UK or US Spelling What IELTS Candidates Shall Make Use Of

One common question which almost every IELTS candidate asks is this: “What IELTS accepts – UK or US English Spelling?” If you have a similar question in your mind then this article is for you.

Well, candidates who are going to take the IELTS have the freedom to make use of either UK English or US English. But, it should also be said that they can’t make use of both versions of the language in the test. If you are writing making use of US English then all your answers shall have the spelling structures as per the US standards and you can’t make use of UK spelling versions. If you do so then there are chances that you will lose marks.

Consider this following table:

US Spelling

UK Spelling



















Well, what do you understand?

There are many words in English which may have different spellings. Yes, UK and US people use different spellings for the same word. If US make use of “IZE” in certain words like Accessorize, Authorize and others then UK people may make use of “ISE” at the end of the same words like Accessorise, Authorise etc.

Other Words Include

Appetizer – Appetiser

Authorize – Authorise

Capitalize – Capitalise

Criticize- Criticise

Dramatize – Dramatise

Emphasize – Emphasise

Similarly, US people may prefer to end certain words with “OG” whereas UK writing rules may require ending the same word with the letters “OGUE.” Consider these words:

Catalog – Catalogue

Analog – Analogue

Analogs – Analogues

Dialog – Dialogue

Epilog – Epilogue

Prolog – Prologue

Monolog – Monologue

The CE and SE Difference

Now, take a look at these words:

Defence and Defense, Pretence and Pretense, Vice and Vise.

What did you notice?

The words which ends on “CE” may also end with “SE.” One is used as a noun and the other can be used as Verb. This is what we call English. A word can have multiple forms as well with slight variations in its spelling structure. Anyone who doesn’t’ have mastery over words may not perform well. The candidates need to know the differences between the US and UK English.

Getting More Acquainted With Different Versions Of English

It is always good that you shall get acquainted with both versions of English with more focus on Spelling Differences. Of course, during your Reading and Listening Test, you may use written English in a limited way but still you are required to follow rules and make use of only one type of English.

Writing Test is where you will have to be very serious about what you are making use of – words shall either be as per US spelling standards or the UK spelling standards. You can’t switch from one type of version to the other. Of course, using the only type of English is not the criteria for the score in writing test but still, it can lower down you score as this will lead to no consistency in the flow of language. So, make use of just one version of English and not both.

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