Here’s a collection of some of the most common questions we are asked about the IELTS writing test. Note that this page only realtes to the PBT (Paper Based Test), not the CBT (Computer Based Test).
Q: Do I write in pen or pencil during the test?
Most exam centres now only allow candidates to write with a pencil.
Q: Can I bring my own writing equipment?
No – you will not be allowed into the test room with your own pen, pencil or eraser.
Q: What should I do if I make a mistake?
Just put a single line through the word or words you want to remove and then continue writing. Don’t waste time with trying to erase anything.
Q: What if I need more paper?
No problem – simply raise your hand until the invigilator approaches, then request more paper. There is no limit to the amount of paper you request, but ALL pages will be collected at the end of the test, even if they were only used for making notes (see below).
Q: Can I get any paper for writing notes / preparing a plan?
Yes, but all the paper you are given is collected and given to the examiner when they are marking your work. We recommend writing your plan or making any notes on the question paper, not the answer sheet. Although the question paper is also collected at the end of the test, it is not submitted to the examiner.
Q: My handwriting is not very good. Will I lose points?
Your writing would have to illegible (can’t be read) before you lose points, but if you are concerned then get in the habit of writing in print (single letters) instead of cursive (joined letters).
Q: Can I write all of my test in CAPITAL LETTERS?
Surprisingly, yes! We recommend it as it avoids you needing to worry about capitalisation of particular words.