pictures. They all take, were taken in Cyprus.’ 

is better than …

‘ I took five really good picture on my holiday. They all take, in Cyprus.’

However, don’t get so worried that you correct everything or try six different versions just in case one is right. The idea is to simply have an awareness of your errors and correct them sometimes. If you do it a few times in the test, it will benefit you.