Capital Letters in IELTS: Will it affect your score?

When to use capital letters in your IELTS Listening, Reading and Writing 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? What about using capital letters in the computer based IELTS test? Read below to learn about this.

Using Capital Letters for IELTS Answers: Rules & Advice

Below you will find advice for using capital letters for writing your answers in IELTS Listening, Reading and Writing.

Capital Letters in IELTS Listening and Reading

In IELTS listening and reading, you can write all your answers in capital letters if you want. You can do this for the paper based test and the computer based test. It is completely up to you. There is no rule stating whether you should use capital or lower case.

  • You can write your answers in small letters if you want.
  • You can write in all capital letters.

Examples of capital letters in listening and reading:

  • HOSPITAL = correct / hospital = correct / 9am = correct / 9AM = correct 

Which is best? Capital letters or lower case?

I recommend writing your listening and reading answers in capital letters for the paper based test. This avoids any problems of markers struggling to read your handwriting. For the computer based test, it doesn’t matter. Both lower case and upper case will be easy to read. 

Transferring Answers in Listening & Reading

In IELTS listening, you will be given 10 mins extra to transfer your answers to your answer sheet in the paper based test. Check your answers and check your spelling – then write your answers on the answer sheet.  If your handwriting is poor, write using all capital letters so it is easy to read. For the computer based test, you do not need to transfer answers. You only need to check what you have already put into the computer. For this reason, you will be given only 2 mins to check your answers after the recording ends.

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 clear writing for the paper based test. Use all capital letters if your handwriting isn’t clear.

Capital Letters in IELTS Writing

In IELTS Writing, you can choose to write your essay in capital letters. But I would not recommend it because:

  1. 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.
  2. you have a strict time limit and it takes too long to write in capital letters

So, write your essay in lower case and remember to use capital letters when grammatically 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 should NEVER be used to start a sentence in formal writing. 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:


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  1. Malaika Tanveer says

    I’m confused about diagram lebelling in Ielts Reading. I was taking a mock test and this is the feedback I got on one labelling question: “In the third paragraph it is stated that electricity from a battery between the tail wings is used to pump an oil contained inside central hull tanks next to the mid wings into external containment bladders behind the nose, so external containment bladders is the correct answer.” I wrote external containment bladder (singular) as my answer and turns out it was wrong.
    Does this matter when it comes to diagram lebelling? (the arrow only pointed to one external containment bladder instead of two—there were two of them in total).
    Do I need to exactly copy paste my answers from the passage no matter what?
    Please let me know.

    • Your answers for the reading test will always come from the passage. You don’t alter the words or paraphrase the words. You choose the word from the passage and write it precisely as it is shown in the passage. This is the same for the listening test. You listen and write the precise word you hear.

  2. Rofiyat says

    Hello Liz,
    Thank you for creating this platform. I have a question bothering me. Can i use upper case for all my test i.e capital letters for my writing, listening and reading taking the computer based test. I am thinking instead of putting the CAPS LOCK on and off i should just on it. I hope my score won’t be affected for writing.

    Thank you

    • The reason it is often advised to use all capital letters for listening and reading is because in the paper test, people would write their answers by hand with bad handwriting which could cause them to lose points. When writing using capital letters, it’s easier to read and thus avoid the potential of losing points. This doesn’t apply to the computer test where answers are clicked, dragged or typed. So, for the computer based listening and reading test, capital letters aren’t necessary but if you want to have all your answers in capitals, you can.
      For the writing test, it’s a huge mistake to use all capital letters because the marking criterion of Grammar, which is 25% of your marks, includes the correct use of capital letters.

      • Rofiyat says

        Thank you Liz,
        Wishing you quick recovery.

      • Karanjit Singh says

        Hi Liz, i am going to take computer based exam after 10 hours. But i have confusion about listening and reading. My question is, is it right if i use CAPITAL LETTERS for both listening and reading answers. Please let me know as soon as you can. Please

        • You can choose what you want. There are no rules as explained on the page above. Using all capital letters if good for the paper test to make handwriting clearer. For the computer test, it makes no difference what you choose. It’s your choice entirely.

          • Karanjit Singh says

            Hi Liz, i just finished my computer delivered ielts exam and for reading and listening i gave answers in capital letters. I hope everything will be ok.

  3. Hi Liz, in IELTS Listening I write all answers in capital. My question is if the answer is proper noun/name ex:- “SANDRA”. Is it okay to write “SANDRA” or do I have to write “Sandra”?

    • It is fine to use all capital letters for the listening and reading test.

      • Thank you Liz not “LIZ”

        • 🙂

          • Prabh says

            Hi Liz, I have a question, if we get section 1 in listeninb for instance. Like Read questions 11-20 will all the wuestions one section be on same page or some on thr next as well?

            • It’s a very good question. They could be on different pages which means you need to make sure that you have quickly skim read all questions mentioned, such as “questions 11 to 16”.

  4. I wrote “yes” instead of “YES”will that make my score less ?

    • Capital letters are not important in the test. The recommendation to use them is mainly for the paper based test where handwriting can be an issue and bad writing can affect your score. So, using lower case or upper case is entirely your choice, it isn’t a rule

  5. Kshitij Kasabekar says

    If we are not sure whether an answer is a proper or a common noun, can we write only that particular answer in all capital and rest of the answers in small?

    • Capital letters or small letters don’t affect your score in the listening test. This means grammar isn’t part of the marking process. If you write using all lower case or all capital letters, it makes no difference in the listening test. It only matters in the writing test where Grammar forms part of your marks (25% of your marks). If you are still unsure about proper nouns, please get a grammar book and start learning about them.

  6. Juliet Uchendu says

    Hi im Juliet, i really need you’re help, so i’ve been using an app to practice for the IELTS computer based test, my issue is that the app marks my answers wrong based on a small technicality. For instance my answer could be ’11:30pm’ and the app says that its actually ’11:30′ and just like that my answer is incorrect, or sometimes it can look at how i capitalize my words like i might write ‘jake’ but the app can say its actually ‘Jake’, other times its cause of a lack of hypen, or gap, or writing the number in words instead of in numerical form. its crazy. I would love to know if the actual test is as strict as the app is.

    • If you wish to understand the marking and the possible variation in answers, you need to look at the Cambridge test books which show the possible answers for each question. You’ll soon learn what the options are. Capital letters do not play a part in marking for IELTS listening, so your answer shouldn’t be marked wrong for that. Times often have a degree of flexibility as well. This is why using apps created by someone who is not IELTS is risky. Certainly, it’s useful practice, but they won’t help you learn the specifics of IELTS tests. So, my advice is use the books to practice from to gain insight into IELTS and then use those apps just to get used to putting your answers into a screen.

  7. Mutabar says

    Good day Liz. Your lessons are brilliant. Thank you.
    I have a question. Today one of my students write in her reading answer sheet “T” for TRUE answers instead of writing full TRUE.
    Is it acceptable or will impact their score?
    Thanks ham n advance.

    • Yes, it’s fine to write just the letter. The problem comes when someone writes True instead of Yes or T instead of Y.

  8. Afia says

    Hello Liz, Hope you are fine. I might sound dump, but I’m super confused about using all capital letters in listening and reading. Some people said that it ‘ll cut my marks. Is it true? 🙁

    • If you are taking the paper based test, it is best to use all capital letters so that handwriting doesn’t become an issue. If the marker can’t read your writing, it will be marked wrong. However, with the computer based test, this doesn’t apply so you can use either small or capital letters.

      • Afia says

        I am taking computer based test. I am thinking that, they might have set some fixed answers, which will be checked by computer. So if I write in all capital letters, it can take as wrong answers.

        • Whether you use capitals or small letters is your choice. It is about the word you write, not the size of the letters, unless specifically said in the recording such as for emails.

  9. Hi Madam
    I have one question which I didn’t find in the FAQ
    for ielts listening computer based if the answer is 50dollar or 4weeks if we put gap between of two words like 50 dollar and 4 weeks is it wrong ?
    or there is no difference if we put gap or if we don’t put ?

    • Of course you should put a gap. We never write 50dollars. There is no such word in the dictionary. But also, it is very easy to confuse the answer when it is written that way. Always make your answers very very easy to read. Also, you are not writing two words. You are writing one word and one number.

  10. Ijeoma says

    Hi Liz!

    Thanks alot for your videos, they are really helping me prepare for the IELTS. I want to ask a question as I couldn’t find it in the FAQ. Please can one make corrections especially in the reading and writing skills since there are no extra times given to transfer answers like we have in the listening skill?

    • Certainly, you can delete answers and write new ones in. As long as the right word is easy to read, it’s completely fine.

  11. Bharat B says

    Hi Liz,
    Hope you are doing fine. I’ve already taken my test and I’m reading this page now, unfortunately. I’ve written the complete ‘Writing’ section in capitals. I understand that punctuation carries marks as part of grammar, so does this mean that I loose those marks as part of scoring?

    Thanks in advance!

    • This will make marking for Grammar for difficult because you do not show the correct use of capital letters. You will still get marked on all other aspects of Grammar. What your score will be for that specific criterion I do not know because it will depend on your level of Grammar overall. Hopefully it won’t have a huge impact. All you can do is cross your fingers – good luck!!

    • Hey,

      If you don’t mind, May I know your writing score please? I did the same thing a week back!!

  12. Alireza says

    Dear Liz,

    While thanking you for your precious tips, I’ve had a big question in my mind which couldn’t find the answer so far.

    In listening module of the IELTS, and in sentence comlletion questions, if there a blank in the first of a sentence, do we have to write in first CAPITAL or the lowercase would be considered to be corect?

    Two good examples that are confusing for me are question no. 40 in Test 4 of book 15 GT, and question no. 39 in in Test 4 of book 16 GT. => as answer, one of them is in Capital (i.e. Advertising) and the other (i.e. rats) in lowercase!

    It would be appreciated if you can advise me.

  13. Anwar says

    doesn’t writing all caps show that you don’t know when to use a capital letter like in (Mr)?
    and what if I wrote a word at the beginning of the sentence in small letters is it wrong (in the listening/reading part)?
    and finally, in the computer-based exam can I write in all caps?
    thank you for the useful post.

    • For the listening test, using capital letters is recommended. The marking criterion of grammar does not apply to listening test answers. For reading, you should copy the words exactly as they are written in the passage. For the writing test, the correct use of capital letters is an essential part of Grammar which counts for 25% of your marks. I hope this explanation helps. For the listening and reading answers, you can use all caps regardless of which test you take.

  14. I’m sorry. I had my Mock FCE exam yesterday and I think that I wrote everything in lower case in the Reading part. Will they count it? ;(

    • It is not a rule that you should use capital letters. As explained on the page above, it is a recommendation. As long as your answers are easily read, it is fine to use lower case. Don’t worry and good luck with your results!

      • Manohar Angirekula says

        I was looking a the following video you posted for listening section:

        Here you mentioned that when answering using small letters, nouns etc should start with capital letters. But answering using small letters wouldn’t matter right? I am asking specifically about listening section.

        • You can use upper or lower case letters for your answers in the listening test. Both are fine to use. I personally recommend using all capital letters for the paper based test because it helps prevent the person marking struggling with handwriting. If the person marking can’t read your writing easily, the answer might be marked wrong. Upper case letters help prevent this.

  15. Harpreet says

    Hi Liz,
    I just wrote my IELTS exam. Unknowingly, I wrote my Listening answers in all capital letters but that for reading in lower case( with capital starting alphabet when reqd). Will this be a problem?

    Thanks in advance.

  16. Hi Liz,
    Greetings of the day. I have followed through most of your videos and they are really helpful for people like me. I have a query related to multiple choice questions.
    I was asked to choose 2 correct alphabets from the 5 choices posted for a question. So while writing the answers how should I be writing the alphabets in the answer sheet against the two questions?

    Thanks in advance,

    • You said it was to choose two letters from one list for one question. Then you write two letters in the answer box for that question. If it is two letters which should cover two questions, then it is one letter in one answer box for each question in any order.

  17. RACHIT KUMAR says

    Hi Liz,

    I will be taking my IELTS in a few days. My doubt is that in the writing section of the test if I want to stress on a specific word, can I capitalise it to be noticed, or will marks be deducted for that?

    Example: ” There is no point in getting demotivated because of failures. Learn from your mistakes and always keep yourself MOTIVATED! ”

    Will this example sentence be accepted?

    Thank You!

    • You are marked on the correct (grammatically correct) use of capital letters in English language. It is not grammatically correct to put a word in all capital letters.

  18. Diwura says

    Liz, I was doing a test on YouTube and I followed your instruction to write in capital letters. But the question was about about the man’s email address and when he called out his email address, he specifically said the address is in lower case. Should i still keep on with the capital or change to lowercase?

    • You must follow instructions. If it specifically says “lower case” or “small letters”, then you write that answer in that way.

  19. Muhammad says


    If in listening test for an example, I write “French restaurant” instead of ” A french restaurant” is it same?

    I m practicing on a website, which marks my answers wrong due to these kind of minor discrepancies or difference of words used by me and the examiner.

    Should we be so specific?

    I m going for computer based by the way.

    Thanks in advance

    • It is always best to use all capital letters for your answers. However, your answer would be marked right. It is important that you stop using such websites. Only use Official Practice Tests which you get directly from IELTS, not from an unofficial website.

  20. Hi dear Liz
    I’m so frustrated with capital letters!
    Which of this answer is correct in Listening part?
    1. October
    2. october
    3. OCTOBER
    4. oCtoBer
    I know the number 1 and 3 are correct but what about the other ones ( 2 and 4)?

    Thanks a lot

    • Just stick with all capital letters and that way you can avoid being confused 🙂

      • Archit Bansal says

        Can we answer in all capital letters for computer-based exam also?

        • I’ve just edited the page above to include information about that. Please read the page again to learn 🙂

  21. Jean Abi Hachem says

    Dear Liz,

    I am planning to take the computer- based IELTS. In this section, you talked about the paper based IELTS.

    For the listening and reading parts, is it safe to write all answers in capital letters? ( like MOTIVATION instead of motivation) even if I chose the computer-based option ?

    Thank you so much for your kind assistance


  22. Islam Refaei says

    does IELTS computer-based exam gives you an indication that the word is not correct (red underline) like Word for example. As I have read something like that

    • There is no language correction in CD IELTS. This is a language test, the computer cannot help you with grammar or vocabulary.

  23. Hi Liz,
    Thank you so much for the videos and practice materials it’s really been helpful. I have a question on the use of capital letters in speaking or writing IELTS test. Incase we have to spell and email address should it be I caps too? When writing Mr. Or Mrs. in caps do we maintain the full stop at the end? When writing initials such as J.K. is there need for the full stops too?

  24. Hira says

    In my reading test i wrote the answers instead of the alphabet options, like the answer was A. Middle East, so instead of writing A, i wrote Middle East. Will my answer be entirely incorrect?

    • If the answer is “A” and you wrote “Middle East” – they are not the same. A letter is a letter. You can’t write a letter and a word. And you can’t write a word only. You must write one letter and nothing else.

  25. In my exam I write Roman numbers like I, II but in ques paper it was mention I, ii do I penalized or it will be ok

    • Liz says

      It’s fine to write them either way. Personally, I follow the instructions and write them as they are shown by IELTS, but it will still be marked correct your way.

  26. Sunakshi says

    Hi Liz,

    I would like to know whether capital format will be accepted during online exam.
    What would you recommend

    • Yes, of course. Just click the Caps Lock.

      • Puneet says

        Hi Liz, what i can understand. Here, online exam means CD IELTS, right? So, does that mean, we can use all CAPS for Listening and Reading?

        • CD IELTS = Computer Delivered IELTS. Yes, you can use caps lock to type in all capitals.

  27. Kelly says

    Hello Liz,

    Thanks a lot for your resources, they have been really helpful

    I have a question. On this page, you mentioned that we must never use linking words to begin sentences hence, they must never be in capital letters and you cited the word ‘because’ as an example.

    However,’because’ is used to begin sentences sometimes. e.g. ‘Because of the rising level of crime in urban areas, parents are more careful with the way they send their children on errands’.

    I just need to confirm if this is wrong.

    Thanks a lot.


    • When you are writing a formal English language test, you should not use “because”, “and” or “but” at the start of a sentence.

  28. Leonora says

    Hey Liz,
    I enjoy visiting your website. I’d definitely recommend it to anyone writing IELTS. The advice you give has been helpful. My question is, do you write time like this “7AM” or “7 AM”?

  29. Ahmed Abdeldayem says






    • It is fine to use capital letters for reading and listening. It is not recommended for writing. The correct use of capital letters is part of English grammar – if all your letters are capital, this aspect of grammar cannot be assessed. It also makes it harder to notice new sentences which of course are notable because they start with a capital letter.

      • Franco Davila says

        I just want to be sure, I am getting conflicting information. In the listening and reading, when writing the answer, if the answer is a day of the week or a month of the year, “Monday”, or “May” for example, and you do not use capitalization.. > “monday” or “may”, this is not counted against you?
        In the IELTS book, it shows an example answer sheet with some example answers and it shows for example “April” spelled with a capital letter, while the other answers are shown to have regular lower case letters. I assumed that this meant that all proper nouns, days of the week and such had to be spelled correctly and capitalized.

        Thanks for your time.

        • I will repeat the advice I always give and the advice on this page: USE ALL CAPITAL LETTERS TO WRITE YOUR READING AND LISTENING ANSWERS.

          • If the space on the answer sheet for listening or reading is not enough when i use capital letters what shall i do?

            • The space will always be enough. You can find sample answer sheets on the BC IELTS website to practise with.

  30. SUJATHA P S says

    Hello Madam. Your site is indeed a wealth of information for IELTS. Thanks for that. I am going to take my exam on February 9th,so I just got a doubt. Would be great if I get some inputs from you. While writing the answer either for reading or listening, if I am not able to fit the answer in the answer box,can I use a hypen and write below

  31. Liz,

    You have mentioned not to start a sentence with “but”. However, you have started one of your sentences on this page and another page with “But my advice is …” and “But it is not recommended …”!

    I am confused if they are an error or exception.

    • You do not use “But” to start a sentence in a formal essay. It is fine to use it in informal communication. Try to see the difference between advice I give you for writing your essay, and how I communicate with you all informal on this blog.

  32. hey Liz, well i facing problem to write alphabet ‘r’ in small, as answers of listening and reading are check by computer, so if i write all answers in capital letter it would affect my result or not?


  33. Ankit Prakash says

    Dear Liz,

    I have the weakness right from childhood of writing Capital letters in between where they are not exactly required.
    Request to kindly advise whether in IELTS Writing Task ( General Training) if i write Capital letters ( in the middle of the sentence or at places where they are not required) and use Non Capital letters ( where the Capital letters are actually required ) , will it affect my Writing Score) ?

    Thanks You in Advance.

    Best Regards,
    Ankit Prakash

    • Yes, it will definitely lower your score. It would be a basic grammar mistake. If you plan your essay properly and control your timing, you can time things sot that you have 2 mins before the end of the test to correct your capital letters.

      • Ankit Prakash says

        Thanks a ton Liz for answering the query. I’ll definitely follow your advice in IELTS examination.

  34. Hey liz, thanks for your selfless help. I’m following all your tips and tricks thoroughly but i still have a query.
    My question is will I get some extra 2-3 minutes before the academic writing test to read the question paper??

    • I don’t understand your question? What do you mean about extra time for the writing paper?

      • Will i get 2-3 mins extra to read and understand the question related to graph or diagram?

        • When you start the writing test, you will have one hour. You choose what to do with that one hour. If you want to spend 5 mins reading the diagram, you will have 55 mins left. You must manage your time as you want and decide how much time you spend planning before you start writing. There is no extra time for speaking, reading or writing.

  35. Tanvir Hossain says

    Hello Liz will you please help me understand this better? I always get confused about these.
    If questions is like (10)$……….?
    In answer is it okay to have the dollar sign on? i.e – $15 or 15
    Similarly how should the time be written?
    If question is like (10)……
    Do i write? 7 or 7pm?

    Please help. Thanks in advance

  36. Sharmila Dsouza says

    Hie liz,
    I have a doubt and its kind of giving me sleepless nights !

    I gave my st on 27th october. There was a question in the reading section where the answer was student railcard and i wrote A STUDENT RAILCARD.

    the condition was to use 3 words only and a number. Do you think its okay to use the letter A or will it be marked wrong ??

    • It completely depends on the question type. A short answer question would require no “a”. A sentence completion might require an “a”.

  37. Hey, Liz! Thanks for your amazing lessons! I would like to clarify something with you.

    If am using capital letters in ALL my answers then, when the answer is for example “25th March”. Should I write 25TH MARCH? or 25th MARCH?

  38. If I want to write the line – ‘Sports like football, cricket, and rugby are becoming increasingly popular’, do the words – Football, Cricket, and Rugby need to be written in capital letters?

    • I think you know that we do not capitalise sports in English. They are capitalised only on charts as headings, but not in report writing.

  39. Krishanthan S says

    Good day Liz,

    Is writing $2,000 is correct or $2000(without a comma) is correct. though it is a number that can be written without the comma, I was told that it requires a comma. hence I would like to get it clarified with you please.

    • We use commas in English to help the reader see the number of 0’s. It is best to use commas.

  40. thanks

  41. Rahul says

    Hi Liz,

    Just want to know how do I write my answer as Mrs. Green or MRS. GREEN in ielts listening test as i will be writing all my listing answers in capital letters on 24-May exam.

  42. Hey liza
    I want to know if I am giving my reading session with small letters but true or false says to write in capital as they normally instruct.
    What do I have to do?
    Silly question but I would appreciate if you answer(:

  43. please tell about romen number ix i ii ? aur l ll lX etc please tell if we write them in upper case if we are writing all answers in upper case? same for choosing best options a b c d or ABCD?

    • They are numbers, not letters. Write them as you see them on the question paper.

      • Thank you so much for all the tips and videos.

        Just to clarify, even if i choose to write all my responses in capitals for listening and reading, when it comes to options that are given in the qn paper such as ‘iv, ‘ii’, i should follow it as it is given and do not have to change it to ‘IV’, ‘II’ etc.

        Also when it comes to units, these should be in capitals as well?
        If the answer is 5KM, is it written as 5KM or as 5KMS with a ‘s’
        For words such as long-term, is this considered as 1 word or 2 words.

        Thank you and appreciate your help!

        • They are not letters, they are numbers. As long as they can be understood – write them as you will. I often tell students to write them as they see them on the question paper. 5km – no “s”

  44. Hi Liz,

    Is it allowed to write ” ‘s ” in IELTS? For example: “the world’s inhabitants” or “the planet’s expenditure” etc.


  45. Mohammed says

    So basically in reading and listening it’s not important whether it’s capital or small letter I will get the same mark?

  46. Siddharth Kher says

    Hi Liz ,

    If my answer is wrong but is it almost correct will I get marks

  47. Hi liz i wrote my writing test in capital letters nd i got 5.5.. am i penalised for capital font …

    • It is possible to use all capital letters for writing but it is not something that I advise. There are many reasons to get under band 6.

  48. Prem kc says

    Hi Liz,
    I write all the answers in reading and listening tests in capitals but i am confused about the questions in which you are required to choose the headings which are quoted as roman no.s(i,ii,iii…..ix, x). So do i have to write these as well in capitals in answer sheet as(I, II ….IX, X)?
    Thanks for the time.Hoping for a reply.

    • Roman numerals are not letters. Write them as you see them on the question paper. However, it doesn’t actually matter which one you choose as long as your number can be read easily.

  49. Quennie says

    Hi Liz! I was wondering. In the listening test, a single question would require 2 answers sometimes. How should I write 2 answers in one box (or item number)? Should I use a semi- colon (;) to separate my answers?


    I’m hesitant to use “AND” because it is counted as 1 word already.

    Your answer to my question is greatly appreciated.

    • Don’t use “and” because it is a word and will make your answer incorrect. The most usual way is to leave a space between the words so they are easy to read and easily distinguishable. For example: APPLES ORANGES

      • Rahul Shah says

        Hi Liz. please tell me the following for NOT MORE THAN 3 WORDS –

        1) if we can separate both answers using a comma. for eg:
        APPLE, ORANGES ( if the ans is of 2 words )
        is that ok? or we have to write as you said

        2) one of the answer was
        ( they had a comma in the ans itself )
        and my answer was –
        INTERVIEWS , ARTICLES ( isnt this correct ? )
        also what if i had written
        INTERVIEWS AND ARTICLES ( it is still not more than 3 words )

        • You can use or not use a comma as you wish. A comma is not a word.
          Yes, your answer would be right.
          If you had added a word “and” it would have been wrong – depending on the question type.

  50. Taslima says

    Hi Liz!
    Is it ok if I write the listening answers in all caps but answer the reading questions in small letters?


    How to write date in capital letters?
    20th OCTOBER or 20TH OCTOBER

  52. Hey liz!
    Can we write on the pamphlets provided for reading and listening ?

    • Of course you can. You should underline key words both in the passage and the questions.

  53. what if we write 22nd October instead of 22 October

  54. Hi Liz,
    Can I write all answers in Capital letters in Listening and Reading?
    In your Listening tips video there is a pop-up saying, “capital letters are not marked in listening & the tip is not relevant”. Is this a new rule?
    Please Liz explain me. I’m going to sit my exam next week. I am confused about this now.
    Thank you..

    • My recommendation is that you use all capital letters for listening and reading answers.

      • Thank you Liz. I thought I will lose marks, if I write all in capital. You made it clear now. I will write all in capital letters.
        Your lessons are very helpful for me.
        Thank you again…

  55. Padmini says

    How to write date? for eg 22nd october is correct or else 22 october ? Which is correct?

  56. Anupama says

    Hi Liz,
    One of your video has a note saying IELTS Listening and Reading the Capital letters are not marked, is it true? Is this a new development? Do we have write in Small letters in Listening and Reading answer sheets?

    • My advice is to write all answers using capital letters.

      • Anupama says

        Thank you Liz, I will go by your advice.

        I have 4-5 days left for the test . I am aiming for a band 9 in all sections, I feel prepared for the listening and reading but feel the need to improve writing and speaking. How can I utilize my last 4-5 days to improve my writing and speaking score? I am currently planning to do more tests and also going through model answers on your blog. But, I am not sure if this is the right thing to do. Please advice.

  57. hello mam.
    please answer my question as just only one day remains to my test. if i use all lower case in both reading and listening even for those words like days, names, or places its wright or wrong???

    • I recommend you use all capital letters for listening and reading. I do not recommend anything else.

      • Padmini says

        Can i use starting letter of word as capital and remaining small in listening and reading tasks. For eg. Sitting (where s is caps and remaining are small)

        • It is best to use to all capital letters for your answers in listening and reading.

          • Padmini says

            Will they provide us headphones for listening task? As its a rule not to carey any gadgets to exam room

            • Each test center is different about using headphones or not. You need to ask your test center directly. You can’t carry gadgets into the exam room. IELTS is an international test which is very strict.

  58. Eza Yayang says

    Hello Liz,,God Bless You ^_^,, I’m Eza.
    I like your video because I understand what you’r explain and I’ve done download all of your video
    It’s my first time to study IELTS ,,
    I wanna ask some tips to you to answer the listening IELTS test part of maps
    I got difficult to answer that..
    Thank you so much ,, ^_^

  59. Hi Liz,

    Just to clarify, do you actually lose marks for grammatical accuracy in the writing test if you capitalise everything (including words at the beginning of sentences, proper nouns, etc)? For example, would you lose any marks for writing (e.g.) “THE BAR CHART DESCRIBES WHEAT EXPORTS TO AUSTRALIA BETWEEN 1960 AND 2000”? This is for someone who says it’s quicker and easier for him to write all in capitals.

    • Don’t use all capital letters for writing. Although it is possible to do so, it isn’t recommended. Grammar and punctuation are part of the marking for writing so use normal size letters. When you use all capital letters is makes it more difficult to see the end and start of new sentences. It can be confusing for the examiner – you don’t want that.

  60. Dear Liz,

    I hope that you are doing well. Thank you so much for your blog which is really beneficial for all IELTS student. I did my exam few days ago and wrote all listening answers in Capital letters, but I wrote the reading answers in Small ones . IS IT FINE TO DO THAT? Please let me know as I am afraid and confused

    My best regards,

  61. Gursewak singh says

    You r sooo nice ? Your ideas sooooooooooooooooo good . Thanks for give us

  62. liz … i must say you are one n only god bless you

  63. liz … i must say you are one n only

  64. Eslam Gamal says

    Hello, Liz
    I had an inquiry concerning listening. I was practicing Ielts Cambridge Tests and I got into this question
    Is there’s anyone else that will be using the car?
    Yes, my Brother in law
    And that’s what I wrote but when I checked the answer key I found out that it is written as
    would my answer be considered wrong?

    Thank you

    • Yes, your answer would be wrong. How many words were possible for the answer? Your answer contained 5 words because you didn’t hyphenate. Also the answer was asking for a person – not the word Yes. You need to review answer keys and get used the techniques for writing answers.

  65. Hello Liz,

    Is it okay to vary the use of CAPITALS and small letters in an answer sheet? For example, answer 1 is in all CAPITALS and answer 2 is in all small letters and so on.

    I am taking a test next week, and my plan is to use the CAPITALS only when needed because I am prone to make spelling mistake with CAPITALS. For normal words that I am confident, I will use small letters.

    Thanks for your advice in advance.

    Best Regards, Nhan

    • It is best to write ALL answers using capital letters for reading and listening.

    • Hello, Liz, I have the same question, I have exam in 2 days so I hope you will make it clear for me, I’m really confused right now. Can I use CAPITALS for the 1st answer but small letters for the 2nd question? I was said that if you choose to answer your 1st question in capitals you HAVE TO continue this for the next questions as well. Is it true?

      • If you use choose to use all capital letters, IT MEANS ALL YOUR ANSWERS ARE WRITTEN IN CAPITALS. All means all.

  66. Vijay says

    HI Liz
    Is this still valid to have our answers in Capital ? I just saw your video which says “Capital Letters are not counted in Listening”
    Awaiting your reply.


    • Yes, you can write your answers in all capital letters for listening. In fact, I recommend it.

  67. Buddhika says

    Hi Liz,

    28.03.1997 is considered as a one number or three numbers??
    Thank you very much for all the information given in your blog and they are really helpful.


  68. Supreet Kaur says

    Hello mam is it ok if we write listening answers in this format: December
    Walk By
    I mean to say the first letter in capital and others in lowercase?? Will it deduct my marks?

    • Just write in all capital letters to be safe – it’s easier for listening and reading.

      • Sadik says

        Hello madam, can I use all in answers in Capital letter? Is it accepted now? in your listening tips video, there is a pop-up screen showing capital letter is not accepted now while you were talking about capital letter issue. I have also found a pop-up at the end of the video about changed marking criteria. I am keen to know what are the recent changes in exam. Going to sit for exam next week, so I will be grateful if you let me know the changes made by exam authority.

        • It means it is fine to use capital letters – the message says they are no longer counted – it doesn’t matter.

  69. Sania says

    If i write 5:00 pm instead of 5pm. Is it correct??

  70. Mook.ske says

    Well, i just asked a question concerning the use of capitalization via the facebook of “IELTS OFFICIAL”.
    The answer I got is

    Hi Mook, you can write in capital or lowercase letters. It won’t affect your mark.

    It doesn’t matter if you write in capital letters (MR SMITH), but if you write in lowercase letters, you will need to capitalise corretctly (Mr Smith NOT mr smith).

    So, it is better and safer to write all in capital letters, isn’t it ?

  71. Hello Liz,
    I am from Bangladesh and I’m going to sit for the exam on 17th. I am really afraid on this issue regarding using CAPITAL LETTERS. So I’d like to ask you again, are you certain? I mean you’re from the UK and I was thinking are the examiners in my country going to consider it OK? Or they could disqualify my answers ( listening & reading) because of ALL CAPITAL LETTERS? Please let me know soon. My exam is very close 🙁

  72. Candice says

    Hi Liz,

    Thank you for the remarkable work you do.
    Quick question regarding GT W1 – Is it acceptable to write “the summer” for e.g. “I have taken a course in the summer” or “I have taken a course in summer”

    Thanks 🙂

    • Liz says

      We usually say “I have taken a summer course in history” or “I took a course in history this summer / during the summer”.

  73. sample says

    Hi Liz,
    You nailed it with your examples about upper and lower case. Thanks for that.

    I’ve couple of other questions.
    Are the questions in listening always in order to the audio you listen to?
    If I’ve to answer a question in ONE word would $10 be more appropriate than 10 dollars?

    • The answers in listening will follow the order of the questions. However, some questions, like selecting from a long list, might cover questions 4 to 6, this means that you select your answers from the same list for questions 4, 5 and 6. In that case, it will be in any order as it’s a list selection. Otherwise, it will all follow the order of the questions and you can use key words in the questions to navigate the recording. Does that make sense?
      About words and numbers for listening. 10 dollars = one number and one word, $10 = one number. This is the same for writing, numbers are counted as words but symbols are not counted. But some questions already have the symbols provided so you don’t need them. I hope I’m not confusing you 🙂

  74. Shiraz says

    Hi Liz,

    I have a small confusion. In your earlier video about listening you told that to use either all capital letter or lower case but when using lower case in case of names of Day , Place, Acronyms, Countries and Titles then use the first letter of the word in Capital other can be written in lower case for example Japan, Mr, Sarah etc.

    In this article you are saying that we can use lower and upper case in any way we like for listening and reading . Please elaborate

    • As you will see on the page of my website and youtube video, I have posted a notice that this information has changed.

  75. Zinkal says

    Hello mam
    I am Zinkal Patel from India.I have taken ielts exam on 8th of April 2017.Just I wanted to know about how can write dates formation in listening test. FOR Instance:- 11th December this or 11TH DECEMBER 2012.

  76. Daniele says

    Hello Liz,

    Thank you for this blog I find it very useful for my IELTS preparation. I have a question concerning the WRITING TEST (both TASKs). I’m planning to write all the TASKS in Capital Letters. IF I WRITE A PHRASE LIKE THIS, WOULD IT BE CORRECT? I am planning in this sense to make the normal words with Capital Letters even higher/bigger than other one, in a way to let the examiner understand which are the Capital letters and what are the normal letter in the text. Would it be correct to write in such way? I planning to write like this because my style of writing could be more understandable.

    from Italy

    • I advise you to write your answers in capitals for listening and reading. It is easier for the marker to read. However, I don’t advise this for writing. You need to show the correct use of punctuation, lower case and upper case – this is part of your grammar criterion.

  77. Deman says

    Thanks my dear, your advice is very useful for us.

  78. Biborno Projapoti says

    Is it OK to write listening answers in Capital letters and reading answers in small ones ?

  79. Sandeep Singh says

    Mam can we write true – t, false-f, not given- ng

  80. Taslima Begum says

    Please give me some guideline on this cue card
    Describe a walk that you like going on
    you should say:
    where the walk is
    when you first went on the walk
    what the walk is like
    and explain why you like the walk

    • You could talk about a walk in a park or down your favourite street – you decide which is easiest to talk about.

  81. hamza bajwa says

    Hi Liz! I was asked the question in listening: what type of people are the celebrities in your country? Is the examiner asking about their behavior and attitude of the celebrities or he means what kind of people are known as celebrities in my country???

    • In the speaking test, the question usually refers to their jobs: sports players, movie stars etc. But there is no right or wrong answer – you could easily interpret the answer differently and it won’t affect your score.

  82. TASLIMA BEGUM says

    Please give me some guidelines on this CUE CARD
    Describe a time that you felt proud of a friend

  83. mohammad nasser says

    Dear Liz,

    I am trying to order IELTS 10 & 9 (with audio) on line with no luck.
    I wonder if anybody else has faced the same problem. I have tried Amazon and ebay.
    Can you suggest other websites that I can purchase these books??

    Thank you

  84. Hi Liz,

    Thank you for your very useful videos and tips.

    I have taken my IELTS test in Dubai on 4th March 2017 .I used capital letters in my all the tests even in even in writing. Will it affect my score ?

    • IELTS have said that it’s ok to use capital letters in writing. The only problem is that it makes punctuation more difficult to assess and mark. Hopefully you will still do ok. Please keep me informed when your results arrive.

      • Thank you for your reply.

        I shall keep you posted. The result will be released on 19th March. Hopefully will get my desired band score 🙂

  85. Hi,
    You say ” mR bRown ” is acceptable in the Listening test. I think this is contrary to what you taught in one of your youtube videos on tips for IELTS Listening test. Please clarify. Thanks

  86. This is really a helpful site for us.Thank you Liz

  87. Faisal says

    Hello Liz,

    Great website with useful and very helping material. My question is, if I write everything in capital like MONDAY or STATION in reading or listening? Will that be OK? Because I did that in my test yesterday.

  88. Rahul says

    Hi liz,
    I subscribe your website yesterday. Your website material is so helpful for the IELTS preparation at home. Please upload more video’s then we can more learn. Thanks Liz madam….

    • Thanks. I’m so glad you like my lessons. I upload new lessons on this website but more videos won’t be until the end of the year 🙁

  89. Eman Al Masri says

    Thank you Liz. That was very useful. I am training to become an IELTS Trainer

    • Good luck! It’s a great job. There is nothing better than seeing a student get a great band score and watching them continue with their future 🙂

  90. Chhavi says

    Dear Liz,
    I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart. Your videos and the tips are very very useful. I followed all your guidelines and was able to achieve my desired band of 8.
    Keep up the good work.

    • That’s excellent news!! Thanks so much for letting me know. Well done 🙂

  91. Simran Jeet Singh Kalsi says

    Hi there,
    Here Simran Jeet Singh Kalsi from India.
    The information that you give us is really helpful and with them I scored this –
    Reading -7.0
    Thanks a lot from bottom of my heart 😘

  92. mardel vicmudo says

    I got problem in my writing. I hope somebody could help me.

  93. Jayanti V S N Murthy says

    Hi Liz

    These were exactly the points I wanted to clarify on before I sat for the IELTS Test. Thank you for providing a good clarity in these aspects.

    A very useful Post!

  94. Deewealth says

    Hi Liz, Dayo from Nigeria
    just got my ielts ukvi (academic) result for 11th Feb. exam

    Reading 8
    Listening 8
    Writing 7
    Speaking 7
    Overall band 7.5

    it perfectly fits the purpose i want it for. Thanks so much for the lessons and videos, immeasurable value!

    • Well done getting 7.5!! It’s a great score. I’m glad you got your desired score 🙂

      • Mahtab says

        Hello Liz.
        thanks for useful tips and your amazing blog .I want to know is it ok to write Roman numeral in capital letters? for example VIII.

        • I usually recommend you to copy them as they are written in the question. They are not letters, they are numbers so just write them as you see them.

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