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The Importance of Capital Letters for Scoring High in IELTS

Most of the time while attending high-level exams like IELTS, we come across the dilemma of using capital letters or small letters. If you are worried about how you write your answer or your bad handwriting, there is an exception in the IELTS exam. Although many candidates often forget to make the exact use of punctuation, you must take care of certain things like “your writing”.

Before appearing for the IELTS exam next time, make sure you go through all the rules, vocabulary, and grammar tests to achieve a good score. The primary thing that matters here is what to do if your writing is bad and what to do when you are about to use capital letters in your sentences. Herein, we have given all the basic rules and “Things That Are Important To Note” so that you can learn better.

Basic Rules and Things to Know to Learn Better

1. capital letters in listening test.

In the IELTS exam, you have the complete freedom to write the answers in any way, including small letters, capital letters, or even a combination of the two. There is particularly no rule that sticks to the capitalization in IELTS Listening Test. You only need to ensure you write the answer with the correct spelling otherwise you will lose your scores.

You are provided with 10 extra minutes for the transfer of all your answers in the IELTS Listening Test answer sheet. So, even if you are having bad handwriting, we suggest you use capital letters for better understanding. Capital letters are easy to read and write. If you are giving a computer-based exam, you do not need to worry about writing in any form. Make sure that while you are answering the questions, you make the proper use of small letters, capital letters, or a combination of them.

For example,

All the examples stated above are correct unless the spellings are correct. Moreover, if you want to learn more about the rule of capital letters, you can look to join the IELTS coaching centre .

Important Points To Note-

If you are writing the answers in capital letters, do not use them while linking the words like in the use of but, and, because, etc. These are certain words that never start with a capital letter. The reason is that they are connectors and you should not start a sentence with these words. This is important to note while you are writing the exam.

What about the speaking test?

Well, you do not need to write anything in the speaking test. So, you have the complete freedom to write things the way you want. Moreover, you must take care that you use proper capitalization for all your tests except the speaking test, where you must be able to understand your own writing/words or language that you write on the rough paper given to you during the speaking test.

Recommended Read:  How to Prepare for IELTS at the Last Minute

2. Capital Letter In Reading Exam

The rules that apply to the reading section in IELTS for the use of capital letters are similar to that of the listening section. You can use small letters, and capital letters, or can also use a combination of both.

The key difference is that in the listening test you get 10 minutes extra to transfer the answers. In contrast, no extra time for sorting any form of an answer is provided for the reading test.

  • If your writing is good, try to write in small letters as the use of capital letters will consume more time.
  • Write in capital letters if your writing is poor or bad. This will ensure better readability to the observer.
  • If you are using capital letters, make the right use of them. Place the capital letters in the right place to make the writing legible.
  • While you are attempting the IELTS reading exam, writing capital letters or small letters is not important. So if you think that using capitalization will hamper your marks, you do not need to worry at all.
  • The IELTS Reading exam is more about the vocabulary test than the reading test. You will be provided with lots of reading questions including the reading or understanding of the passage. Therefore, you must be aware of the synonyms, antonyms, paraphrasing, common words, and other information that connects with your exam.
Recommeded Read:  TOEFL vs. IELTS vs. Duolingo

3. Capital Letter In Writing Exam

The IELTS writing test examines your ability to write correct spellings, punctuation, vocabulary, and grammar. You can make use of capital letters in essay writing, but you should not follow the pattern of capitalization. The reason is stated below:

  • Essay Writing consumes more time, so you must choose wisely between capital and small letters. Also, capital letters take more time for any good handwriting writer. As stated above, if your handwriting is good, you do not need to write in capital letters.
  • IELTS writing explores the scores over the use of proper grammar with language, punctuation, and spelling. Make sure you use the right capital letter in the right way like with proper use of rules.

If you are choosing capital letters as your only style of writing, make sure you do not make any spelling and grammatical mistakes. Certain capitalization rules stick to grammar and are universal and you should follow them, understand them, use them properly, and write them in the correct form as they should be. To avoid the use of distance and learn about the techniques of using capital letters, you can enroll in the distant learning centre .

What Is The Right Way To Use Capital Letters?

  • A new sentence should begin with a capital letter.
  • Start the name of the Month and Day with a capital letter
  • Start a person’s name in capital letters.
  • The name of the country and city should be in capital letters.
  • You can use capital letters for the name of popular places and monuments
  • The pronoun “I” should always be in capital letter
  • Nationalities and Languages should be in capital letters
  • The use of Acronyms, for instance, the USA abbreviated to The United States Of America should always be in capital letters.

Things That Are Important To Note-

  • Do not use the starting word of the sentence as “because/but/and/etc”. Also, avoid the use of linking words at the start of the sentence in formal writing.
  • The IELTS writing test is more about the right use of vocabulary, punctuation, language, syntax, grammar, and similar aspects. So, you must use the correct form of small or capital letters.

Using capital letters in the official exam of IELTS is important for those who have poor or bad handwriting. Also, the use of proper punctuation can be disturbing for many candidates but you must make the proper use of sentences, and basic rules of punctuation while making the language meaningful. The use of punctuation is important even if you are writing in capital or small letters.

This is because punctuation gives meaning to your sentences and if you do not make the proper use, you will not be able to convey your message to the observer. Conversely, if you do not make the proper use of punctuation, it will not be conveyed the way you want. So, punctuation is important while you are writing your exam along with having the great power of writing style, even good or bad.

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Capital Letters in IELTS Exam

How Effective Is The Use of Capital Letters To Get Your Target Score In IELTS Test?

Is it necessary to use capital letters in the IELTS exam? Are scores deducted if a test taker uses them in listening, reading, and writing tests?

The other pertinent questions are�Mention the rules for using IELTS capital letters, and is it compulsory to use them in computer-based exams?

Before appearing for IELTS Test, be aware of how vocabulary and grammar help achieve a high score. The primary use of capital letters is something many candidates engrossed in IELTS Test preparation overlook most of the time.

Well, this blog post is for all those IELTS aspirants who are unaware of the use of Capital Letters in the IELTS Exam and those aware of its importance and are aspiring to get a high score.

Know the role of capital letters in IELTS Listening, Reading and Writing Tests and make sure you use them appropriately to ace your IELTS Test.

Use of Capital Letters in IELTS Listening Test

You can either use capital letters in IELTS listening, small letters, or a combination of both while writing your answers in IELTS Listening Test.

For example,

You can make use of any of the above methods to write your response. There are no particular rules set for capitalization in IELTS Listening Test . But, ensure that you spell the word correctly. Else you lose marks.

However, you get extra 10 minutes to transfer your answers onto the IELTS Listening Test answer sheet. So, if you have poor handwriting , we suggest you write your answers in capital letters while taking the paper-based IELTS test. It makes it easy for the examiner to read what you have written. Whereas, while taking the computer-based exam, you do not have to worry about handwriting or capitalization.

Use of Capital Letters in IELTS Reading Test

The rules for capitalization in IELTS Reading Test is same as that of IELTS Listening Test. The only difference between the two is that you don't get extra minutes to transfer your answers onto the answer sheet.

Writing in capital letters usually consumes more time. It is thus, advisable to write in lowercase. Just make sure that your response is readable.

IELTS Quotes

Use of Capital Letters in IELTS Writing Test

Can I use all capital letters in IELTS writing?

It is one of the many questions you often ask. It is all about IELTS Academic Writing Test , Punctuation, and so on.

Though you can choose to write your Essay Writing Task in capital letters, we won't advise you to do so.

Here's why:

  • You obtain marks based on punctuation. Show capital and lower case letters. For instance, you must use a capital letter at the start of the sentence.
  • Make it a point to write the essay in lower case and use capital letters wherever necessary. Otherwise, you are bound to lose marks.

Where to use capital letters

Be it specifying�

Day or month - Friday or June

Title and Name - Physician and Dr. Jones

Cities and countries - New York, London, and the UK or Australia

Acronym - CNN (Cable News Network)

Start of a new sentence: The weather is pleasant throughout the day. However, the met department forecasted it might rain in the evening.

Avoid some mistakes�

  • Never start a sentence with because/and/but Avoid using linking words at the start of a sentence in formal writing.
  • As said earlier, IELTS Writing Test is assessed or marked depending on the usage of proper Punctuation, Grammar, and similar aspects. So, you must show the correct use of small and capital letters. For example, you must start a new sentence with a capital letter.
  • Thus, you must write your essay in lowercase but make appropriate use of capital letters where necessary. Along with Capital Letters, you must also see that you make no Grammar or Punctuation mistakes.

There are some specific rules of capitalization that you must follow while writing your Essay and Letter/Report tasks.


1. Always start NEW SENTENCE with capital letter

Let's take an example. J ohn has confirmed that he can attend the meeting. B ut, Simon is out of the country.

2. You must start the word with capital letters while writing DAYS and MONTHS

For example, I will be leaving from here next Friday . India celebrates the Holi festival in March .

3. Write NAMES and TITLES with a capital letter

For instance, Jack fought with James . Mr. Smith is on leave.

4. Rule 3 also applies while you mention any COUNTRY or CITY in your sentence

Here's an example. Delhi is the capital of India .

5. While stating name of POPULAR PLACES or MONUMENTS, it is essential to use capital letter

For example, Paris is known for Eifel Tower .

6. Mention the pronoun 'I' in capital letter irrespective of its placement in the sentence

Let's consider an example. For instance, Hello, I 'm Chloe.

7. NATIONALITIES and LANGUAGES also start with a capital letter

For instance, She is speaking English . I'm a Russian .

8. If you use ACRONYMS, they must be in capital letters

Let's say, IELTS (International English Language Testing System)

Beware of These Mistakes While Using Capital Letters

Avoid using capital letters in linking words , i.e, but, and, because . These words NEVER start with a capital letter. Why? That is because they are connectors and you should not use them to start a sentence.

What about the IELTS Speaking Test ?

Well, you don't have to write anything for your speaking test. The notes that you make for Part 2 - Long Turn won't be assessed. So, you can write in whichever way you want.

You must know the use of proper capitalization for your writing tasks. Spending your time and efforts to learn capitalization while undergoing IELTS Test preparation will ensure that you don't lose marks in the IELTS Test. You can even attempt free IELTS practice tests on IELTS Tutorials to determine your progress and thus, improve for the actual test.

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How To Use Capital Letters In IELTS Exam?

While appearing for the IELTS test you must have prepared IELTS Vocabulary, Grammar, and other things that help in acquiring the desired score. However, you may not be aware of the importance of Capital letters and the rules of using capital letters. This article will provide you with a clear idea about this. Also, you can sign up for Dr.Roma IELTS Preparation Course and get registered for anytime anywhere online IELTS classes, mock tests, Live IELTS classes by Dr. Roma, and get yourself prepared like a pro.

Summarizing the points that you will understand from this article -

  • Will your IELTS score be affected by the wrong use of capital letters?
  • Specific rules set as per the IELTS exam guidelines related to the use of the capital letter in exam
  • Is it allowed to write all answers in capital letters in the IELTS exam?

Aspirants willing to score the desired band in their IELTS must read this article for a better understanding of the role of capital letters in reading and writing exams.

Capital Letter Usage In IELTS Listening Exam

While answering the questions of the IELTS Listening Test, candidates can make use of either capital letters, small letters, or a combination of both which means the word “Table” can be written in any of the following ways

There is no particular set of rules for capitalization for the IELTS listening exam. But the only condition is, that spelling must be correct, or else you will lose marks. Students get extra 10 minutes to transfer their answers on the answer sheets. So, it is suggested that if you have poor handwriting write your answers in capital letters that ensure easy readability for the examiner.

Capital Letter Usage in IELTS Reading Exam

Rules for using the capital letter in the IELTS Reading Section are the same rules for the IELTS listening section i.e. you can write answers in capital letters, small letters, or with a combination of both.

The only difference between each section is, that in the listening test candidate gets extra 10 minutes for transferring answers, however, in the reading section, no extra time is provided for transferring answers.

Tips To Use Capital Letters In Reading Exam-

  • Write in Small letters if your writing is good as writing capital letters consumes more time.
  • If your handwriting is poor then only go for capital letters as it ensures better readability.
  • Use Capital letters in the right place to make your text easier to read and understand.
  • Punctuation is not considered while marking of IELTS reading exam so the score is not affected by the use of capital letters.

Capital Letter Usage in IELTS Writing Exam

IELTS writing tests the ability of the candidates in different aspects of the English language- Grammar, Spelling, Vocabulary , punctuation, and so on. It is allowed to use capital letters in Essay Writing tasks but it is not recommendable. Why?

  • Essay Writing is a time-based task so if you choose capital letters for essay writing you might run out of time for completing it. Hence, you result in losing marks.
  • IELTS writing task is marked on proper English language aspects i.e. punctuation, grammar, spelling, and so on. So, make sure to use capital letters in the right way like starting a new sentence with capital letters.

Making appropriate use of capital letters is necessary along with no grammatical and spelling mistakes. Some specific rules of capitalization in the IELTS Writing Exam that you must follow for essay, letter/report writing tasks.

Always Use Capital Letters in Following Cases

  • Start of the new sentence
  • While writing the name of Day and Month
  • Name of Person
  • Name of country or city
  • Name of monuments and popular places
  • The pronoun “I” is always written in capital letter
  • Languages and Nationalities
  • The use of Acronyms must be in capital letters. For instance, the USA (United States Of America)

Try to spare some time after finishing your writing task so that you can review your passage and ensure the right usage of capital letters, grammar, punctuation, and spelling.

Important Note: Avoid using capital letters while writing linking words in your passage. These words never get started with capital letters. Linking words are just connectors that are not used at the start of the sentence. Some of the common linking words are but, because, and.

Capital Letter Usage in IELTS Speaking Exam

In the IELTS Speaking exam , you are given one minute to prepare before starting speaking, for which the candidate is provided with a pencil and paper. You can write in whatever format you want and use capital letters in whatever way you want, the notes that you are making are not at all assessed in any way. So, it doesn’t matter at all whether you write lower, upper case, or a combination of both.

Final Words

Now when you are completely aware of the importance of capital letters in the IELTS exam, especially in IELTS writing tasks you must start preparing yourself accordingly. Well, for your excellent preparation we recommend Dr.Roma IELTS preparation course in which a candidate can attempt IELTS practice tests, watch unlimited tutorials for attempting the IELTS exam in all sections and ensure your overall band score improvement.

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Is Capitalisation Important in IELTS?

Posted by David S. Wills | Jul 24, 2021 | Grammar | 0

Is Capitalisation Important in IELTS?

Today, I want to tell you about something that is utterly essential if you are going to take the IELTS exam. I’m talking about capitalisation. That means the use of capital letters when writing in English. If you do not know how to use capital letters correctly, you simply will not be able to get a good score, so it is of the utmost importance that you learn before booking an IELTS test date. Fortunately, in today’s lesson I’m going to tell you everything you need to know.

For those of you who prefer listening, this lesson is available in video form:

What is Capitalisation and Why is it so Important?

Let’s start with the basics. Capitalisation refers to the use of capital letters in English. We sometimes call these “upper case” letters. In the context of this lesson, capitalisation refers to the correct combination of upper case and lower case letters in words used for your IELTS essays.

Let’s take a look at a sentence:

Climate change is a major problem for Governments around the World.

 If an IELTS examiner read this essay, they would immediately notice that there is a very, very big mistake. In fact, there are two big mistakes. The words “government” and “world” have been capitalised for no reason. The sentence, of course, should look like this:

Climate change is a major problem for governments around the world.

Writing in English is difficult because there are many mistakes we could make, but not all mistakes are equal in terms of severity. There are big mistakes and small mistakes. The ones that are easiest to notice are considered the biggest, along with ones that are so severe they obscure the meaning of the sentence. Capitalisation is a huge problem because it immediately and obviously tells the examiner that you have a very low level of English. Being able to use capital letters is something that a child would be expected to do, and as IELTS is a very advanced English test for people looking to study or work abroad, it would be disastrous for your score.

Considering all that, let’s now look at some of the rules of capitalisation so that you can avoid this catastrophic error.

The Basic Rules of Capitalisation

ielts essay capital letters

The first thing you need to know when thinking about capitalisation is that we can broadly group nouns into two kinds: common nouns and proper nouns. A common noun is a regular word that could refer to many different things or ideas. Look around you and most of the things that you see will have common nouns – a computer, for example, or a desk, a chair. Your house, its walls, its windows, and its doors are all common nouns. We would not, therefore, capitalise these.

Proper nouns, however, are words that refer to something more specific and unmistakable. Let’s go back to the idea of a computer. Whilst a computer is just a thing, the company that made your computer would have an official name, and this would be capitalised. Likewise, the companies may have different types of computers that have official names. These would all need capital letters. In fact, most things that have an official name would be capitalised in English. All countries, counties, continents, provinces, cities, and towns should be capitalised. Even our planet – the Earth – should be capitalised, and for that matter we capitalise the other planets in the solar system. People’s names are also capitalised, along with businesses, brands, and organisations, as well as the names of films, books, and bands. We also capitalise the days of the week, the months of the year, and festivals like Christmas, Ramadan, and Lunar New Year. Oddly, we even capitalise the word “I” no matter where it comes in a sentence, even though we would not capitalise other pronouns.

In addition to those rules, capitalisation is affected by punctuation. The most important thing to know is that we must ALWAYS capitalise the first word in a sentence. If you failed to do this, you would have demonstrated a lack of understanding of basic English grammar. Similarly, we must not capitalise a word after a comma (unless of course it is a proper noun). A mistake like this would instantly tell the examiner that your level is around band 4 or 5.

The Hard Parts of Capitalisation

The rules that I have taught you so far are among the most basic in the English language. As a teacher, if I had a student who did not know these, I would tell him not to waste his money on the exam until he had spent a lot more time studying. However, there are some slightly more challenging aspects to punctuation, where it can be harder to know whether to use a capital letter or not. Let’s look at some of the ones that commonly confuse IELTS candidates.

First of all, let’s look at cardinal directions. By cardinal directions, I mean north, east, south, west, and so on. These are NOT proper nouns so you should not capitalise them. However, there are some exceptions. These words can become proper nouns in some rare cases. For example, when talking about Asia, we often say “the East” or “the Far East.” As this refers to a specific place, it is a proper noun. Likewise, the counterpart to the East is of course “the West.” This can be a bit harder for people to remember, but it is important to think of these as places and to know that we always capitalise official place names. Thus, we might say “Ancient spice traders set out for the Far East. If they went by sea, they would have to sail south around Africa and then east across the Indian Ocean.” Note that “Far East,” as a place name just like Indian Ocean, is capitalised, but the words “south” and “east” are not. There are cardinal directions incorporated into many places, from continents like South America to countries like North Korea, and we must remember to capitalise them accordingly.

A similar problem emerges with the word “university” because it is often part of an official name, yet the word itself is not a proper noun. Look at this conversation. Whenever we talk generally about a university, referring to an idea of a university but not one specific one, we use a lower case “u.” However, when referring to the official name of a university, we must use a capital “U.”

What Sort of Capitalisation Mistakes do IELTS Learners Make?

In a 2019 study , researchers found that “capitalisation errors were found to be common for speakers of all” languages, although not all suffered these problems to the same extent, with an interesting note that these mistakes were MORE common among learners whose native language also used the Roman alphabet. This is probably because capitalisation rules differ from country to country and it is harder to adapt from one style to another than to learn completely from scratch. In German, for example, ALL nouns are capitalised, and this is something they need to consider when learning English.

For me, though, the most interesting part of this study was their finding that “under-capitalisation was significantly more common than over-capitalisation” because it is the opposite of my experience marking IELTS essays. Now, it is important to consider that while this study was conducted over a large body of work from English learners and it included some IELTS material, it was certainly not devoted to IELTS essays. I could not, in fact, find a study dedicated entirely to capitalisation and IELTS. However, having read more than 20,000 essays, I can say that over-capitalisation appears to me to be a bigger problem for IELTS candidates.

Unique Task 1 Challenges

When it comes to IELTS academic, for task 1 you will need to write a report that describes a line graph , bar chart , or some other kind of visual data. This presents a unique problem because the sort of things you need to describe often have a special sort of non-grammatical language that is used to condense information into a shorter form.

ielts table

Let’s take this table as an example. The headings are common nouns like food, drink, tobacco, clothing, and so on. Obviously, these should NOT be capitalised. However, you will note that they ARE capitalised in the table. That’s because in headings and labels, we almost always capitalise words against the rules of grammar. One of the challenges of IELTS writing task 1 is converting those headings and labels into proper grammar.

Unfortunately, many IELTS candidates simply copy the words they see in the chart, thinking that if it was written by the IELTS test makers, it must be correct. They don’t realise that they are required to convert these words into proper language. Even though this might seem like a small issue to you, it immediately signals to the examiner that you do not understand a very basic part of the language, and that your score should reflect that lack of knowledge. As such, always make sure to convert headings and labels to proper grammar for IELTS writing.

Hopefully, by now you understand that capitalisation is of the utmost importance when it comes to IELTS writing, and that making a mistake in this area would almost certainly have a devastating impact on your score. It is of critical importance then that you familiarise yourself with the rules I have discussed: 1) Put a capital letter at the start of each sentence, but not after a comma. 2) Always capitalise proper nouns. 3) Do not capitalise common nouns (unless of course they are the first word in the sentence).

Honestly, there are not many things to remember here, so this really is something you should be able to master quickly and easily. If you are still unsure, then I will leave a few links to some useful resources below that contain more detailed guides, examples, and a few practice exercises. If you can get this correct all of the time, you put yourself on the right track to a high band score.

About The Author

David S. Wills

David S. Wills

David S. Wills is the author of Scientologist! William S. Burroughs and the 'Weird Cult' and the founder/editor of Beatdom literary journal. He lives and works in rural Cambodia and loves to travel. He has worked as an IELTS tutor since 2010, has completed both TEFL and CELTA courses, and has a certificate from Cambridge for Teaching Writing. David has worked in many different countries, and for several years designed a writing course for the University of Worcester. In 2018, he wrote the popular IELTS handbook, Grammar for IELTS Writing and he has since written two other books about IELTS. His other IELTS website is called IELTS Teaching.

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Using capital letters in IELTS tests

In the IELTS Listening test , you can write your answers in lower case or upper case or a combination of both. In other words, you are not marked on your use of capitalisation so you can choose whichever works best for you. Some students prefer to ‘print’ their answers in capital letters, and this is a good idea if your handwriting is not very easy to read. Writing in capital letters usually requires more time, but in the listening test this is not really a problem as you have an additional 10 minutes at the end of the final recording to transfer your answers to the answer sheet.

For the IELTS Reading test , the same rules about capital letters apply. You can write all your answers in upper or lower case or a combination of both (using capitals at the beginning of proper nouns). Punctuation is not taken into account when marking reading papers so your score will not be affected by your use of capital letters. Remember, however, that in the reading test you do NOT get an additional 10 minutes at the end to transfer your answers so if you write more slowly when using CAPITAL LETTERS it might be better for you to write in lower case.

In Part 2 of the IELTS speaking test , you are given one minute in which to prepare your ‘long-turn’ answer and during that time you are given a pencil and paper on which to make notes. The notes that you make are not assessed in any way, so once again it doesn’t matter if you write in lower and upper case, as long as YOU can read what you’ve written!

In the IELTS writing test , we wouldn’t advise you to write all your answer in capital letters as it usually takes a lot longer and you only have 60 minutes to answer both tasks. In addition, it is not usually appropriate to write letters, reports or essays completely in CAPITALS. Instead you need to demonstrate that you can use capital letters correctly because punctuation IS assessed in the writing test as part of the criteria for grammatical accuracy. So, if you are copying any names of people or places from the question in Task 1, make sure you use the capitalise the initial letters in the same way. Also, ensure that each new sentence you write begins with a capital letter. Try to leave a few minutes spare when you finish writing so that you can read through your answer and check that you have used correct spelling and punctuation.

If you’re not sure about when to use capital letters, check out the iPass IELTS toolbox exercise on correct punctuation

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Upper or Lower Case Letters for IELTS Listening and Reading


Hi ielts buddy, I am really nervous regarding choosing what to write in listening and reading sections. So much of confusion regarding how to write capital or small letters. Please clarify my doubt - LISTENING- Suppose I want to write all capital letters and by any chance will i loose marks. I have given my ielts once but used lower case and used capitals when required? But its really confusing sometimes with lowercase. Hence please suggest. For reading:- Answers need to be taken from text. What can you suggest? How should I write all capital or all small letters in reading? PLEASE GIVE ME YOUR STRONG OPINION IELTS BUDDY REGARDING THESE TWO SECTIONS AS I WANT TO SCORE PERFECT.

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ielts essay capital letters

Don’t make this mistake with capital letters in IELTS Writing Task 1!

Hey! One element of your score for grammatical range and accuracy will be good use of punctuation. This includes accurate use of capital letters. You may think that this will be easy, but time and time again, I have seen students make the same mistake with capital letters in IELTS Writing Task 1!

Watch this express lesson to find out what the error is and how you can avoid it!

How is your score for Writing Task 1 calculated?

Your writing score for Task 1 will be calculated using four elements:

  • Task Achievement: This is how well you actually achieve the task of writing an academic report. The main consideration for this criteria is the quality of your overview (if you do not know what an overview is, then you can watch this video to find out) , and how well you have considered and highlighted the main trends. Make sure you use statistics to support your statements and include at least one sentence for every item on the chart.
  • Coherence and Cohesion: This is how easy your report is to understand and how well you have joined the ideas. The main consideration for this criteria will be your use of referencing, and cohesive devices. Plus, if you are aiming for the highest scores, you should also make sure that your paragraphing is logical and there is no repetition of ideas.
  • Lexical Resources:  This is how accurate the vocabulary you have chosen to write your report is. The good news is that there is a fixed set of vocabulary for Task 1. You are find out more about what that is in this blog post .
  • Grammatical Range and Accuracy:  This is how well you have managed your sentence structures in the report. The main criteria where is having a range of complex sentences that are error-free. However, punctuation is also a factor, which is why is is important to use capital letters in Writing Task 1 accurately!

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For IELTS General Training Task 1, we’re instructed to begin our letter with “Dear Sir” or “Madam”. Should we begin the letter as suggested or should we follow the proper format of writing a letter? Which one is the correct way?

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We recommend you write all your Reading and Listening answers in capitals, so it is clear for the examiner. However, in Computer-delivered IELTS handwriting is not an issue, so you should try to write all words using upper and lower case. 

However, in the Writing test, it is very important to write Task 1 and Task 2 with correct capitalisation, as punctuation is marked as part of the Grammatical Range and Accuracy criteria. 

For computer-delivered IELTS, do we get a paper and pencil to take notes for the Listening test? Do we also get 10 minutes to transfer answers?

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