When to use capital letters in IELTS Listening and Reading?

When to use capital letters on IELTS Listening

The IELTS Listening and Reading sections can scare some students. It can seem confusing because of all the rules involved in writing the answers. We often get a range of questions about how to write answers in the IELTS Listening and Reading Sections. How many words to write in an answer? Are numbers allowed or do we have to spell the numbers? Among this confusion one of the most frequently asked questions is when to use Capital Letters in IELTS Listening and Reading Sections.

IELTS Listening and Reading sections are NOT case sensitive. So, you can use capital letters whenever you want. In Paper Based IELTS you can use capital letters in case your hand-writing is not readable. In Computer Delivered IELTS you need not use it.

 

Focus on Spellings and Legibility:

You must make sure that your answers are legible enough for the examiner to read. If the examiner cannot read your answer, they may mark it wrong, citing wrong spelling. So, you can write all your answers in capital letters to make sure that the examiner can understand what you have written.
In fact, you might make more mistakes if you switch between capital letters and small letters. It is best to write all answers in capital letters to ensure that there is no problem with common nouns and proper nouns.
While the computer delivered IELTS avoids the problem of bad handwriting, it is still advisable to write all answers in capitals to make sure there is no way that you get stuck in the common noun/proper noun rule. On the flip side you can write all your answers in small letters as well.

Case in Point:

  • If your answer is ‘a boy’, then you can write it as ‘A Boy’, or ‘a boy’, or ‘A BOY’. 
  • If your answer is a proper noun like ‘Norway’, IELTS will not penalise you for writing ‘NORWAY’ or ‘norway’ as long as the spelling is clear.

This trick applies for date and time as well. 

  • You can write ‘11 AM’ or ‘11 am’, and both will be marked correct. 
  • You can write ‘Monday’, or ‘monday’, or ‘MONDAY’ and all three would be considered correct. 

What is important is that the examiner can clearly read the answer, and the spelling is not wrong.

IELTS Listening: Strategy to solve Form Completion

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