Capital Letters in IELTS Exam

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

February 02, 2018

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,

CAR true

car true

Car true

cAr true

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.

John has confirmed that he can attend the meeting. But, 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.