When to use capital letters in your IELTS listening and reading test. Will you get a lower score if you make a mistake with capital letters? Can you write your answers in all capital letters? What are the rules for capital letters in IELTS? Capital letters in IELTS 2017.
Using Capital Letters for Answers: IELTS Rules
Capital Letters in IELTS Listening and Reading
In IELTS listening and reading, you can write all your answers in capital letters if you want or not.
- You can write your answers in small letters if you want.
- You can mix both capitals and lower case if you want.
- IELTS will NOT mark your capital letters in listening or reading.
Examples of capital letters in listening and reading:
- Mr Brown = correct / mR bRown = correct / 9am = correct / 9Am = correct / monday = correct / MONDAY = correct
- It doesn’t matter if you use capital letters, don’t use them or use them inappropriately – the answer will be correct. So don’t worry.
In IELTS listening, you will be given 10 mins extra to transfer your answers to your answer sheet. Capital letters are not important and punctuation is not marked. If your handwriting is poor, write in capital letters so it is easy to read.
In IELTS reading, you will not get 10 extra mins to transfer your answers. You must write your answers directly on your answer sheet. But it is completely your choice how to write your answers. The most important factor is not capital letters but clear writing – same as for listening.
Capital Letters in IELTS Writing
In IELTS Writing, you can choose to write your essay in capital letters. But I wouldn’t recommend it because:
- you have a strict time limit and it takes too long to write in capital letters
- you WILL be marked on punctuation so the use of capital letters and lower case is important to show. You must have a capital letter at the start of a sentence, for example.
So, write your essay in lower case and remember to use capital letters when appropriate. The examiner will mark you down if you use capital letters incorrectly. Here is a list of typical words that use capital letters:
When to use capital letters in English grammar
- Days/ Months = Thursday / September
- Names and Titles = Mrs J Blogs / Dr Author Jones
- Countries / Cities = India / Vietnam / Paris / Hong Kong
- Names of Places = University of London
- Acronyms = BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation)
- Start of a Sentence = “The majority of people use cars to go to work these days. However, it would be better if they used healthier means of transport such as the bicycle.”
Biggest Mistake with Capital Letters
- but / because / and
- These linking words NEVER start with a capital letter because they should NEVER be used to start a sentence. See my page of linking words for writing task 2 to learn tips and get a useful list: IELTS Writing Task 2 Linking Words
What about speaking part 2? Well, the notes you make for your talk are not marked and only you see them. The examiner will not check them or mark them. So, don’t write sentences or bother with punctuation, just write words, ideas and tips to help you present a good talk.
More IELTS Tips
What about using a pen or pencil? Click on this link: IELTS Pen or Pencil
How are words counted in IELTS Listening? Click on this link: How Words are Counted in IELTS
Can I use “I” or “my” in writing task 2? Click on this link: How to express your opinion in IELTS WT2
Tips & Practice for Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking:
- IELTS Listening
- IELTS Reading
- IELTS Writing Task 1
- IELTS Writing Task 2
- IELTS Speaking
- Vocabulary for IELTS