Most common GCSE spelling errors

Last updated: 15/11/2023
Most common GCSE spelling errors list
Main Subject
Key stage
Resource type
Exam preparation

A comprehensive list of spelling mistakes that KS4 students commonly make in GCSE English exams. 

This is an essential resource for teachers and for students, both in the classroom and as a home reference. Students can use this helpful spelling list to practise recall and improve spelling accuracy during their GCSE studies. 

Using this resource regularly for quick spelling checks in class will also help students to be more aware of the SPaG requirements for both GCSE English Language and GCSE English Literature.

For AQA GCSE English Language, spelling is explicitly appraised in AO6 (Technical Accuracy). This assessment objective asks students to use accurate spelling, amongst other SPaG requirements, for a maximum of 16 marks in the writing section. 

With AQA GCSE English Literature, spelling is assessed under AO4 in both Section A and Section B (question 07.1 only). There's a maximum of 4 marks available for accurate spelling and punctuation used in conjunction with consistent vocabulary and sentence structures for effect. 

You may also like to look for additional resources in our comprehensive Spelling collection



A sample extract from the resource:

Here’s a list of some of the most commonly misspelled words in GCSE English exams.

  • Highlight any words that you frequently misspell.  
  • What strategies have you successfully used to learn a spelling? Swap ideas with a partner.

A    acceptable, a lot, appalling, appearance, apprehensive, analysis,        argument

B     beautiful, beginning, believe, breaking, business

c      character, completely, conscience

d     decided, definitely, development, disappear, disappearance,                 disappoint, disgust/ed

e     embarrass, entrepreneur, environment, exaggerate, excited

f      friend, fulfil

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