Should You Use All Capital Letters in the IELTS Listening and Reading Tests - Frequently asked questions - Frequently asked questions

A few people have raised questions about whether IELTS candidates can use all upper-case letters in the IELTS Listening and Reading modules. Here’s my advice:

         For the reading and listening tests:

  • Answers can be written on the answer sheet in upper case, lower case or a combination.
    For example, the answer “Thailand” can be written as “thailand”, “THAILAND” or even “ThAiLanD”. All of these versions would be marked as correct.
  • This is extracted from British Council IELTS website:
    “As you listen, write your answers on the question paper. At the end of the test, you will have 10 minutes to transfer your answers to the answer sheet in pencil. You may write your answers either in lower case or in capital letters.”
    It’s the same for the reading, but most of your responses in the reading come from the text, so you should be able to see if it is capitals or not.
    For the writing test:
  • The correct use of capitals IS NEEDED in your writing test answer. So you should try to follow the normal rules for capital letters. You can read the summary of the rules for CAPITAL below:


a. Places and monuments:

  • Tokyo, Paris
  • State of Liberty, Fifth Avenue, the White House

b. Personal pronoun “I”

c. Abbreviations and acronyms

  • G.M.T. or GMT (Greenwich Mean Time)
  • AM (Ante Meridian); PM (Post Meridiem)

d. Days, months, holidays

  • Monday, Tuesday
  • April, May
  • Christmas, Easter

e. Countries, languages & nationalities, religions

  • Buddhism, Christian
  • English, Spanish
  • The United States, Belgium, Sweden, India, Indonesia
  • Japanese, Korean

f. People’s names and titles

  • Jesmine Thompson
  • Mayor, King, Queen, President, Prime Minister

g. Trademarks, name of company, organization

  • Coca Cola, Pepsi, Nike
  • Microsoft, Oxfam

h. Begin a sentence or to begin speech

  • How are you doing?

i. Titles of books, poems, songs, plays, films

  • Pride and Prejudice and Zombies
  • The Alchemist Avatar, The Idiots

Hope you find this small piece of advice useful for you.

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